Friday, April 9, 2010

Review: TOS When I Grow Up... E-Book

I'll admit that when I initially saw that this e-book as my second review product I was a bit disappointed. It said that it was designed for children four to ten years old. I have a four year old daughter who was absolutely not interested in doing anything I suggested this week. I also have a nine year old son, but I worried that he'd find the whole idea of studying firefighters to be a bit babyish.

Like I said, I was skeptical when I downloaded this book. I was wrong. As I glanced through all 82 pages of materials, I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I was quite impressed.

It was a good fit for Brennan and for me. To start with, the e-book included all of the information we needed. I could truly "download and go" with these materials. We did not need a computer or any other research books in order to complete the activites. Brennan and I enjoyed reading the History of Firefighting section together. Although it was quite informative and detailed, it was written so that an elementary age student could handle it somewhat independently. Brennan read the section about a firehouse dog on his own.

Some of the math work was a good challenge for Brennan. The firefighter math section was a nice blend of simple calculations (how many miles did he run this week) and questions relating to a chart with the number of fires fought each month. There was a separate section for graphing firefighter salaries based on location, experience, and rank.

I assigned some of the sections for Brennan to complete independently. For instance, he did a great job learning all of the vocabulary words and then using them in both a fill-in-the-blank story and in a crossword puzzle. I liked the crossword puzzle because it was also good handwriting/OT practice for him. It's a bit amazing how much neater his handwriting is when it has to fit in the little boxes of a crossword puzzle.

This week also included quite a bit of time in the car. (My friends are laughing because all my weeks include a lot of time in the car.) Since we were taking a break from our regular history studies, I used the suggested book lists from the e-book to find Brennan a high-interest firefighter book to read while we were traveling last weekend. At one point, he called out from the back seat to tell us all about the Chicago fire he had just read about in that book.

This e-book unit contained enough activities that you could spend at least five full days doing firefighter themed learning. I particularly liked the way they incorporated science and technology by discussing the various types of robotics firefighters use. There is even a very simple model of a robotic arm for children to build.

Other extra activities include relays to run outside, a fire engine cake to bake, Bible verses to study or memorize, copywork pages to practice handwriting (in two different styles), and coloring pages.

This book is part of This Old Schoolhouse's WannaBe series. They currently have ten difference occupations to choose from. In addition to firefighter and police officer, they have typical jobs like doctor, veterinarian, and pilot. I was pleased to see some occupations that I don't usually see, jobs like chef, military, artist, or missionary. Each title is $8.95, or you can purchase all of them as a group for $89.50.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm... It sounds like these could be fun for Caleb and Anna. I'll have to ponder that.



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