Friday, September 30, 2011

Read Alouds this Week

I just discovered this link up to share what we have read aloud with our children during the past week.

We haven't done any reading aloud that isn't connected to one of the subjects we are currently studying.  For history we are using Story of the World 1.  This week we just started the first of the chapters on the Ancient Egyptians.  While there are a lot of good ideas in the teacher's manual, I figured I would get additional library books and expand on what is suggested.

We started reading both of these books this week.  From Egyptian Myths we read about Osirius, Set, and Isis.  Pharoahs and Foot Soldiers describes different jobs or occupations in Ancient Egypt.  We about the jobs associated with the Nile river. We also read a book about the Nile, but I returned it to the library today before I knew about this link up so I don't have a picture.

We've also been reading The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat.  This is part story part instruction book.  Penrose is the authors cat who likes to sit among her notes and sketches about mathematics.  The text is written from Penroses' perspective when she encounters animated numbers and math concepts.  One of the concepts I read about this week was the square root sign.  The numbers was upset about how it changes their appearance how it forms numbers that are different in appearance from the rest of them, so number 2 brought the sign to Penrose to hide and keep safe from the other numbers.  However, the other numbers missed it and wanted it back and began to fight Penrose over it.  Thus a tussle ensued, but Penrose, being the smart mathematician he is, explained how the square root sign works and how it is helpful to all of them.  Then all of a sudden his mistress pulls the papers out from under Penrose and the short story is over.

Overall, there are 20 some concepts explained in the book in similar manner. Even though we aren't currently using these concepts in math work, it is fun to hear them explained in a different way and maybe when they are encountered in work they will be slightly remembered and not as overwhelming.

Also I started reading a set of Sports themed grammar books with my seven year old son.  The two we have looked at are Touchdown Nouns and Slam Dunk Pronouns.  They feature a sports announcer reporting on a big game in the respective sport and explaining the part of speech and its proper usage in the context of the game.  Sprinkled throughout the text are small boxes which give a short explanation of the parts of speech and how they work.  There is also a brief reinforcement activity at the end of each book.  Again, I don't have pics of these as I took them back to the library earlier today.

One read aloud that I would like to add to our day is some type of fiction/chapter book, but it just seems like it is so hard to fit in.  I have all kinds of ideas, but just don't seem to find the time.

The Reading Aloud Challenge is hosted by Debra at Footprints in the Butter.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Morning of Art with Michael Albert

You may not have heard of this Pop Artist or his unique style of art, cerealism, but it is definitely worth checking out.  One day last week my children and I had the opportunity to spend the morning with him in his artist workshop, learning all about his unique style of art.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the items he has created and hearing the story behind many of them.  He definitely exhibits a unique perspective on our culture and lives through his work.  One thing which struck me was how much our culture has become commercialized and the made impact brands have on our daily lives.

This is one of Michael Alberts smaller works.  I love this!  I think it also applies to many other things we do, not just gluing art projects.   I think this will become a new phrase around my house.

His website has a listing of many engagements and workshops he has scheduled.    Check it out.  If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of his workshops, DO IT.  If you have any interest in art you will be so glad you did.  Also if you have the chance to see a exhibition it is well worth it. But in the mean time check out his website as well as An Artists America. This is a book of many of his different works as well as the story of how he began doing this unique art.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Z is for Zoo

I was having a hard time trying to come up with a topic for Y or Z so I asked my children what they thought I should write about.  They said "zoo".  Since I wasn't sure what to write about the zoo I said they needed to help me write this entry.  So here is what they had to say about the zoo.

First, my daughter;

I like the priarie dogs because they kick dirt at each other when another one gets too close to their hole. I like the red pandas, but they don't look like pandas but are smaller and more orange than red. The children's zoo is also fun because you get to pet the goats. I also like to jump around in the mini splash pad.  Several times throughout the day they have live shows featuring various animals. It is fun to see the owls and other small animals.

