Wednesday, September 8, 2010

All Frogs Unit Study by Homeschool Bits- Review

We took a little break from our Farm Unit Study this week to tryout a new curriculum by Homeschool Bits called "All Frogs." This study is geared for grades K-5 but I found it very easy to simplify for Rhythm, who is doing Pre-K4.  The curriculum consists of a plethora of elements to create a very well-rounded study, including:
  • Information pages that cover the differences between frogs and toads, 5 different frog species, the life cycle of a frog and more.  These pages also contain pictures and links to frog sounds.
  • 2 different varieties of quiz pages (fill in the blank and multiple choice)
  • Coloring pages (including a frog parts diagram)
  • Activity pages (including a word search, two different levels of mazes and frog jokes)
  • Frog Fact Cards
  • A frog fable mini-book
  • 4 different varieties of copywork (beginning guided printing, guided printing, guided cursive, and standard lines for unguided copywork)
  • Lapbooking Components (very colorful and including extra frog clipart)
  • Links to websites for additional learning about frogs (including information and video sites as well as crafts and even how to draw a cartoon frog).
To say that I was pleased and impressed with this curriculum would be an understatement!  Our first day of reading, in which we read about the differences between Frogs and Toads, Rhythm was able to actually participate in narration for the first time!  I was so delighted by this (I think he was too!).  We have tried before but he generally always responds with "I don't know."  This text, however, was well written and engaging enough for even a typically distracted 4-year-old boy to glean and repeat the facts from.
Lapbook Cover
Inside of lapbook
Flap of Lapbook with trimmed down copywork page
Back of lapbook w/Frog jokes, frog cartoon drawing & maze
I also loved being able to write all of his narration down on the lapbooking components as he dictated to me.  The lapbook comes together so nicely and doesn't have an insane amount of printing to do.  It was very easily customizeable and can easily be used for any grade level.  Rhythm and I both love being able to not only make the lapbook but use it for review- it is so much more engaging than a boring fact sheet or series of notes!
Working on the simple maze
All the links provided have been very helpful and interesting.  Rhythm loved learning how to draw his very own cartoon frog and hearing the frog sounds also really helped to keep him interested in the lessons.  I was also extremely surprised that he was able to complete the simple maze from the activity pages.  The beginning guided copywork pages have been fun for him to try as well, since he is just getting started with writing.  They work well because they only have a few key words to trace, instead of the whole passage, so they aren't too overwhelming for him.

Clearly impressed with himself that he actually did it!
This lesson is also flexible enough to complete over a varied amount of time, depending on what works best for you and the level of your child.  For older students you could finish the study in probably less than a week if you really wanted to, but it also lends itself well to spacing out over a couple of weeks if you only did a component or two a day.  It has been perfect for us to just do a couple of things at the end of our day and has really brought a little bit of extra life to our school day.  I think this study would also work well with a number of children at varying ages.

I think the only thing that I could be critical of was the design of the mini-book, as it did not leave much room for stapling and would not have gone in the correct order if I had assembled it per the instructions.  That is really the only thing I could think of though- the rest of the study we genuinely loved and thought was expertly put together!  I would definitely purchase a study from Homeschool Bits again, hands down.  Oh, and did I mention that this whole study is only $1 at CurrClick!?  Insane, right?!  I couldn't believe that!  I would have paid much more for a study that was this well put together!

Thanks to Heart of the Matter for supplying this unit study for sample review in their reviewer application process.  All opinions are honest and completely my own.
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