These were so cool! As you know, we were not thrilled with the science book that came with our curriculum package this year, so I've been looking to supplement fun science enrichments as often as I can. Because of this, I was delighted to be chosen to review the Curiosity Quest DVDs.
We received the Produce Combo Pack, which had the episodes Mushrooms, Cranberries, and Oranges, and the Swimmers of the Sea Combo Pack, which had the episodes Penguins, Salmon, and Sea Turtles. Each 3 episode disc retails for $24.95.
I was very excited to share these with the kids, and the kids, of course, thought watching a video was better than "doing schoolwork" (shh! Don't spoil it for me!). For the mushroom episode, we did a coloring page that labelled the parts of a mushroom, and then we purchased fresh mushrooms to dissect.
We even learned the Spanish word for mushroom, hongos, when Brianna ran across it doing her Mango lesson.
For the cranberry episode, we did another coloring sheet, and a fact page on where cranberries are grown in the US. This was a fascinating episode. I had no idea how cranberries were harvested!
I also found a New Jersey site that had additional information about cranberries, as well. In honor of what we learned, Brianna baked us cranberry scones.
In Oranges, we were surprised to learn that growers use a black light to find bad spots. The better ones become juice, and the not so great ones get fed to animals or used as compost. Eli whipped up a batch of orange juice from concentrate in honor of this episode.
Last year, I won a Sea Turtles Unit Study from Super Mommy to the Rescue. Watching the Sea Turtle episode on the Curiosity Quest DVD inspired me to pull it up, read some additional information to the kids, and print out some worksheets for them to do.
One of the other Crew bloggers made a printables pack that goes along with the sea life disc. Even Katie got in on the action, coloring pages to go along with the episodes as we watched. The older kids used the partially lined pages to take notes/write about what they learned, and then colored the pictures afterwards.
Eli's favorite episode was the Sea Turtles. He learned that sea turtles can swim much faster than he thought they could!
Although the suggested ages for the videos are 7-14, they appealed to Hannah, who is 6, and even Katie, who is 3. Brianna, who is 14, found them to be a little juvenile. The content was good, but the parts where they showed clips asking kids questions bugged her.
The Salmon episode taught us that salmon have an amazing sense of smell, which they use to find their way "home" to where they hatched to lay their eggs. The fish ladder was fun to see, as we've been to the local hatchery and seen one up close. Salmon have short life spans, living only 3-7 years.
Jack's favorite episode was Penguins. He learned that they have light bellies to be hard to spot by underwater predators, and dark backs to be difficult to spot from above the water.
One of my readers recently shared a link to an Etsy store with me, and while I was shopping, I found wooden penguins! Knowing we had the episode about Magellanic penguins coming up, I surprised the kids with a set, and we painted them after we watched it.
Each video tells viewers that they can submit their own questions to send Joel, the host, on a quest, so we brainstormed some ideas together to send in through their website. We received a pleasant form email in return, thanking us for the suggestions.
In summary, these were nicely done videos that would be interesting and entertaining all on their own, but were also a great springboard for additional learning in a homeschool setting. Curiosity Quest offers an extensive variety of videos, and they also have a DVD club, where you can get 2 episodes each month for $19.95. Homeschoolers can get 2 episodes, plus curriculum to go with them, including projects and activities, for $24.95/month. All episodes are available a la carte, as well.
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