I also like visiting my best friends, the penguins.  This is especially fun to do when it is hot outside as they keep the penguin house at 40 degrees.

Among the attractions I like to ride the train and carousel. On the train you get to ride around the whole zoo and see many parts of it without walking all over.  You can get out and see animals that are close and then get back on to go to another area.

I also really like the snake house, but my mom really would prefer not to go there. I also enjoy seeing the kangaroos. There is also a sea lion show which is interesting to watch. All the large cats are fun to see as well as the elephants.

Upon entering the visitors center is is fun to see the giant squid and shark which are suspended from the ceiling.

My sons thoughts on the zoo;

I like to see the meerkats because they like to dig holes.  I like to see them play around with each other. I also like the lions and monkeys.

Today he is being a man of few words. 

Penguin swimming

So those are my children's thoughts on the Zoo. 

ABC's of Homeschooling is hosted by Dawn at 5 Kids and a Dog.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Homeschool Mothers Journal Weekly Review 9/17

In my life this week…
I have spent way to much time at my computer, but I am not sure how to cut down that time.  It's not during the day for the most part, but most of my evening is spent off and on the computer. 

In our homeschool this week…

We just keep plodding along. Looking back at my log I realize we have already accomplished quite a bit this year. 

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

This week was the first homeschool class at the library for this academic year.  At the class they reviewed chemical reactions and then made little bottle rockets suing film canisters and  Alka Seltzer tablets.
They also had piano lessons and we went to the library.

My favorite thing this week was…
The opportunity to have time with my daughter, just the two of us, when we went shoe and grocery shopping the other day.

What’s working/not working for us…
We did not have very good success with our science experiments this week.  Those dealing with static electricity probably didn't work due to the rain and humidity, but making a battery didn't work either.

Questions/thoughts I have…
I am trying to figure out how to make learning/school less of a chore for my son.  He doesn't seem to be interested in much except for Latin and piano.

Things I’m working on…

I have decided I need to have a garage sale yet this fall, so I am trying to get things together for that as well as just generally going through things.

I’m reading…
William and Catherine Their Story by Andrew Morton

I’m cooking…
Chicken Parmesan

It was finally cool enough that I could do some baking, so I made two loaves of Banana Swirl Yeast bread.  I had ripe bananas in the freezer so I decided it was time to make this bread again.

I’m grateful for…
Math continues to go well for my daughter for which I am so thankful.  Most of her school career she has struggled with Math, but she is doing so much better this year.

Cooler temperatures and rain.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

My daughter likes to draw and one of the things she drew this week was an M&M.

Thanks to Sue at the Homeschool Chick for hosting HSMJ. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Science Experiments and Disappointments

I have these pictures which I took while we've been studying electricity this week, but didn't really know what to do with them.  So I thought I would write a little and include them in a post.

First we started off with static electricity.  We rubbed balloons with wool and stuck them to hair, clothes, wall, etc.  Then we took another balloon and rubbed it with other cloth to see what would happen.  Nothing!  Then one child held each balloon to see what they would do and they pulled towards each other.  So that is our first picture.

Balloons attracted to each other

Another day we tried to see what would happen by rubbing a plastic comb with the wool and holding it near a stream of water.  We didn't get it to do anything.  I figure the fact that we were in the middle of a rain shower helped this to not work out. 

Wrapping the bolt with copper wire

Next it was on to trying to build a battery.  We stacked 12 pennies and 12 washers together with tissue saturated with salt and vinegar.  Then we took copper wire and wrapped it around a bolt and held it tightly against the coin and washer stack and tried to pick up some paper clips.  This is didn't work out.  The end of the bolt may have had a little bit of a charge, but not enough to pick up the paper clips.  How disappointing.  This was on the same day as the failed comb/water experiment, but I'm not sure if the humidity had anything to do with it.

Trying to pick up paper clips
I do know that both of the children were extremely disappointed that they weren't able to achieve positive results with these experiments.  I told them we can try them again when it isn't raining, but sometimes they just aren't that patient.

