Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer Sensations: Review and Giveaway

Download N Go.  I am telling you, I am starting to really, really love these studies.

My family got the chance to review the Summer Sensations Download N Go here this month, and I am so glad I chose to participate.

I reviewed the Whale Tales study a couple months back, and we did really enjoy that.  I'm not sure if it is the timing on it, or if I just needed to do a second one.  But we are LOVING the Summer Sensations study.

What is it?  Download N Go is a one week unit study/lapbook, meant for roughly grades K-4.  I'm currently doing the study mostly with my 4th and 1st graders, with the 4 year old listening in, and the 6th and 8th graders getting involved in some of the material as well.  And believe me, you don't have to be a lapbooker to appreciate these (as I definitely am not), nor do you have to be a die-hard unit study person.  I like unit studies as a break from our regular routine, but never could imagine doing them all the time.  Download N Go may convince me though.

The study is broken up to cover 5 days, and there is PLENTY of material for each of those days.  Each day has a focus of some sort.  For the Summer Sensations study, the days are broken up as follows:
  1. What is Summer? (seasons is a main focus, specifically summer obviously)
  2. Science Secrets of Summer (weather, sunscreen, fireflies, northern lights)
  3. People and Places of Summer (hemispheres, longer days, snow cones)
  4. Time for Tips and Treasures of Summer (bird watching, shadows, sundials, trees)
  5. Goodies and Surprises of Summer (ice cream, summer fruits, Georgia O'Keefe)
Our favorite day has been day number two, as it had so much science!  So let me tell you about what we did, and what we didn't do, just to illustrate how amazing this series is.
  • We watched about ten minutes of videos (linked in the study) on swimming, mini golf, summer photos and the Northern Lights, and talked about four words that describe summer.
  • We discussed the differences between summer and winter weather -- both where we live (Southwest) and traditionally.
  • We played a bit with a page of clothing, identifying which items are generally associated with winter and which with summer, but also how that doesn't necessarily hold true across the board (nights get cold here, even in the summer, sunglasses and sunscreen are necessary here year-round)
  • We followed links to a couple definitions of sunscreen and discussed what it is, what it does, and why we need it.
  • We watched a few minutes of videos on fireflies, talked about them, read some articles about fireflies, watched some more videos about fireflies, read a couple books I had checked out (suggested in the ebook) about fireflies, discussed them some more, and got into a fairly extensive discussion of evolution and whether that explains why female fireflies are attracted to male fireflies who flash longer or faster.  Okay, this is where the 6th and 8th graders were drawn in.  Keep in mind, my family background includes a lot of entomologists, and my 8th grader is seriously considering the field.  We can get into some pretty lengthy conversations about bugs... and, well, ummm, we did.  What can I say? 
  • We read some information about constellations and discussed it.  That led into some conversations about mythology, another subject that brought my 6th and 8th graders in.
  • We watched more videos about Aurora Borealis.  We read some articles, and watched some more videos.  And a couple more videos.  My 4th grader gave a pretty awesome narration about why the Northern Lights exist at the end of this.
  • We went over some vocabulary words, practicing reading and/or writing them, and talking about definitions.
  • We read a couple more library books suggested by the study.
We skipped a LOT of the suggested activities for day 2 as well:
  • There were probably about 8 lapbook mini-books or journal pages.  We discussed the content instead of making a lapbook.  See above picture for the types of things we skipped.
  • They suggested a nature walk and some specific things to be looking for.  We just ran out of time.  I LOVE the suggestions given for the nature walk though, and we may incorporate some of this later.  (There are nature walk suggestions for each day of the study.)
  • There were another half dozen videos about things like milkshakes, paddleboats, etc. that we did not view.
  • There were some coloring sheets and word puzzles and the like that we didn't use either.
  • And I only checked out about half of the suggested book ideas.
 I love these studies.  I love how open and go they are.  I love the hyperlinks to videos, articles, definitions, games, pictures, etc.  I just wish I could afford more of these.  There are some specials going on though:

Back-to-Homeschool Sale is happening through August 15.


Autumn Treasures is 50% off
Every bundle purchase is 20% off and it includes Summer Sensations for free


And through August 13, Expedition China is 50% off.

Edited to add:  Now through August 27, you can get Expedition Mexico for FREE. 

I just purchased Expedition China myself.  Haven't even looked at it yet.  But at $3.98, well, I had to.  I'm seriously considering the purchase of a 4-pack while it is 20% off.

Do you want to win your own copy of Summer Sensations?  This is going to be a quick giveaway, so you can actually use the study before September, if you choose.

To enter, leave me a comment telling me what you think you'd like most about this study.  I won't exclude you from the drawing if you say it is the lapbook aspect, I promise.

For additional entries, you can:
  • Follow me with Google Friend Connect (if you are already a follower, that's good for two entries)
  • Visit the Download N Go website and tell me which other title appeals to you.  And why.  I love knowing why. Help me decide which titles I have to get in my bundle purchase.
  • Check out the Download N Go Facebook page and either let me know that you have "liked" it, or tell me something you learned there.
Leave a separate comment for each entry, please.  Giveaway ends at midnight MST, on Monday night, August 16.  I'll choose a random comment, and if I don't have an email address to contact the winner, I will announce it on my blog.  If you don't get in touch with me by Wednesday morning, I'll draw another winner.

And if you don't want to win this title (because I know some of my readers own all/most of the Download N Go studies!) but have suggestions for me as to which I "need," feel free to comment and state that you are just commenting, so I'll skip you for the giveaway.

Disclaimer:  I received an e-book for myself and one to giveaway from Download N Go through LitFuse Blog Tour.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

15 comments:

ruthhill74 said...

I like the fact that this is a short study that covers many different topics. I need something to keep my daughter interested in learning this summer. She is struggling in that area.

ruthaw_1974@yahoo.com

ruthhill74 said...

gfc follower

ruthaw_1974@yahoo.com

ruthhill74 said...

I would love the Davy Crockett one!

ruthaw_1974@yahoo.com

ruthhill74 said...

like download n go on facebook--it looks really great.

ruthaw_1974@yahoo.com

Scarlett said...

I think we would like the science or nature walk aspect of this study!

Scarlett said...

And following you now. :)

Karen said...

I just got the Davy Crockett unit today, we are excited to try lapbooking!

Karen said...

I just followed you on GFC

Karen said...

I also saw someone write about the Amelia Earhart unit today, and if lapbooking works out for us, it would be on our wishlist.

Karen said...

I "like" Download N Go on FB

Laura O said...

I'd love to have another unit study ready for when we just need a break from the regular workload.

Laura O said...

following you on GFC

Laura O said...

already liking Download N Go on FB

Kimberly said...

I would like the stuff on bird watching and sundials.

Kimberly said...

I already follow you.