Friday, November 11, 2011

Holiday Vacation Days Approching: Explore Winter! Review

Lately I've been thinking of home schooling because everyday H complains about being bored at school. I vowed I would never do it (I'm not a very patient teacher), but if I don't help him be the best that he can be, then why am a SAHM at all? Last year when H had school break I was happy to let him play because his preschool was really academically focused so he needed the break. This year, I am determined to teach him something during those off days so his brain development won't stagnate even more. If it goes well I will think about home schooling more seriously. If it doesn't? Well, then I might have to go back to work full time so I can pay for him to go to private school! 

 Luckily just as I've been having all these thoughts, I was given the opportunity to review one of the books from Nomad Press. Nomad Press is an educational publisher located in Vermont, dedicated to sparking the interest of young readers in the fascinating world around them. Nomad Press books promote independent and interactive learning with fun, hands-on projects that help kids explore the history and science behind a wide range of topics. H and I looked through their catalog of books and he chose Explore Winter! as one he'd like to try. It was absolutely the perfect one for us to try during the upcoming Thanksgiving and Winter breaks.

Explore Winter! starts off with a discussion on winter and why the seasons change. Each of the chapters explores a different aspect of winter. H can read, but this book is a little advanced for him so it worked best if I read it to him. Older elementary school children could definitely read this on their own and do the activities with minimal parental interaction (of course you can interact more if you want!). I decided the boys would like to start with the hibernation chapter because they love to play in boxes. We talked about which animals hibernate and discovered many new facts. Did you know that some amphibians freeze solid under leaves on the forest floor? Or that the word for reptile hibernation is brumate and they do this by letting their bodies grow cold which means their hearts beat only once every few minutes? Fascinating stuff!

The boys had great fun with the activity. Contrary to what most people believe bears don't hibernate in big caves. They hibernate in spaces that are just barely big enough for them to fit inside so it acts as insulation. So the boys and I found a box for them that they could barely fit. Then they each wanted a box and flashlights and played hibernation on and off all day. The boxes were destroyed by the end of the day! I'm looking forward to teaching the other chapters and doing the activities during the upcoming no school days. I know they will LOVE the chapter that involves making ice cream. This is such a great book I've decided to give it and other Nomad Press titles as Christmas gifts. Wish me luck in my teaching endeavor!

I did not receive compensation for this post. I received a product sample to facilitate my review.

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