Friday, September 16, 2011

AIMS Education Solve It TOS Review

Question:  A  farmer wishes to build a fence 100 meters
long with fence posts every 5 meters.  How many does she need?

Keep reading to discover the answer. This question is posed in one of the activities
you will find in the following book.


AIMS Education Foundation

1-888-733-2467    8am-5pm PST M-F

Solve It! 3rd Problem Solving Strategies

Activities in Math and Science (AIMS) is an organization, begun over 30 years ago, dedicated to helping teachers integrate math and science in to most activities in their classrooms.  Their materials are hands on and engaging for students while providing clear easily implemented teacher instructions. They believe the most effective way for students to learn math and science is to experience it in a hands on, active way and to that end have developed a whole line of materials for Preschool through Junior High (several also suitable for High School).

PhotobucketI received a copy of the 3rd grade Solve It! book to review. Solve it! is a paperback book with simple and engaging illustrations for each of the 27 activities in 9 categories. Each activity begins with 2-3 pages of directions and explanations for the teacher, continuing with the student pages and concluding with a page containing several questions the student can ask themselves during or at the end of the activity.  These are designed to help the student think and apply what they have discovered. The activities have 2-4 student pages each. The book also comes with a CD containing all the activities in the book. By purchasing the book the buyer had permission to make up to 200 copies of each page to use in a coop or classroom type setting.

The first few pages of the book explain the reason for teaching mathematical processes and thinking skills as well as the benefits that can be seen in other academic areas.  Some activities use simply paper and pencil while others use manipulatives of various kinds.  Some of the manipulatives required include teddy bear counters, pattern blocks, paper clips, snap cubes, and a balance scale. 

There is also a simple chart showing 9 different problem solving strategies.  This could easily be copied and made into a small poster to help children remember the strategies.

Each activity also lists the NCTM standards and other benchmarks. Various state standards and correlating activities are listed on the website.

Many publications are available in either book or ebook format.  They also have all the manipulatives available to make learning hands on and concrete. They look like so much fun to play with, oops I mean learn from.

How We Used  Solve It!

Most of the activities both my 7 and 10 year old did together.  The teacher directions call for having the children do the activities in groups, but that is difficult with just 2, so I had them work individually, but at the same time. When they were both finished we would compare and discuss answers as directed in the teacher manual. 

My 10 year old is convinced the book was too easy for her, but I could tell she was being challenged and thinking in new ways while we completed several of the activities. She kept asking for harder things to do.

Most of the activities we did were just about right for my 7 year old.  I could tell he was having to think and reason his way through his work which is just what I hoped he would do. One of the activities we used was Sawing Logs, which challenges the student to determine how many cuts are needed to get a certain number of equal size pieces of wood.  It also asks the student to determine how many fence posts are needed to build a 100 meter fence if posts are placed 5 meters apart.  He struggled to understand 21 posts are needed because you have to put one at the beginning and end.  He thought it was only 20 because that is the number of 5's in a hundred.

He believes the book was too hard for him, but I think it was just about right.  He needs something that challenges and stretches his brain and I believe Solve It! does just that.

So the answer to the question at the beginning is 21.

Snappy Patterns activity
I just picked and choose which activities to use as I wanted to get a good feel for the whole book.  We ended up completing activities in 7 of the 9 categories. We were unable to do some of the activities as I do not have the required manipulatives such as a balance scale or teddy bear counters.  I just found a substitute for the bears so we will be doing those in the future. 

The book is extremely sturdy and very well bound.  It should hold up well for a long time.  However, this made it difficult to copy from, so after my first experience trying to copy I made sure I printed the pages I wanted to use from the CD.  This was truly effortless; just pop the CD into the computer, choose the activity I wanted, open it up and print the pages.  On the CD all the activities are listed as separate pdf files in alphabetical order, so they are easy to find.  In an effort to save paper and ink I just printed the student activity pages and read from the book and then showed my two the concluding question page.

