Friday, April 29, 2011

The Curiosity Files: Snow Rollers Review

Like most of you, I am longing for sunshine, warmth, and summer.  Every time I open my closet, from the depths I here the faintest cries from flip-flops and capris that long to be set free.  Unfortunately, with all the crazy rain we've had, they remain hidden away.  Honestly, I've been so sick of rain that I didn't mind one bit to re-visit winter when our family had the opportunity to review The Curiosity Files: Snow Rollers & Other Snow Phenomena Unit Study.   
Published by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, The Curiosity Files series features Professor Ana Lyze - a specialist in all things obscure, outlandish, and odd!  No doubt, this fictitious character's niche is exploring the most peculiar and bizarre things of God's creation.  Best of all, children are mesmerized and fascinated as they discover and learn many new things.  The truth - Mom's are pretty blown away too!  Impressive! 

While The Curiosity Files series is designed specifically with children ages 8-13 in mind, I can honestly say that with modifications and a few omissions this study was perfect for my 4, 5, and 6 year old.  I read and/or paraphrased the information for the kids, and we did not use all of the activity pages or complete the writing tasks and copywork.  That's the beauty of having over 80 pages worth of educational material.  You are able to pick and choose the items that best meet the individual needs of your children.  Embrace that freedom and really tweak the study to work for you maximizing fun and learning!

My little ones learned that a snow roller is very rare and conditions must be just right to form this large snowball.  It is created when wind sweeps across an open plain of fresh snow.  While it may be 2 feet in size, it is incredibly light and airy.  The idea of having a snowball fight with these big ones made my boys giddy.  Sorry guys... no flat plains in the rolling hills of KY :)  They improvised and just pretended to be snow rollers one morning before breakfast.

As far as other phenomena, my kiddos were enticed by the fruity, pink watermelon snow.  However, after learning it is caused by microscopic algae, they weren't nearly as excited at the possibilities of a taste test.  YUCK!

Along with the information regarding the meteorological marvels, many cross-curricular extensions are offered.  Included in this e-book:  Bible study, memory verses, math, history, geography, literature and suggested book list, writing, spelling, vocabulary activities, copywork, science experiments, art, crafts, coloring pages, lapbook/notebook pages, hands-on discoveries, Internet resources, and video links. For a mere $6.95, homeschooling families really get a lot of bang for their buck!  

I know I really appreciated the Bible study aspect of Snow Rollers.  There are so many "snow" references in scripture.  We were able to look those up and discuss purity.  In the study, all references, memory verses, and copywork are in the KJV.  I wasn't particularly keen on this 1) probably due to preference and 2) it's not early-reader/child-friendly.  Easy enough to handle, we used the kids children's Bible.  While our discussions may be simplistic compared to that which an older student would have, they were nonetheless important.  I want my children to desire to have clean hearts!

While older kids could study diameter and division in math, we chose to focus on beginning fractions and cylinders.  When we applied fractions to food, the kids picked up quickly.  Everyone wants their fair share of the treats.  (We even tried this with Swiss Cake Rolls since a comparison was made between them and snow rollers!)  As far as cylinders, we went on a scavenger hunt through the house.  See the kiddos below posing with some of their finds.

 I highly recommend adding The Curiosity Files: Snow Rollers and Other Snow Phenomena to your homeschool library.  Your children will enjoy these studies tremendously.  I look forward to including other titles from this series in our curriculum next year.  Take some time and preview the absurd, bizarre, CURIOUS selections below.

Titles inlcude:

  • Blue Diamond
  • Dung Beetle
  • MRSA
  • Puffer Fish
  • Red Tide
  • Zombie Fire Ants
  • Blue-footed Booby
  • Cicada Killing Wasp
  • Quicksand
  • Platypus 

  • (Disclosure:  I was provided with a complimentary copy of this product in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion.)

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