Friday, February 11, 2011

Curiosity Files: Quicksand -- A TOS Review

The Old Schoolhouse has recently taken on a new E-Unit Study Project.

THE CURIOSITY FILES
Explorations with Professor Ana Lyze, Expert in Outlandish Oddities.
 
These studies introduce us to an eccentric professor named Ana Lyze.  She and her research team, the lab spies, introduce your students to the obscure, abnormal and bizarre found all over God's intriguing creation.

The Curiosity Files claim the goal is to "educate children about subjects they'd never find otherwise, to get them thinking creatively and give their minds some exercise."

As a member of The TOS Homeschool Crew our family received a copy of
to review.
We have had fun learning all about Quicksand. 
The Curiosity Files: Quicksand is an 85 page downloaded, printable unit study geared toward children ages 8-13 and up.   Unit Studies are written so that they can be done with the entire family and I found that my 2, 4 and 6.5 year olds really enjoyed this study.   It was researched and created by some great minds at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and they did a great job at finding something for everyone.

What does it include?
  • "Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Quicksand"
  • Reading comprehension questions
  • Bible Study on: Matthew 7:23-27; Luke 6:47-49; Proverbs 3;               Jeremiah 23:12; and Psalm 73
  • Several math pages and activities
  • Chart reading activities
  • Drawing/following directions activity
  • Writing ideas, essay writing instructions and outlining practice
  • Spelling and vocabulary lists and worksheets for both elementary and Jr/Sr High
  • A page of spelling and vocabulary games
  • Copy work in King James Version for printing and cursive for four verses
  • Lab activities in water surface tension & viscosity
  • Map work locating coastlines and oceans
  • Quicksand terminology 3 x 5 booklet
  • Quicksand recipes non-edible and edible
  • Sand related craft projects
  • A snippets mini file-folder book
  • Music ideas
  • Book list
  • 1.5 pages of website links.
What did we think?
My boys were very excited to learn all of the very interesting facts about Quicksand.  I chose this study because I knew that in the past or in the near future my boys would experience a quicksand like effect in our muddy driveway or along a shoreline while exploring on some summer excursion.  I was excited to present them with a unit that they might later encounter in real life.

The very first thing we did with the study was to read the fact section "Everything You Never Wanted to Know."  I then found myself giggling over the next several weeks as my boys would look at me in the most serious way and say "Mom!  I just want you to know that the only way you can drown in quicksand is to dive in head first!!"  "Why, thank you my courteous, sweet child for letting me know such a thing.  I shall try to never let that happen."  (hee hee hee)

That first day we also watched several videos of Quicksand.  My boys have never seen any movies that contained quicksand so the entire concept was new to them.  THIS video was our ABSOLUTE favorite and THIS video was imitated frequently by my oldest who re-enacts all video.  We frequented the video list many more times over the review time.  We even started to watch video of random citizens trapped in quicksand.  Thanks to the very detailed lessons in this study I was able to quiz my boys while we watched these amateur videos: "What did she do wrong?"  "What would have been easier?"  "What did he do right?"  "Does screaming help?"

A few days later (after I could get to a store for supplies) we made our very own cornstarch quicksand.  I must say I, myself, could play with this stuff for a very long time.  Gracie got in on some of this action as well.





 We have kept our quicksand and have played with it several times now.  :)  I was tempted to make the edible quicksand as well but we tend to go super light on sugar around our house and was not so sure we would survive the sugar rush and crash from Marshmallow Fluff quicksand.

Otto did some of the printing copy work as well as the 3x5 Quicksand Terminology book.  Here are some pictures of his work:
 We also did the word search and crossword together and worked a little bit on some of the other pages.

Things that we loved:
I love that this is a download. Downloads=Reusable and the frugal being that resides in me LOVES reusable.  I was encouraged to do this review even though my children are younger than the recommended age.  I will admit that they had a GREAT TIME and learned very much yet I know that when I pull this study out again in a few years the math and writing activities will add to the excitement.  The activities and worksheets (from a trained teacher's perspective) look very mind provoking, yet not boring.  The way in which the lab introduces some physics terminology in a fun way and the way in which the writing and math assignments use charts and critical thinking is very wonderful.   I think 8 year olds would love these activities while highschoolers would not be under challenged.

We LOVED THE CORNSTARCH QUICKSAND.   Non-Newtonian Fluids rock.  Squeeze them together to make a ball that you can crumble apart then stop pushing it and it drips off your hand like goo.  Who wouldn't love THAT??

The unit study was pretty to look at with graphics, font variation and beautiful photos peppered throughout.  It was stunning to look at.

What do I wish were different?
We are NOT fans of King James Version.  I could write 3 other posts about that alone but this is not the place.  The verses found in the bible study as well the copy work are King James Version.  I almost did not do the copy work with Otto because of this but then realized with my bottle of white out I could tweak the "doeth" and "likened unto."   My wish would be for NASB, or at least NIV, to be offered in the copy work sections for those of us who have issues with KJV.

Also, I know that "Unit Study" and "Lap booking" are not the same thing but adding in a lap book component would just make this the cream of the crop.  :)  And that statement comes from a homeschooler who does not frequently lap book nor do unit studies.

Who would LOVE The Curiosity File Studies?
Families who love to do unit studies and love to learn about the weird and uncommon.

There are 9 units in The Curiosity Files Series so far and
more are being worked on.
The 9 Units Include:

Individually The Curiosity Files vary in price dependent upon advertisement specials.  (There are a few in the $1 sales spot at the moment.)  
To find the current price please click on the link above, which will take you to The Old Schoolhouse Store.

If you ARE a family that LOVES the bizarre and LOVES unit studies the most cost effective way to purchase The Curiosity Files is to purchase the CD containing all 9 studies for $49 or to purchase the electronic download for all 9 which runs $46.
Go ahead!  Go check out The Curiosity Files today.  I triple-dog-dare you.

And don't just take my word for it, if you would like to read what other TOS Crewmates have to say about The Curiosity Files please go check out the TOS Crew Website.  

Oh, and check out The Curiosity Files on facebook as well.  Becoming a fan gives you direct access to Ana Lyze herself as well as a place to ask questions and get swell ideas about how to use these studies.  :)
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Disclaimer:  I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Homeschool Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review.  Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews.  My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences on the products and services that I receive.

5 comments:

Loretta said...

It's always great to see pictures of children learning while they play. I remember the days of cornstarch goo. Sigh. . .they go so fast. Enjoy!

Jill said...

We had a blast with the "quicksand" we made as well. And yes, you were right, the edible quicksand was very sweet. My 9 yr. old ate a few bites and said he thought it was too rich for his stomach.

The Unsell Family said...

Dropping by from the crew. We too did Quicksand and loved it. ;-)

Very Blessed Mamma said...

Hi Kristi, yours sound interesting.
I did the puffer fish.
I thought that all of the units had a lapbook component. At least mine did.

Kristi said...

Very Blessed Mamma,
There was a "Curiosity Fact Files" activity where you create mini books from the given templates and then you create a "Curiosity Fact File" Folder to store your mini-books in.

We have only made 3 other "Lapbooks" and they consisted of folding a file folder so they had two front flaps and had a gazillion and one interactive activities on the inside. Perhaps I will have to come up with our own jam packed file folder book about quicksand for the next time.

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