Friday, April 9, 2010

Review of Expedition Australia Unit Study/Lapbook

The Old Schoolhouse and Amanda Bennett
Expedition Australia
Download 'n Go Series
Grades K-4

In the world of unit studies, Amanda Bennett is a name I have frequently heard. During our homeschooling journey, I have not had the opportunity to use any materials that she has authored. Imagine my excitement when the opportunity arose to use one of the unit studies she has co-authored with The Old Schoolhouse!

Expedition Australia is a 101 page downloadable unit study and lapbook. The pages are colorful and beautifully illustrated complete with active links to maps, activities, short videos and related topics. Throughout the ebook are places to write answers to questions and draw what you've learned. (If you do not have a color printer, don't despair! We printed ours in black and white and my 6 year old enjoyed going through the pages to add her own color.)

Specifically your child will learn not only the geography and history of Australia, but also how to tell the temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit, native animals, monetary units and even how to speak a little 'Aussie'!

As an optional activity there is a listing of related books to read while doing this study and section of 'Family Fun Ideas'.

My children are veteran lapbookers. They have a definite opinion of how they like things to look and still become discouraged if the assembly is confusing. I was pleased to see the ease of assembly and flow of these pages. It was easy for my 8 year old to go through the instructions while helping his 6 year old sister. This made for an enjoyable week!

All in all, this was a very enjoyable and educational study. My children learned a great deal about Australia and I appreciated the well thought-out way each day's lesson is laid out. Very stress free! I would gladly do another study from this series!!

I received this item free of charge in return for an honest review.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Review of Firefighter Ebook/Unit Study

The Old Schoolhouse
When I Grow Up, I want to Be a Firefighter
Wannabe Series
Ages 4-10

"A firefighter? Oh Mommy, I'm too old for this. I already know everything about firemen", exclaimed my 8 year old son.

At first glance, my thoughts were the same. However, upon looking deeper, I was pleased to find a very thorough and meaty unit study.

Within this ebook, there is not only the history of firefighting, but, critical thinking (look at what this house is made of. Would it be wise to build a house with these materials in the desert....), salaries of firemen across the country (made for a great discussion concerning differing costs of living), science activities which include robotics, puzzles, vocabulary, story prompts, math problems, printing and cursive copywork pages and coloring pages for the younger children.

To supplement learning, there is a list of books you can choose to read. I was very pleased that our library had a number of these.

My 8 year old son enjoyed making a "robotic arm" and exploring the live links throughout the ebook.

My 6 year old daughter enjoyed the party games (such as Stop, Drop, Roll and Put Out the Fire), coloring pages and making her own illustrations to the copywork pages.

Even though the math problems and writing prompts were a bit too much for my daughter, they were perfect for my son.

All in all it was an enjoyable and educational way to spend a week and to learn that we didn't know everything about firefighting. This study had something for everyone!

I received this item free of charge in return for an honest review.