Friday, April 22, 2011

Curiosity Files-Blue Diamond----Our first product Review

We haven’t done much in terms of Geology yet for science.  In fact, this fall I am planning a Geology unit, we may get started before then though.  As an interview for The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew, we were asked to review The Curiosity Files™- Blue DiamondAnd the boys seem to have an interest in rocks now.

Of course upon seeing the cover, I immediately wanted to watch the newest version of Titanic in hope that Rose doesn’t really throw the diamond overboard.  Next my mind went into gear wondering how to present this information to the boys and Lydia.  The boys know what a diamond is; they have seen my wedding rings.  But I wasn’t sure how to get their attention.  I did run out and make a quick purchase of some rock kits at a local school supply store; because I knew I would need this hands-on visual for our boys.  This by NO means is necessary in any way to complete this unit.  In fact, it is an easily downloadable unit from The Old Schoolhouse Store.
The first few pages held a great question and answer discussion and some awesome examples that really made the process of how a diamond is made click in the boy’s heads.  I don’t think Joey will look at a cake the same again.  There are wonderful worksheets incorporated in this study that allow for review of the information we read.  I know I learned that there were numerous diamond cuts I had never heard of. 
The Biblical section did a wonderful job comparing the attributes of diamonds to that of our Heavenly Father.  (But this is a section that can be left out depending on your choice of homeschooling style).
There is a historical section that can be used to create a timeline, several pages of copywork, and many fun pages of activities.  The historical links were very informative and great for older students who may be assigned to do some of the suggested writing assignments.  Our kids had a lot of fun ‘mining for diamonds’.

This was an adjusted activity that I got from the book:
We took a pack of premade chocolate candy cookies (sorry it was a busy week…but homemade ones are recommended and instructions given), and with small appetizer forks the kids “mined” for their diamonds.  They had to be extremely careful not to break apart their diamonds into tiny pieces, because they would lose value.  All the kids enjoyed this, even our 3 year old.  Of course who doesn’t want the prospect of getting to eat what they mined out?

I also wanted to encourage the difficulty in finding diamonds, so we adapted another activity out of the book.  They recommended a clear water bottle, I happened to have a clear plastic box.  We were out of play sand, so I used quinoa and rice mixture.  I found blue “gemstones” at Hobby Lobby and put a few in the mixture.  They had to shake the mixture and see what they could find.  Brayden thought he was the best at this project.

The ages shown for this product are 8-13.  I believe this to be a great recommendation.  Although it mentions high school leveled writing assignments and activities throughout it.  I was very easily able to adapt this product to the special needs of all my children and even was able to include the 3 year old in some of the projects and there is even a fun song to sing that the preschooler and kindergartener also enjoyed.  It was a great memory tool for the boys also.  This is definitely an easily adjusted unit to any grade or skill level.
I also believe that even though not in total lapbook form, this unit study could very easily be turned into such by using generic lapbook components.  (And with all the cool cuts that diamonds can be made into…you would have plenty of shapes to choose from.)

One more fun activity included was a coloring sheet that Joey really enjoyed.

Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.  And in the case of the Blue Diamond…well I would be afraid to even own something so precious.  But our family truly enjoyed this Curiosity File and would highly recommend it as an add-on to any Geology study or “fun” unit to go through with the kids.   Plus looking at such beauty really breaks up looking at all those “boring” rocks.
If you are interested in purchasing this unit, just visit the Old Schoolhouse Store.
Here is the information provided on their site about this study:
Blue Diamond will keep your kids occupied and answering questions like these:
•How is a blue diamond different from other “blue” gems?
•Can diamonds be other colors too? What do elements have to do with it?
•What makes diamonds so valuable?
•What are some of the most famous diamonds? How big is the Hope diamond?
•Does the Bible mention diamonds?
•What is the diamond’s anatomy?
•And a whole lot more!

All E-Books published by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine come with a 7-day, 100% money-back guarantee!

The Kuehner Krew at Krazy Kuehner Days gives this product THUMBS UP!!!!  And we will be pulling this out again this fall when talking about rocks to see what we remembered.  I really found no negatives to comment about and found this product very easy to use.

{Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this Ebook to enable this review. I received no other compensation and all opinions presented herein are my own.}


  1. Nice job with improvising on the activities! I'm not quite so creative... I really like the Curiosity Files (we did one on the Blue Footed Booby :)
    Have a great weekend!

  2. Sounds fun and interesting...


    ps. I love the new look!