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Friday, February 11, 2011

TOS Review Curiosity Files

My blog is being scraped again.  If you are reading this on a website other than you are reading a stolen copy of my content.

Unit studies are a wonderful thing, aren't they?  Especially ones that are shall we say bite-sized.  I have done whole Unit Study curriucla in the past that were entire books of Unit Studies covering a variety of topics-and that was fine.  But, I felt overwhelmed and didn't know where to start.  Now, that was when I was first starting my homeschooling journey and didn't know what I was doing so it may be different now.

Now, that I know just a smidge more and I do mean a smidge!  At least now I know how to take smaller pieces of what works for us and use it how we need to.  That's something right?

Well, one thing I have recently discovered thanks to The TOS Crew is the Curiosity Files.  I had heard murmurings about them around the internet and chat rooms but I never paid much attention to them.  Now, I wish I had.


I received Zombie Fire Ants.  Your thinking that that's a weird choice in a house full of girls; but, I have one that wants to be an entomologist so it was in fact perfect!

When I first received the download I didn't print it all out.  It is 91 pages after all(two of which are advertising that you wouldn't have to print)!!  I had my daughter just read it on the computer and keep a notebook of the answers.  That worked fine.  It did.  But I think she was better served by having it all printed out and filling in the blanks as she went.   She's a blank filler-inner just like her mom!

Now, to me that is the one draw back to these digital products.  I am an ink scrooge.  I hate printing of color or big projects even though I bought a laser jet printer to help it go farther.  It still seems wrong somehow!  I know, I know that's why we have printers and that's part of homeschooling; I still have a moment of cringing whenever I print a big project.  It's just me.

That being said, the graphics and pictures in these Unit Study are awesome!  There are real pictures to give a visual of what they are talking about, drawings...let me just list everything out for you.

  • 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 and helpful lapbooking links
  • Special needs, hands-on discoveries
  • Internet resource and video links
  • Complete answer key
Somehow, that just doesn't seem to cover it.  There really is a ton of information and fun in this Unit Study. 

Here's what the website says about Zombie Fire Ants:

A FUN unit study for kids ages 8 to13.
Join the march of ant discovery, colonization, and intriguing scientific exploration! Your kids will be excited to dig into the awe-inspiring yet peculiar (and gross) limited life of zombie fire ants. From learning about scientific research and natural habitats to animal classification, you’ll no doubt be as captivated as your kids!

I agree on the ages, too.  My 9yo had a ball with this and it was easily understandable for her.  But, the study also includes pages for upper level work to take the learning deeper and to give more of a challenge to the student.  I plan on having my oldest go through this next year as a fun, learning science filler.  That is one of the bonuses of the ebook-you can print just the pages you need for the next child and not necessarily all of them again!  Woohoo!

My daughter had this to say about Zombie Fire Ants:

"I LOVE this study.  I had so much fun learning about the gross and disgusting things they do!  There was a lot of information and I really like the games and fun stuff.  My mom just has to get me more of these!!"

-and that is from a 9yo girl about a Zombie Fire Ants unit study.  I think they did their job very well on this ebook.  :)

Zombie Fire Ants is available as an individual ebook but I would recommend buying the bundles, they are a better deal, especially since you can print as many copies of the worksheets as you need.  I'm all about the deals!  Check out all the different titles available at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's website and more are in the works. The bundle that contains Zombie Fire Ants is just $46, and you get SIX of these great unit studies!


They also have them available on disk.
The price for the CD is available for $49.  Not a bad price to have the disk in your hand!

If you just want an individual title I suggest checking out The Old Schoolhouse Website because the frequently run sales and you never know you may just get lucky!

Head over to The Crew blog to check out what everyone else thought of their Curiosity File studies.

**I was given a download of Zombie Fire Ants through The TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review.

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