Pumpkin Patches activity
For an activity practicing place value I just made one copy of the paper for each of them and put it in a sheet protector and used dry erase markers with it. 

While the teachers instructions are definitely written to a classroom teacher they are easily adaptable to a homeschool setting.  Most of the instructions direct the making of an overhead transparency to record students' findings, however,  it was simple enough to make a model of it ourselves or discuss it as we went along.  There is also "teacher jargon" present in the instructions, but not so much that they are unusable or not easily understood.

I really liked this book and found it immensely helpful and do not hesitate to recommend it.  I also would like to purchase several other items featured in the AIMS catalog.

There are some free activities available on the website.  A sample of Solve It! 3 is also available.

Read what other TOS Crew members had to say about Solve It and other AIMS Education Foundation books at the Crew Blog.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book to use for the purpose of writing this review.  I have not been compensated in any other manner and all opinions expressed here are totally my own.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

An Evening at the Magic House

A few weeks ago I mentioned in my weekly wrap up that we had had the opportunity to go to on a special outing.  The summer reading program our library sponsors had a special evening at the local children's museum, The Magic House, for all the children who completed the program.  All of these children received two free tickets to be used on a special evening when the museum was closed to the general public.

My children have no problem completing the requirements for the reading program, but due to scheduling conflicts this was the first year we were able to attend.  We had been there before, but there is so much to do it is hard to do everything in one trip. Besides, who can say 'NO' to a free field trip.

So here are some of the pictures from the evening.

Minuet in G on the Bubble Organ

Learning about Estimation on a grand scale

I  wanted these two pics next to each other, but it's not cooperating, so I just gave up.

This estimation display is just one of many in the math area.  There is also a giant balance scale, games about place value and counting and so much more.  

Children also have the opportunity to play in a neighborhood which features a grocery store, bank, TV station, electric company, library, auto mechanic, and pizzeria among others.

Just so history is not neglected the Magic House has a wonderful exhibit about Lewis and Clark.  This features a recreated camp area with many things to touch and pretend with, even slabs of play meat, and animal pelts to touch as well as use for a blanket for 'camping out'.  There is also a canoe to ride in and see the sites along the river bank.  However, I think the highlight of the Lewis and Clark area is the obstacle course where both children and adults can pretend their are on the expedition by walking several  rope bridges, crossing a balance beam over a painted river, sliding down chutes, and climbing a rope ladder.

The beanstalk from Jack and the Bean Stalk.  Children can climb the beanstalk to go up and down between three floors, rather than using the circular staircase which surrounds it.

 So just a few highlights, and pictures from our evening. We really enjoyed the time we spent there and are grateful to the library for providing affordable admission for a great evening.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Homeschool Mothers Journal Weekly Review 9/10

In my life this week…

Not much going on in my life.  I spent a lot of my evening time doing school things. 

In our homeschool this week…

We worked all week, even though Monday was Labor Day.  I figured there was no good reason to take a day off yet, so we might as well get out the new books and dig right in.  
We accomplished a lot of work and I am very excited.  I hope this will continue for a while.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

The children had piano lessons and  we went to the library.

Things I’m working on…

Started going through some old magazines in my basement.  I really need to get through a lot of things down there.  I think I need to have a garage sale this fall so that is additional motivation.

I’m reading…

Carpe Diem  Put a Little Latin in Your Life   by Harry Mount

I’m cooking…

Leftover steak from our family get together last Sunday
Chicken Salad
One of the products I am currently reviewing with the TOS Crew is a weekly meal planning service.  So we had beef and macaroni casserole. 

I am looking forward to using more of these recipes.

I’m grateful for…

My childrens' piano teacher.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Time 4Learning New TOS Review

Time 4 Learning

(954) 771-0914

$19.95 a month for the first child
$14.95 a month for each additional child

Lesson Content is available for Preschool through 8th grade

Time 4Learning is an online curriculum covering the subjects of math, language arts,science, and social studies. It can be used as a whole or supplemental curriculum as well as over a break period to keep learning and skills sharp. Lessons are available for preschool through middle school.  While most of the lessons and learning are done interactively on the computer screen, there are printable worksheets which go along with some of the upper level lessons.

