Friday, October 5, 2012

School planning made easy....Box of IDEAS to the rescue


How many of homeschool mothers dream of a curriculum or a unit study that has everything laid out so there will be very little planning required.  A full amount of material that doesn't even require a trip to the library for extra study books.  Basically either download it and go or open the study booklet and start.  Oh yeah....and it has to be fun and interesting for the kids too.  Seems a little too much like a sci-fi movie...right?

Box of IDEAs offers a wide variety of unit studies that are ideal for teaching multi level students, focusing on age 9 to 16. They are designed to get kids off the computer and around the table.  Box of IDEAS units are great to supplement your current curriculum but can also be used for a homeschool group activity, summertime learning and as a break from the normal routine.  Box of IDEAS is basically designed to take away the planning and allow families to either work together on a project or given the curriculum planner a bit of a break in one area of study.

Box of IDEAS offers several different unit study topic areas including:
  • Eleven
  • Salt
  • Laundry
  • WWII Kitchen 
  • WWII Pearl Harbor 
  • Pigs
  • Quilting
  • Civil War Overview 
Each Box of IDEAS ...
... is filled with interesting topic-focused activity based learning.
... contains 10 (and sometimes more) modules with exercises designed around a

captivating aspect of the Box topic.
... provides 10 (or more) engaging and thought provoking portfolio pieces to record the

student’s journey through the box.
.... Is packed with many additional ideas and suggestions for delving deeper into an area

of interest.
... has a variety of thoroughly researched web links to encourage further exploration of

the topics.
... incudes a devotional booklet designed to biblically examine the Box topic. 

We had the opportunity to review the module study on Salt.  Now that seems like a very limited topic to study.  I mean, seriously....salt is a seasoning you put on food.  I was nervous how Joey would react to this study topic.  So I decided to completely take out his science unit and replace it with this module.  If we were going to learn about salt, then we were going to focus on this subject.  


You can purchase this unit module either as a PDF download ($49.00) or actual print copy ($79.00).   The whole idea behind these easy to use modules, is the ability to take a folder and go.  The games and activities are inside and ready to be used.  I had minor set up to do, and it mainly involved printing and putting everything in a notebook.  I also had to cut apart game pieces, and other small tasks such as that.  Mainly I did this stuff the night before we would start and keep it in his binder.  Amazing how quick those tasks get done while watching television in the evening.  

You receive a minimum of 10 units, which you can use in any order that you prefer.  The one central topic then covers many subject areas.  Information for science, geography, copywork, etc are included.  Box of IDEAS really takes an everyday topic and draws children in to a more in depth study.  


We received the PDF version, so I spent a little bit of time printing and setting up Joey's notebook.  The age recommendation is 9 -16, and when I started looking through the material it seemed a bit above the girls understanding.  So I did not push them into the study, but allowed them to hang around us and listen to the study.  

After printing this, I put the modules in order that we may study them.  So I could easily grab the next unit out of the binder when we were ready.   Like I mentioned earlier, we actually replaced Joey's science study with this module for a couple weeks.  But we were able to connect it back into his Chemistry study.  I was surprised how much history was involved, and it was really fun to learn some of the extra facts that we did about Salt.  There was also Grammar involved in the usage of the word Salt as 'slang' and all the terms used that involved 'salt'.

It did help us though that we picked up a couple extra books on one of our trips to the library.  The information provided in each manual was plentiful.  I was very impressed with the historical facts included.  And Joey enjoyed playing the games and fact match activities.  The use of the library books broke up the staring at his noebook, which Joey felt like he was doing.  

There were lots of science suggestions, and we even mixed up salt in water to show the evaporation process of collecting salt...

We did two modules a week, but you could easily do just one.  Joey did seem to get a little bored (which currently he seems to be bored with everything) with learning about salt, so that is why we sped it along.  These studies would be great for a homeschool co-op, since all the information is provided for teachers.  Box if IDEAS also sells just a student workbook that can be purchased for groups that may be working together.

We also discovered a show on Discovery Channel about the history of Salt, which Joey thought he could critique since we were now "experts on salt" he said.

The pictures included are beautiful, the games interesting, and the simplicity of use are well worth it with this program.  The ease of use was wonderful.  

Would we use these modules again?  I would love to use this program again in the future.  The cost is high for our budget, but I think if it was a topic that I was planning to do a major study on...such as one of the World Wars, the cost would be justified to use the material to help supplement our regular study.

Joey did enjoy the study.  The games worked well for him, and the material was simple for him to understand.  Joey said he would recommend this program, and said he would definitely use this do another unit study like this.  

Check out what other Crew Mates thought of the Box of IDEAS modules by visiting the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.

*****Disclaimer......I received Box of IDEAS - Salt free of charge for the sole purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The views I have expressed are my own and are real experiences with my family. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255>:"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

No comments:

Post a Comment