Friday, April 29, 2011

Review: The Curiosity Files

It’s the season for those buzzy things that swarm all over our fruit trees, it seems.  So it’s the perfect time to delve into all those insect facts and study up on cicada-killing wasps…

E-Book: The Curiosity Files™- Cicada-Killing WaspTitle:  The Curiosity Files:  Cicada-Killing Wasps
Type of Product:  Unit study for ages 8-13
Physical Description:  88-page e-file
Available At:  The Old Schoolhouse Store
List Price:  $6.95; available right now for $1.00.  Also available as part of The Curiosity Files 9-Pack Bundle CD for $49.00.


The Curiosity Files are a series of fun unit studies on “outlandish oddities” found in “God’s wild and way-out-there creation.” 

The Cicada-Killing Wasp study in this series provides an overview of “Everything You Never Wanted to Know” about cicada-killing wasps in a fun interview style.  Complete with full-color illustrations and a test-what-you’ve-learned quiz at the end, you and your kids are bound to know more than you thought possible about the subject!

The unit includes a Bible study, math, geography, cooking, art, crafts, language, vocabulary, spelling, games, copywork, history, and an in-the-lab section for outdoor exploration.  Most of the material is adaptable for multiple ages, with some sections replicated for upper versus lower grades.

Esmé's Take:

Cicadas are insects.  Cicada-killing wasps are insects, too.  I liked graphing where they live.  I liked painting ovals like wasps make oval chambers.  Larva are gross.  I like studying about different kinds of insects.  I showed all my friends my wasp paper nest, which isn’t a burrow like the cicada-killing wasps make.

What We Liked: 

Wow - I don't think I've done such a thoroughly-prepared unit study before.  From graphing where wasps live on a graph “yard”, to tracking how we spend our time each day (as compared to wasps), to singing “I’m a Little Cicada-Killing Wasp” (think “I’m a Little Teapot”), to puzzles and coloring pages and language lessons and a host more interactive activities, there was WAY more to this than just a study of a solitary little insect.

One of the things I enjoyed most was learning alongside my daughter.  This isn’t a subject I knew about, and I was fascinated with the different types of insect-eating wasps and their life cycles.  I’ve spent too much time avoiding yellow jackets to enjoy the diversity of wasp life, I guess!

I also appreciated the Christian perspective.  In addition to a life-application Bible study, the copywork (both in print and cursive) introduced Bible texts that referred to wasp family-members.

There were plenty of resources listed for additional study, and we’ve been reading and watching about insects to give Esmé a frame of reference for the cicada-killing wasps.

For $1.00, this absolutely is a terrific value.
What We Didn't Like:

Got nothing for you.  Except I kind of wish I had a houseload of kids so we could get the full benefit of the entire study.

Thanks to The Old Schoolhouse for the review copy of this product.


ShEiLa said...

every year at this time I have a few wasp nests at my house. They love being right by the front door so I try hard to keep those ones knocked down.

I love that Miss Esme is going to know a whole lot about the world... and I love watching as she grows up.