In addition to separate accounts for each child user there is a parent account with lots of helpful features.The parent account has access to progress reports for all child users, lesson plans, lists of items needed for science activities as well as a parent forum.

In addition to the lessons, the child has access to the playground which features a variety of games and other activities. Not only does the playground feature games, there are also activities, such as comic strip creating available.

Time 4 Learning can be customized for each child. While the adult does choose a grade level for the child to begin at, there is also access to two other levels at the same time and changing to a totally different level is easily requested via a form on the parent log in site. It is also possible to choose how long a child must spend on lesson activities as well as how long they can "play" on the playground.

One of the Report options

There are free lesson demos available on the website, but they do require registering to view.

How we used Time 4 Learning

My 7 year old son used the lower level program at the 2nd grade level and my 10 year old daughter used the upper level at the 5th grade level.We have used it as a supplemental program, not a main curriculum. Because of this I have mainly been letting them choose their activities and lessons.

Second Grade Math Activity

The lessons seem to be easy for my son. I don't know if it is due to their level or if it is just that he is working above grade level. Due to this he has not been as careful in listening as he should. Some of the quiz/test questions need to be listened to/ read to the very end in order to select the correct answer. I have experienced this with him in other areas, it is not a problem exclusive to Time 4Learning.

The information on the screens in the 2nd grade level is read to the student, so I would say that this could be used fairly independently by most students. Having said that I did need to sit with my 7 year old in order to encourage him to take his time on his work and do his best. Rushing through things is a personality trait of his.

I contacted Time 4 Learning using their form to request level change for my son. While I was doing this I forgot to change the student name on the form so I was asking to have my daughters levels changed. When I realized my mistake I sent them a personal email explaining what I had done. I did this in the evening and by 1 pm the next afternoon I had received emails saying the levels had been changed. Upon examining their accounts I saw that the levels were what I had requested.

My daughter has used the 5th grade program. These lessons seemed to be about right for the 5th grade level. Many of the lessons and activities in the Language Arts, Language Arts Extensions, and Vocabulary sections are presented by cartoon type animated characters.  Some of these characters exhibit traits related to the points they are trying to teach.  Others have such exaggerated behavior that the student will most likely remember the character and thus remember the information presented.

My daughter really enjoyed the Literature activities found in the Language Arts section. I really appreciate this as she has she has not been excited about exploring literature before even though she does enjoy reading.
The World History activities have also been interesting to her.  She has been able to connect information in these lessons with what she already knows and is very excited. She was also excited to see the lessons and activities about Latin and Greek roots.


  • At both levels Time 4 Learning was very easy for my children to navigate. They could easily select the subject they wanted and then find where they had left off or choose a new topic.

  • I liked the limited time on the playground. My son especially has difficulty leaving computer games so it is beneficial for him to have a set time limit that he can't get around.

  • I also appreciated having a list of all the items needed for the science experiments. It was so much easier to know in advance what was needed than to have to scramble for materials.

  • I also liked that there is a lot of vocabulary presented in all of the subject areas. I feel this is one area which we haven't concentrated much on, so this was a great benefit to my children.

  • Cons

  • It is so child user friendly that I could very easily get caught up in what I was doing and not pay attention to what they were doing.

  • I did not like that the child would be kicked off the playground in the middle of an activity or without any warning. I am wondering if it would be possible for a window to pop up when there is only a short time left.

  • I looked at the parent forum, but did not spend much time there. It is broken down by states, in hopes of helping parents connect with other parents in their area. It seemed to me that a lot of the posts there were not very current.

  • As a note: at least one of the Science topics my daughter worked through contained evolutionary/old earth references and assumptions. While I believe it is important for my children to understand what evolution is and be exposed to it, I know that not all parents want their children exposed to the theory.

