Science Can Be Buckets-O-Fun! Who Knew? Mood:
a-ok Topic: Homeschool Product Review
I have to admit, I was never a fan of science in school. It wasn't until after I graduated that it really became interesting to me. Really, it wasn't until after we began to homeschool that I got really excited about science. Now, I am always on the lookout for neat science things that I can get for the kids. That's why, after hearing that we would be receiving some products from Buckets-O-Fun to try out, I was excited and a little bit intrigued.
Buckets-O-Fun really isn't known as a homeschool science curriculum maker. It's more of a "buy our stuff for your youth group's fun night" type of a company. In fact, the main thing that Buckets-O-Fun sells is "Yuck". Yep, you read that correctly..."Yuck". It has "Saucy Yuck", "Snowy Yuck", "Snowy Yuck" and the ever appetizing "Chunky Yuck"!
Now, before I go any further, let me just ease your minds by telling you that all of their "Yuck" is really just Polymers. Polymers are really large molecules that, when dried up, look a lot like crystals. Then neat thing about Polymers, however, is that they absorb water...a lot of water. So the crystals grow and are spongy funny looking and funny feeling. That's what makes them so fun for kids. They are ooey, gooey...well...just plain yucky. I guess that's why it's called "Yuck".
In real life polymers are very useful. You may have used them to help the soil around your plants to absorb more water. I used polymers last year as an object lesson at day camp. I had a bunch of hydrated (chunky yuck) polymers made up ahead of time. When I began my talk, I explained that the polymers were like sin. Sin is yucky. But, when we allow Jesus to wash away our sins, it's as if they disappear. I then add some water to the bowl of polymers and, since they are made up of mostly water anyway, when you add water, they...you guessed it...disappeared. Not really, they were still there, but the kids couldn't see them anymore. It's a neat object lesson, but not really what we're hear for.
Anyway, when we received the packet, we were given small samples of all four of the above mentioned products with some suggested science experiments. Probably Joshua's favorite experiment was the one using the "Saucy Yuck". We were to measure the yuck ahead of time then add two cups of water and observe how much time it took for it to begin absorbing the water. Then we continued to add one cup at a time until it was about the consistency of applesauce. Then we had to take one cup of the "applesauce yuck" and put it in a separate bowl to observe what happens when we continue to add water to it. Joshua had a blast, and, of course, Jacob had to get into the act and it was a hit with him as well. It's a fun, yucky, way to learn science. What boy doesn't like yucky stuff? A quick word of warning. Yuck is messy! And, it can't be put down a drain. It can be disposed of in the trash or outside around your plants. Just make sure that you have plenty of newspaper or plastic and a way to dispose of it before you do any experiments with it.
Also inside of the package was a list of games that you could play using "Yuck" products with your youth or kids group. Can you imagine using some of the saucy yuck on your giant slip and slide next summer? What about adding some of it into water balloons for your water balloon fight? Or, putting a bunch of chunky yuck into a kiddie pool with marbles and having kids fish out the marbles with their toes? There are loads and loads of games that you can play with yuck, and Buckets-O-Fun sells yuck in...well...buckets, so that you will have plenty of it to use for your group.
Okay, after all of that, there is one slight problem. Buckets-O-Fun has just begun their homeschool/classroom science project product line, and it isn't yet available. So, if you are interested in using it for science you can do one of two things. They do give away free samples of each of their products (one per individual/organization) so you could ask for that. Or, you could go in with some other homeschooling families and order a full bucket and divide it up. Or, if you are interested in using it for your youth group, you don't have to worry about smaller batches, you would just order the bucket. I'll bet that if you asked, they would send you the sheet of experiments that they sent to us. The letter that they sent along with the products said that their full line of homeschool/classroom products would be introduced within the next few months, so hopefully they will have smaller batches for homeschool use available soon.
Until then, buckets of yuck sell for $16-$20 a pound depending on which product you buy, but make gallons and gallons of yuck - again, different products make more than others. You can get to the Buckets-O-Fun website by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. Check out the site, it has a lot of neat stuff other than just yuck that you can buy. I was just reading some of the creative ideas that other members of the TOS Crew had for their yuck. You can find them by clicking here. Hope you all have a real yucky time! Happy Home Educating!
This Post is Rated PG Mood:
a-ok Topic: Family Product Review
What would you do if:
You had a 14 year old that is getting on the internet, downloading things, even learning to program. Dad and Mom have been keeping tabs on him and so far he has been more than above board and honest, but you can't look over his shoulder 24/7 and you want him to be safe from the bad things on the internet.
