Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Download 'N Go: Australia ~ A Review

Last week we took a trip to Australia...a virtual trip, courtesy of Download N Go ~ Expedition Australia.

This ebook from The Old Schoolhouse Store contains a full week (5 days) of hands-on activities for k - 4th graders. It also includes lapbook activities that are to be completed each day. By the end of our 5-day adventure we not only learned a whole bunch of neat things about the Land Down Under, we also completed a nifty lapbook to help us remember our journey.

This product is available by download from The Old Schoolhouse Store for $7.95. With your purchase you receive a download link for the 103-page ebook that contains 5-days of fun hands-on activities and colorful lapbook printables. As long as you have access to a printer (preferably color) and the internet, no other purchases are necessary in order to complete this study. If you would like to enhance your learning with books, there are book suggestions provided at the back of this ebook. I was able to obtain many of these for free from my local library.

I started this adventure with my 2nd grader, k'er and my very active 3-year old. Each daily adventure took us about 1-1/2 to 2 hours to complete...too much time to keep the attention of my two youngest. But my 2nd grader and I had a blast on our tour of Australia.

My thoughts ~ We learned a lot about Australia ~ it's geography, it's animals, it's history, and we even learned a couple of Australian words during our whirlwind tour (g'day, would you care for a biscuit?) ~ and we had fun doing it. I have to admit, I love to plan "hands-on, fun" projects for our homeschool, but we rarely complete them. (We have two or three incomplete lapbooks in our schoolbox to prove this!) But we did complete this one, I think mainly because it was short (only 5 days) so we didn't run out of steam before the end :) TOS also made it simpler to find needed information by providing internet links in the lapbook.

We also enjoyed the little unexpected extras provided in this lapbook. Each day there were a couple of links to short internet videos that provided a visual of the land and animals of Australia. My kiddos loved these short clips...they were a wonderful way to begin our lapbook study each day.

I honestly do not have anything negative to say about our experience with this Download 'N Go study...but I do believe that if we were to do another Download 'N Go lapbook (or any other lapbook for that matter), I would plan to complete it during one of our breaks. As I mentioned before, each day of our study took us about 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. This doubled the amount of time that we did school each day (we worked on this lapbook after completing our regular schoolwork) ~ all my kiddos are still young and we spend about 2 hours per day on school. By the end of the day, we were tuckered out...

We came away from this learning adventure with a boatload of information about Australia...and marsupials...and geography...and did I mention we completed a cool lapbook? I would definitely recommend Download 'N Go ~ Expedition Australia to anyone who wants to study Australia with their elementary-aged kiddos. The Old Schoolhouse Store also sells a number of other Download 'N Go ebooks with subjects ranging from Benjamin Franklin to China.

I did receive a free copy of this ebook in return for my unbiased review of our experience with this product.

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