Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Curiosity Files {A Homeschool Product Review}

I recently had the opportunity to review a great science unit study from The Old Schoolhouse - The Curiosity Files - Snow Rollers & Other Snow Phenomena.

Our Experience:

Though the weather around here is definitely Spring we enjoyed learning all about Snow Rollers - something the kids and I had never heard of, or experienced, being from the Deep South. This unit study arrived just in time for us as it also discusses hail and we had a horrible hail storm just last week. It really put our unit study into perspective especially the understanding of the different states of liquid and how hailstones are formed.
{Pictured above hailstones we gathered after the storm to study later}

Some of the activities we completed from this eBook were tracking our weather on a weather chart,
making a rain gauge,

and creating rain.

And, while I read to my 8 and 6 year old daughters from The Curiosity Files, my son - who is 9, was able to easily read through the unit study on his own.

This Curiosity File contained the following activities - which gave us so much to pick from.
  • Bible study, discussion ideas, and memory verses
  • Math, history, and geography investigations
  • Literature and suggested book list
  • Writing, spelling, and vocabulary activities
  • Beautiful copywork pages (manuscript and cursive)
  • Science observations, projects, and experiments
  • Discussion questions
  • Art, crafts, and drawing and coloring pages
  • Lapbook/notebook pages we call “Curiosity Snippets”
  • Special needs, hands-on discoveries
  • Internet resource and video links
  • Complete answer key
My plan is to revisit this study again in the Winter months and focus more on the "snow" activities.

My Thoughts:

With our bookshelves around here beginning to fill up with lots of school books I have come to really love eBooks. We have a laptop at our school table which makes it easy to read sections from the Curiosity Files. I only print the pages we need for the kids to complete.

I also love that The Curiosity Files series really appeals to all learning styles. My son is a "check it off" style learner and enjoys filling out worksheets - while my girls are "hands on" learners and loved all the activities we had to pick from.

My kids enjoyed this study so much we will definitely be investing in more of these science unit studies. Plus, with this unit study there are so many activities we will be able to use it more than once with new activities each time.

The Product Details:

Vendor: The Old Schoolhouse
Price: $6.95 - though watch for deals as many times these unit studies go on sale
Ages: 8 - 13 - our six year old participated in all of the study times and had no problem understanding the concepts
Want to check out a sample of this unit study just click here.

The product featured in this review was provided to me free of cost by The Old Schoolhouse. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend

A great weekend with lots of Easter activities .... {Pictured above the kids outside of our club}
{This year we tried a new way of decorating eggs ... we took the eggs out of the boiling water as soon as they were done cooking and immediately used crayons to decorate them.}

{We also made Resurrection Rolls Saturday Night}

{The kids were amazed when they found the inside of the rolls empty.}

{On Sunday we enjoyed a beautiful church service and then brunch at our club. The kids also enjoyed an Easter Egg hunt after brunch.}

{Another tradition for our family is our Resurrection Eggs. We have used them for several years now so this year I changed things up a bit and let the kids each pick a few eggs from the carton and explain to us what the item they were holding represented in the Easter story.}

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt

Today we had a 4 hour playdate at a local park with our small homeschool group. The kids had so much fun having an egg hunt, picnic lunch, and enjoying playtime with friends.
The weather could have been a little warmer but, with highs tomorrow near 85 degrees I enjoyed the coolness of a 65 degree day. So blessed to have these great homeschool friends in our lives!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Choir Concert

All three kids had their spring choir performances last night. Devin and Ava Mae both had speaking parts.
Love the format they use for the preschool and kindergarten choirs - a picnic in the activities center while the kids perform.
Devin and Lexi performed in the sanctuary with their choirs. Devin played the disciple John in the drama portion.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Palm Sunday {Walk Through Jerusalem}

What a wonderful Palm Sunday we had! Daune and I performed with our church choir's Easter concert - it was beautiful.

We wrapped up our day with a "Walk Through Jerusalem" hosted by our church. The kids loved it - especially since we did not make it to a "Walk Through Bethlehem" this past Christmas - which they have reminded me of at least once a week since then.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Spring Ballet

The girls and I had a great time Saturday night attending Praise in Motion's Spring Ballet. Lexi and Ava Mae are pictured above with a few of their ballet school friends - passing out programs before the start of the ballet.

Pictured below, the girls with two of their favorite ballerinas - aside from their Aunt, of course.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up - April 15th

Whew ... the end of the year craziness has set in. This week was full of baseball games, extra choir rehearsals, standardized testing (for Devin), kindergarten graduation, last Timothy class, and we topped it off with a hail storm like no other we have ever seen.
{Devin was the starting pitcher this week and pitched an awesome two innings - holding the undefeated opponent to just 1 run}

{Ava Mae after receiving her Kindergarten Diploma}

{Last Georgia History Class - I went with a "Taste of Georgia" theme for our party - Peach Cobbler Ice Cream, Coca Cola and Braves Peanuts}

{This hail storm was unbelievable ... we ended up with a deck covered in moth ball size hailstones. The kids thought it was awesome, me, not so much}

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Break Trip - Asheville, NC

We spent the last weekend of our Spring Break visiting my parents and several of my siblings in Asheville. It was a fun packed weekend from the moment we arrived!

My parents have year round passes to the Biltmore so that was our first stop ... I really had wanted to go for their Spring Flower Festival and it did not disappoint! While my Dad, my brother and my husband toured the house with our kids - my Mom and I enjoyed just wandering the outside grounds, shopping and enjoying a lemonade.

{Pictured above exterior shots of the Biltmore House - the largest home in America. Pictured below an outside wall of the greenhouse on the Biltmore Estate.}

{Pictured above - Ava Mae enjoying the tulip garden view}
On Saturday we enjoyed the NC Arboretum, another location my parents have year long passes to ... it is a beautiful area! Our main reason for heading up there was the current exhibit they had on the Cherokee Indians. Devin really enjoyed reading all the displays and seeing the artifacts - bringing the history we have studied these last few months to life. The exhibit is on loan from the Smithsonian.

I also enjoyed an afternoon of antique shopping at The Tobacco Barn! It is a happening place on any given weekend ... I could have spent two full days at this place and never seen everything. I really loved the antique school desks and books I found. I ended up buying just an old milk bottle from the Biltmore Dairy and two old school books from 1925. I have my eye on two different styles of school desks and a table for Lexi's room - if they are still there when I go back in June I think we will be finding a way for those pieces to return to Atlanta with us.
{Pictured above my mom and sister enjoying some antique shopping. Below - Lexi next to the typewriter she really wanted to bring home.}
I also was able to get Lexi and Ava Mae registered for their ballet summer workshop at my sister's ballet company. They cannot wait to dance where she dances! So we will be heading to Asheville again in June for their week long camp. I am on the hunt now to find Devin a camp that same week in Asheville.