You had a 9 year old who is just learning how to search for cheat codes on the internet and loves to play online games. He doesn't really get on anything bad, but is he really safe?
You had a 4 year old who loves to immitate his brothers and can play a video game with the best of him. He doesn't even know how to get on the internet, but what if he learns from his brothers?
These are real concerns that Sarah and I have about our boys. The three scenarios above are true. However, I'm sure that every parent has similar worries. So? What do we do? How do we make sure that our kids are really safe?
Enter the PG Key! So, what is this nifty little thing pictured above that looks almost like one of those memory sticks? Well I can just tell you what it claims to be able to do and go from there. We had some mailing issues where our first package somehow went to the wrong address, and, when we finally got our PG Key, our computers went down. I am not allowed to download anything or install anything on this borrowed computer so I can only tell you what it's supposed to do then write a follow up article when we try it out on one of our fixed computers. Which hopefully will get fixed very soon!
I hate to copy and paste from a website, but that is exactly what I am going to do since I really have no experience with the PG Key so far. Here is what the website says:
PG Key Program Features & Functions:
• Simple, easy to use solution that any parent can use- Just plug it into the family or child's PC and immediately create a safer, supervised, kid friendly environment. • A total solution that gives parents everything they need to follow the advice from experts. • No annual fees required. • Website blocking, filtering, access and time control, notifications – 10 essential parental controls are activated. • Designed and endorsed by experts from law enforcement, education and children’s and family psychology. • Works with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7
Now, let me tell you why I am super excited about this. I like the idea that it is easy to install, has no way of over riding it (I've heard of some really smart children that can do that) and that it has time control so that I can control the time my kids are on the computer. Those are all very appealing to me. But, as I said before, I'll have to wait a couple weeks before I can really try it myself. When I do, however, you all will be the first to know what I really think.
So how much is this nifty little thing? How about just $49.99 plus shipping? And, there are no monthly or yearly fees, that's it - Just $49.99. Still not convinced? The website says that there is a free trial available. Just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above to get to it. Okay, now for the kicker. Even though I haven't used it yet, there are loads of other TOS Homeschool Crew reviewers who did. To get to their reviews just click here. Happy Home Educating and look for my full review soon!
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free PG Key in order to use and review on my blog.
I Promise It's NOT X Rated... Mood:
don't ask Topic: General
I had a review due today but I've been sick. I suppose I could have written it while in the prone position resting, but my mind hasn't been real clear all day and I thought better of it. I'm feeling a little better tonight so I'll give it until tomorrow morning to write it.
This review, however, isn't just any normal review...it's rated! But, don't worry, it's not X Rated, it's...
That's all I'm going to tell you though. You'll have to check back tomorrow!
How would you like to win the lottery? This family did...but not like you think! Mood:
cool Topic: Compassion International
What does it take to get you excited? You've seen those commercials for Publishers Clearing House. Would winning a million dollars excite you like the people on the commercials? Well, by the reaction of the people in the following clip, you would have thought that they had won the sweepstakes and you know what? For them it was the sweepstakes. What was the thrilling news that got them to react that way? They just got the news that someone sponsored their child. In the commercials on TV the people win $10,000 or more but you can make a family in a Compassion country feel like they've won the lottery for just $38 a month.
Watch the video first. It's a little fuzzy, but you'll see enough. Then click here for more information on how you can sponsor a child and make a family feel like they've won a million bucks!
Terrific Tigers - A Really Terrific Unit Study! Mood:
a-ok Topic: Homeschool Product Review
You know that from time to time I divulge secrets about myself or my past. Some are serious, but most are fun. Well, I'm about to post another secret. Are you ready? Here it is. When I was young, I wanted to be a zoo keeper! Yep! It's true. Actually it was either a zoo keeper or a forest ranger. I loved the outdoors. I still do. Oh, I'm not an adventurous one that likes to go on 25 mile hikes to see a waterfall or anything like that, but I do like to be outdoors and be around nature. I am still fascinated by God's creation. That's why I was excited when I found out that we would be reviewing the Download-N-Go unit study, Terrific Tigers.
