Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Box of I.D.E.As. - SALT - A Homeschool Crew Review

In the month of September my son and I had the wonderful opportunity to test drive a unit study by Box of I.D.E.As. about Salt. Who knew there was so much to learn about salt? I certainly didn't have any idea...

The Salt Box of I.D.E.As arrived in our mailbox with each each section module of the unit study neatly packaged into its own sealing plastic bag. My box contained ten separately bagged modules, with lots of little items in the various bags such as games, vocabulary cards, maps, and lots of fun things. My box also contained a white board marker and a pencil.

I was generally thinking of the Salt box as a study that would focus on Science, but found that it also covers, in various ways, art, geography, and history.

 Some of the modules in the Salt Box of Ideas were:
  • The History of Salt;
  • The Science of Salt;
  • Preserving with Salt;
  • Producing Salt.
We started our studies with Producing Salt, which led us through amazing salt mines!  The Wieliczka Salt Mines  are amazing -- they haven't been actively mining salt for years, but they are now a museum, underground!

 Can you believe that? The chandeliers are even made of salt!

We moved later into a study in a module called Preserving with Salt. This module covers uses of salt, not only for preserving food, but also for Egyptian mummification!  We read through information in the module, and looked at websites suggested. There are websites with recipes for pickles and other foods preserved with brine, as well as websites on Egypt and mummies. As we were working though the information, I swear my son's eyes were glazing over. He was no longer tracking, was just not interested.

I decided to switch it up and play the game included in the module.
I hoped this was going to be a big hit! But...

Because we didn't cover all the material, and because my son hadn't payed attention when we were covering what we did... He wasn't able to answer questions correctly, and he didn't win. He didn't take that very well...

He wanted me to communicate that he did not like the Box of I.D.E.As. on Salt. I think part of it stems from him wanting to learn in an interest-driven way, and not be told what he will study when. So, there is a balance here. He also needs to learn that he is not totally in charge of his education -- as he reaches high school, when he goes to college, he will most certainly have times when he must learn Subject X because it is required for his degree, or take Class Y because he needs the credit and it is the only class that still has openings for a certain semester...

Anyway, he says he has learned more about salt than he ever wanted to know, and never wants to study anything more about salt. I am really disappointed by this, because there is soooo much we still haven't done yet in our Box of I.D.E.As., and frankly, I was enjoying the modules, and learning about salt, and was looking forward to doing more. So, my unwilling son is inevitably going to experience more salt study in the future, but I will spread  the studies out. I really think he will enjoy the hands-on science activities, when we get to them, and I might just wait until we get some snowy or icy weather first so that I can tie in the weather and the application of road salt into the experiments.
Box of I.D.E.As. is dedicated to creating fun, interactive learning modules centered around random subject areas. Their goal is to draw students into critical thinking and knowledge-building activities through a broad variety of fun topics.

Their Box of I.D.E.As. products topics currently include: "Eleven"; Salt; Laundry; World War II Pearl Harbor; and Quilting, and more topics are in the works to be released soon. Topics can be purchased as a physical box (for $79.00), or as a PDF download (for $49.00). Members of the Schoolhouse Crew were given a choice of either Salt or World War IIPearl Harbor, with some Crew members receiving physical boxes and other Crew members receiving PDF downloads.
The Box of Ideas products are generally for ages 9-16, but would be adaptable to younger siblings who don't want to be left out of what big brother or sister is doing. I think this was a fun way to shake up our home school, keep it fresh, and give us variety. I think it would be nice if people who buy the physical box could also receive a PDF download of the web links that are included in the paper copy. Some of the links can be long and cumbersome to type in correctly, but I still wouldn't want to give up my physical copy. I loved having the physical box.

DISCLAIMER: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received a physical box of Box of I.D.E.As Salt, in exchange for my honest, uninfluenced review. The opinions expressed herein are my own. I was not told what to say.
This has been a Schoolhouse Crew Review.

To see more Schoolhouse Crew Reviews of Box of I.D.E.As.: Salt, click below:


No comments :

Post a Comment