    Read what other TOS Crew Members have to say on the Crew Blog.


    Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given a free month subscription in exchange for writing this review.  I have not been compensated in any other manner and all opinions expressed here are solely my own.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    V is for Variety

    The last few years I have tried to move our studies in more of a Classical direction as I truly feel there is value to that method and form. (It is not my intent to argue what is/ isn't a Classical education or which method has greater value here). In my study and interpretation of the method it is very rigorous and demanding of the learner and my young learners have shown me what they think of hard work!  :) So while I may try, I have come to the conclusion for this point in time that it may not be beneficial to fight to implement a fully Classical curriculum and method. 

    Thus comes V for variety...

    I am not budging on the need for learning Latin or narration and summarization.  But I do not make narration something we have to do everyday. I also have been following my children's interests in Science, rather than a set yearly schedule.  We are also just now starting World History as my daughter is 5th grade age. 

    We also do some lapbooking, an activity many Classical devotees do not feel is worth the time. I feel an activity like lapbooking might make a less than pleasant subject a little more tolerable. 

    We also do some kinestic activities; table work is tiring after a while.  Hands and arms get tired of writing and behinds don't fare well on hard chairs for long. So sometimes I will break out the foam letter mats, assemble them in alphabetical order and  jumping from letter to letter will be spelling practice for the day. Words may also be written in sidewalk chalk if the weather is nice.

    On the rare occasion we may drop just about all the regular subjects and do a Unit type study for several days or a week.  

    We also make time in the schedule to attend field trips or homeschool days at local museums and libraries when they occur. 

    I also make sure we have some logic/logical thinking practice several times a week.  Right now this often takes the form of puzzles to solve or mysteries to unravel, but it is good practice and preparation for higher level logic and reasoning. 

    Last academic year and again this year I have been privileged to serve on the TOS Homeschool Crew. With the Crew I have the opportunity to use a variety of educational tools and then share their merits with others via blogging. That certainly is variety in itself.  Having the opportunity to use many different materials definitely
    adds variety to our academic plans.

    So I guess this is all to say that while I admire and believe whole heartedly in the value of a Classically education, the generally accepted model is too much for me to swallow and we need to inject some VARIETY into our days and making learning something unexpected and not as difficult or demanding.

    Thanks to Dawn at 5 Kids and a Dog for hosting ABC's of Homeschooling!

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    Homeschool Mothers Journal Weekly Review 9/4

    The Homeschool Mother's Journal

    In my life this week…
    I received word that I passed the Certification exams for Bringing Baby Home.  This was a several day class I attended the first part of August and then I had to take a 2+ hour online exam.  I am so relieved to have the hard part of it over, now I can present the workshop if I have the opportunity.

    In our homeschool this week…
    We focused on math.  I called it Math camp.  I explained a concept, the kiddos did a short worksheet so I knew they knew what they were doing and then they played some games.

    I am inspired by…
    Not a whole lot right now.  It has taken a lot of time for me to get motivated to write this post.  One of my big motivators for actually writing is I know my Mom will be interested in seeing what we are up to!

    Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
    We stayed at home a lot this week. We made a quick stop at the library.  Went to the grocery store.  Went to Home Depot for their kids Workshop on Saturday.

    What’s working/not working for us…
    The heat.  It was hot again this week. Like hot as in we broke record high temperatures for 4 days this week.  All of those new record highs were over 100.  Yuck!

    Math camp went well for us.  I have a better idea where both of my kiddos stand on their math abilities and it was a relatively painless way to pick up after having a more relaxing summer.  We will have to spend some time on basic facts in the first few weeks.

    Things I’m working on…
    Preparing to start our regular curriculum this next week.  I also need to get back to working on my Christmas presents and make some progress going through things in my basement.

    I’m reading…
    Living Large on Less  

    I’m cooking…
    Yesterday I made homemade chicken fingers.
    Throughout the week we also had burgers, chicken ceasar salad.  I am in a menu rut.  I need to find some new things that are inexpensive to make.