Now, I've told you in my past Download-N-Go reviews that the author, Amanda Bennett, has done a fantastic job writing these unit studies. But, there is just too much to do in the time they say you are to do it in! She recommends a week. In fact each Download-N-Go study is divided up into five days. The problem is that if you try to do even half of what she recommends it would take you forever. Terrific Tigers is no exception. There is just so much.
There's really too much to even try to include in a review. That's why I said a few reviews ago that I was going to try to focus on on aspect of these great unit studies in each review. In this post, I'm going to focus on the "Internet Resources" section that is included at the end of each days study.
Before I do, however, let me remind you of what is included in each one of these studies. As I mentioned before, each study is divided into five days. Each day highlights one aspect of the theme. For Terrific Tigers the five days are:
Day 1: What Is a Tiger?
Day 2: Getting to Know Tigers.
Day 3: Where Are the Tigers?
Day 4: The Science of Tigers.
Day 5: Cool Things About Tigers.
And let me tell you, each day is packed with information and fun. At the beginning of each day there are great informative videos. Some of the Terrific Tiger videos included clips of tiger cubs, tigers playing with monkeys, working with tigers and even one of a tiger and a little boy. Following the opening videos, there is more fun. Amanda Bennett does a great job of intermingling information and fill in the blank pages with fun stuff like coloring pages, word searches and other types of puzzles. And, remember, her studies cover every subject - social studies, science, math, language arts...you name it, it's covered somewhere in the week. And, don't forget that there is always a book list with lots of great books that you can check out. There is also a family fun suggestion at the end of each day, along with the section that I'm going to cover in this review, the "Internet Resources" section.
I don't know why I had never paid a whole lot of attention to the "Internet Resources" section at the end of each day. Maybe it was because there were so many internet sites intermingled in the information for each day. Or, maybe because there was so much information in each day to begin with, we never had time to cover even more. But, having said that, I really like having the extra stuff for a couple of different reasons.
One, there may be a child that really develops an interest in a topic because of doing that particular unit study. This section is a great starting point to find even more websites and information that have to do with that topic.
Two, I found that the extra resources came at the topic of Tigers from a lot of angles and included things for many different age groups. So, if you want to do this unit study with your whole family and they have a wide range of ages, then all you have to do is look in the "Internet Resources" section and pull from there. Have an older child interested in tigers? No problem. Have a toddler? No problem with him either. There is something in the "Internet Resources" section for everyone.
Some of the extra things included in Terrific Tigers were:
Great unusual information about tigers including information about some extinct tiger species
And, my favorite, a website that you can go to and find tiger sounds
And all of this is on top of the great information that is included in the study. Amanda Bennett's Download-N-Go studies are just too much...and I mean too much! There is just too much to do. But, as I have said before, I would rather have too much than too little. You can always do the lighter stuff when the kids are younger, then redo the same unit steady a couple of years down the road using the heavier things. Don't you wish all unit studies were like that?
Anyway, by now you may be wondering how you can get this great product. Well, all of the Download-N-Go unit studies are available from The Old Schoolhouse (TOS) magazine's store. Just click here or on any of the hi-lighted links above to get to the Terrific Tiger page. This study, like the previous ones, is only $7.95. To get a list of all of the topics in the Download-N-Go series, just click here. And, finally, to find out more about what the other Download-N-Go reviewers thought about Terrific Tigers, click here. Happy home educating!
As a member of the TOS Download-N-Go review team I was sent a free download of Terrific Tigers in order to use and review on my blog.
Do you want to win a free download of Terrific Tigers? Here's how you can do it! Just follow these steps. The drawing is going to be held on Monday, November 1st. I hope you win!
1. Leave a comment below telling me why you would like a copy of Download N Go's Terrific Tigers (worth one entry).
2. Subscribe to my blog by clicking on the subscribe button at the end of this post and then leave a comment saying that you did (worth one entry).
3. Subscribe to my blog by clicking on the Networked blog button in the left column and then leave a comment saying that you did (worth one entry).
4. Become a fan on my Families Again Facebook page by clicking here and then leave a comment saying that you did (worth one entry).
5. Follow me in Twitter by clicking here and then leave a comment saying that you did (worth one entry).
6. Twitter or Facebook about this give-away and leave a comment with a link to the post(s) (worth one entry per day. Must make a separate comment each day).
7. Blog about this give-away and leave three comments saying that you did (worth 3 entries).
8. Become a fan of Download N Go by clicking on the Download N Go Facebook button in the left hand column and leave two comments saying that you did (worth 2 entries).