Tuesday, April 13, 2010

REVIEW: TOS When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be .... a Firefighter!

We all have dreams as a child about what we want to be when we grow up. My youngest son changes his mind weekly, sometimes daily. Most days, however, it is between two things, one being considered most often is a firefighter.

When I was asked to review this ebook, I was thrilled. I had seen this series soon after I visited the The Old Schoolhouse Store last summer, and I had looked with interest at the different titles, 11 in all.

I received this ebook as part of my try-out process for the TOS Homeschool Crew. As I peeked through the curriculum, I wondered how I was going to implement it. There are word searches, color sheets, a lot of interesting (to me, anyway) history and end-of-the-unit party ideas. Unfortunately, I did not find a lot to use for my kindergartners. Their eyes glazed over as I tried reading the history and background to them. They colored the coloring sheets and we talked about visiting a fire station but we did not fully delve into the topic as I had hoped. The age range states it is appropriate for ages 4-10, however, neither of my kindergartners could understand the vocabulary words or questions I asked them from what I had read to them.

I think this is a great series, but I think that the age spectrum is too broad. I think older elementary kids would love it, though I still do not know how to implement the history and background information. Maybe that was just for me? Several pages of single-space information is not something I could just read to my kindergartners. And I did not see instructions anywhere in the ebook about how I was supposed use that information.

The end-of-unit party ideas included games and an adorable fire engine cake, but I decided not to try them out since we really did not make this a unit study.

Part two of the ebook featured Robotics. Again, there was a lot of background and history information here and it was extremely interesting - to me. However, for kindergarten aged kids, trying to explain the terminology was a challenge. There was a pretty cool looking project with instructions on how to make your own robotic hand out of Styrofoam.

Other things included in the ebook were vocabulary words, review questions, a math lesson, crossword and word search puzzles, prompts for creative writing and storytelling, handwriting and copywork. 

When I put together a lesson from scratch, I expect to have to work harder in making sure my kids understand it and I have covered all aspects of the lesson. But it also gives me the flexibility to tailor it to their needs. When I purchase a ready-made lesson, I expect to be able to sit down and work through it without a whole lot of complication and hassle. I personally prefer a curriculum to be designed specifically for a more narrow range of ages rather than a larger gap age range. If it is one that can be used for several ages, I think it needs to be stated in the description how to use it for different age groups. 

If you are looking for a great study for older elementary age kids, look no further. But if your children are young, like mine, I suggest you look for other great products available from The Old Schoolhouse Store.

TOS WannaBe Series  So You Wanna Be ... a Firefighter!
Ages 4-10 (though I would say it is more appropriate for 8-10)


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