Saturday, August 7, 2010

TOS Review: Goofy Gecko--Download 'N' Go Unit Study by Amanda Bennett

Oh, Boy, have my nature lovers had a great time this week!!!!  We got the opportunity to review Goofy Gecko Download 'N' Go and it was a sure hit! My boys looove all things nature.  No creature is exempt from their affections or denied handling at a moment's notice.  Thank Heavens these were admired from the distance of the worldwide web.  While I may give off the 'nerves of steel' air when my children bestow their blessed creatures upon the threshold of our home, I am truly panicking inside. 

Goofy Gecko is a downloadable unit study in e-book format by Amanda Bennett. This is a one week unit with no additional purchases necessary. Objectives for each day are clearly outlined, which gives you a good idea of what the format will be, for easy planning.  The teacher can easily glance over and quickly decide if, for example, there might be a field trip possibility.  Videos and links associated with each day's objectives are provided.  Also, printable lapbook components come with the study. Additional resources can be found at local libraries to enhance the study, so a list of possible enrichment titles is included as well. 

I used this study  with two of my children, ages 6 and 8.  Both children love nature and animals but lack enthusiasm for the paper-y work of mini books and such.

We did this study over three days.  Usually science  is 2-3 days per week, depending on depth.  We made a mediocre attempt at the lapbook on a fourth day.  As I mentioned, my boys are not thrilled with the concept of lapbooks.  The three of us sat around our family computer, learning all manner of facts and figures on these creatures.  The videos were wonderful!  We especially loved the one where we watched the gecko turn from brown to green in real time .  We were all amazed.  One of my children commented on  how wonderfully God created our world . My  preschooler was even caught with the wide-eyed look during the video sessions.  The majority of the 'studying' was done orally, with me reading aloud from some of the links or other  material provided in the e-book.  I did not have access to many library books to go along with this.  Our small town library had to order in the few that we did get.  So, we mostly used the one or two resources I had on hand and the teacher's information provided in the E-book itself.  I still felt it was sufficient, even without the extras.  My 5th grader added her input on occasion as we went through some of the discussions in creating  the lapbook, actually helping out in the review process.  There were also a few lizard related practical jokes that ensued shortly after being inspired by the day's science (as I'm sure any Mom of boys can imagine).

I really enjoyed that all of the work and research  was done for me.  It almost felt too easy! I do wish the list of book resources was more exhaustive, as my small town library only had a few of the ones given.  In my opinion, a child in the upper age range could have done this study with  minimal assistance.  This takes a ton of the workload  off of Mom and allows her to enjoy being able to be with the children (and maybe even learn along with them!).  I appreciated the ease of use of this format and  how well organized  it was.  Also, if you're a planner by nature (like me), you might find yourself out of a job.  But, don't worry, you'll quickly be sidetracked by little ones whose eyes are lit with wonder at our Creator.

Full Disclosure:
I was provided a copy of  this book in exchange for my honest opinion.  This would have been my opinion had I purchased the book myself.

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