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    Nature Nuts New TOS Review

    Wise Alec Nature Nuts Travel Game and Expansion set



    Nature Nuts can be purchased online or in local stores.  A listing of retailers can be found at the Griddly Games website.                    Suggested Retail Price $14.99

    Griddley Games is also home to the Wise Alec Trivia game as well as other expansion sets/ travel games.  The other expansion sets feature sports and civilization themes.

    Ages 8 and up


     As a family we really enjoy playing games, so when members of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew  recently had the privilege to use and review Wise Alec Nature Nuts card game I was thrilled.  My children were also very excited to play the game.  We have many games, including trivia games, but not many science or nature games.  So this was great for us to be able to try. Nature Nuts is a card game which comes in its own handy box featuring a magnetic closure.  Perfect for on the go game playing. All the cards and die fit nicely in the box. The directions are printed on the inside flap, which means no more lost directions.

    Nature Nuts can be played with the board in the game Wise Alec or on its own as a trivia game.  You will find cards featuring the science topics of Animals, Plants, and Earth.  There is also a deck of Wise Alec Cards. Each of these decks has their own section inside the box.

    • The animal cards feature questions about all kinds of animals and their habitats, their body design, habits, and what different groups of animals are called.  For example a group of kangaroos is called a troop or mob.

    • The Plant cards have subjects such as the parts of plants, types of plants and where they grow, plant processes and plants benefits.

    • The Earth cards features topics such as rocks and minerals, seasons, earth elements, astronomy as it relates to the earth, and some geographic features such as springs. 

    Each of these cards has two questions: one with a 3 point value and and another with a 7 point value. 

    The Wise Alec cards are where the fun with this game really begins.  From this deck of cards a player maybe instructed to do animal impressions, list a certain number of items in a category which all begin with the same letter, or perform a physical fitness activity.  For the most part these types of cards give you points to add to your total.  However, some Wise Alec cards subtract from your points.  These may say you forgot to recycle or mixed your compost or something similar which is not environmentally friendly.

    The included die has color coded sides which direct the player to which card category to choose.  Also on the die is a color which allows the player on the right to choose your subject and another color which allows you to pick any category you wish.

    Nature Nuts is a game which can be enjoyed by the whole family.  The rules allow flexibility for point tallying by suggesting different goals based on age or setting a time limit for the length of the game.  Information specific to Nature Nuts can be found at Griddley Games website through this link.

    My thoughts about Nature Nuts

    My 7 and 10 year old really enjoy this game.  The playing of it is easy enough that they are able to play it together themselves.  Some of the words did trip up the 7 year old, but he was certainly able to handle it content wise.  We've also enjoyed it as a family.  The option of choosing difficulty level really helps make it a game which puts the adults on the same level as the children.  When our family played we would sometimes read the higher point value question for the children if we knew it was something they knew.  Overall, I would say the questions are appropriately labelled with the point values. I really appreciate this in a trivia game.  So many trivia games don't have this kind of choice in questions and make it difficult for families to play together.  Nature Nuts levels the playing field for trivia game playing families.

    Wise Alec Nature Nuts uses a lot of science specific vocabulary.  Both of my children are really interested in science, and this is a great resource for helping them learn additional terms and meanings in a fun manner. It has been challenging to find resources which include nature vocabulary in an exciting manner, so Nature Nuts has been a great resource to help fill in that gap.

    I was a little disappointed in the quality of the cards.  They don't seem to be as sturdy as many other game cards.  It is also a little difficult to get them out of the compartments in the box.  However, this inconvenience would not stop me from purchasing the full board game or other expansion sets.

    To see what other Crew Members had to saw about Nature Nuts and Civilize This you may check out the Crew Blog.


    Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given a Nature Nuts game set to use with my family for the purpose of writing this review.  I have not been compensated in any other manner and all opinions expressed here are solely my own.