Professor Ana Lyze
The Old Schoolhouse has produced a really great new series of unit studies called the Curiosity Files. When I first heard of Professor Ana Lyze, Expert in Outlandish Oddities, I thought the idea of using weird, wacky and sometimes gross subjects as the basis for learning was brilliant. One of my absolute favorite things about homeschooling is the opportunity to explore and dive deeper into the big wide world of God’s creation. After all, everything was all created by Him, for US to explore!! Why limit our children’s learning to a boring textbook of dry facts? What do most children really want to learn about?
Well, I know I can’t speak for everyone, but most of the kids I know love things that are bizarre, unique, don’t follow the “rules”, and considered gross or unusual in some way. It’s the “wow” factor that really sparks the interest and imagination, and brings real learning to life!!
The Curiosity Files drops that opportunity right into your hands. This series of unit studies is perfect for ages 8-13, but I wouldn’t hesitate to say there’s something fun for just about every age!
*You can choose from a 9 pack bundle cd for $49.00
*Or you can spend $46.00 for an Ebook including the nine unit studies that can be downloaded and used right away!
*The unit studies are also sold separately as downloads.
Gunn Ranch Academy Thoughts:
After reading through our options, Taylor was very excited to learn more about Puffer Fish. She has always been interested in Marine Biology, so I figured this was the one she would choose.
I had seen the bright, stylish covers and a few sample pages of the ebooks, so I was anticipating a child-friendly format of information and fun activities.
What I saw as I flipped through the pages was a whole world of discovery and adventure! From fascinating facts and wonderful pictures to puzzles, games, experiments, projects, arts and crafts, maps, it’s all in there! Every page is formatted with delightful graphics and pictures, making this a playground of exploration!
When Taylor started looking through the ebook, she immediately asked if we could please print out the whole thing and put it in a binder.
After familiarizing ourselves with the many different areas we would be covering, we read through Everything You Never Wanted to Know About the Puffer Fish. The information and topics included are interesting and engaging, and plentiful photographs included are beautiful! My four year old son even sat listening intently to me reading out loud, and was excited by the pictures. Taylor then worked on the section What Have You Learned, answering the questions and expanding on her previous knowledge and research through discussion. Levi enjoyed talking about what we had read as well.
Next we enjoyed reading through a section of scripture and creation-based discussion and questions. We all engaged in a lively conversation about fear, our reaction to fear, and helping others when they are afraid.
In the next section we found a series of number and coloring activities. Taylor really enjoyed working most of them, and helping Levi to work through some of the easier ones. She worked through some multiplication activities, time telling activities, and we worked through a cool little activity teaching about currency of different nations, and exchange rates. Included at the end of this section is a collection of lots of math ideas and weblinks to further your studies as desired.
A grammar and writing activity came next, including a cute story to work through, a sentence combining activity, and vocabulary and spelling words. Ordinarily I would have lost Taylor’s interest at this point, however there are enough pictures and fun facts included that she didn’t even think of it being “school-workish.” 🙂
I printed off two word searches and we raced to complete them. Then we worked through a crossword puzzle together.
We found a list of game ideas next, followed by several pages of copywork in print and cursive formats.
Next came Taylor’s favorite part, in the lab, where she made paper-mache models of a puffer fish and an expanded pufferfish. Here is Taylor painting her deflated puffer fish.
She decided to assemble a science fair display board as well to use as a talk for this year’s 4-H roundup, and use her puffer fish models as displays. She has worked hard collecting information and assembling her board, which is still a work in progress. She is planning to put the spines on her puffer fish today out of toothpicks, and add the fins. Isn’t it cute?
History lessons, geography lessons with mapping activity (map included!), craft activities, and coloring pages, which Levi has requested to be copied so that he can color several times over- he’s actually coloring one as I’m typing this :), are included.
Nearing the end of the book is a section with special needs teaching ideas complete with lots of weblinks, lapbook activities with pages to cut and assemble, song lyrics to sing together, and a ton of reading and additional learning resources and links.
The final pages which complete this 85 page ebook are answer keys.
We really enjoyed and highly recommend the Curiosity Files Puffer Fish unit study. We liked it so much I purchased 4 more of the individual eBooks and downloaded them from the TOS store. We can’t wait to get started learning about MRSA, dung beetles, cicada killing wasps, and red tides! After that we will only have left the blue footed booby, blue diamonds, quicksand, and zombie fire ants to learn about until more curiosity files are created.
You can read what my Crew Mates had to say about Puffer Fish and many of these other units over at the Crew Blog!
Remember, God created this weird and wacky stuff just for you to explore! What are you waiting for?
I received this product as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew for review purposes. No other compensation was received and opinions are our own, one of such is that Heidi Strawser, project manager of the Curiosity Files, ROCKS!!