Download N Go Roller Coaster Review

Hello Blog world!  This is my very first product review.  I must say at first how very excited I am about this!  When this opportunity presented itself I was thrilled to be a part of it.  I was given a free copy of the product in exchange for my honest review of it.

So let me give you some basic info about me and my family.  My husband and I met online back in 1998 and got married in 2001.  We decided even before we got married that we would educate our children at home.  We wanted them to have a solid Christian foundation in their education and learning experiences.  We now have 3 boys ages 8, 3, and 7 months.  Homeschooling has been a true blessing for us.  I have been able to enjoy my children as they grow up.  Lord knows that time goes all too quickly.  Plus I am able to individualize the education and goals for each child.

When I first heard about the product Download N Go, I was very intrigued.  I am familiar with unit studies (which is basically what DNG is) because my mother used them with me and my sister when we were educated at home.  We had a blast with unit studies then and I figured my boys would have a blast as well.  The unique feature of this specific set of unit studies is that it incorporates Lapbooks.  I had never heard of a lapbook but I will say that, with some assistance,  my son found creating one quite easy!

The first unit study I am able to share with you for review is Download N Go's Roller Coasters.  When my two oldest boys found out we would be doing a study on Roller Coasters they were thrilled!  We went to Kennywood (an amusement park in the Pittsburgh area) last year so this was just a great way to follow up even though it has been almost a year.  Both boys rode roller coasters and are looking forward to our Kennywood trip this year.  Our oldest is now going to be able to ride the Phantoms Revenge and has been telling me that I will be taking him on the ride.

I wasn't quite sure what all I would find in a DNG unit study as they are really for 5 days of study.  Was I surprised!   Each day covered something different.  These were the topics covered each day.

Day 1 - What is a Roller coaster?

Day 2 - The History of Roller Coasters (This was really interesting)

Day 3 -  People & Places of Roller Coasters

Day 4 - Science Secrets of Roller Coasters & Rides

Day 5 - Goodies & Gadgets of Roller Coasters

There were so many videos and informational links for each day.  The book suggestions were really good.  We used our local library's loan program which allows us to borrow resources from libraries in the the Greater Pittsburgh area.   The books suggested covered several age/grade groups.  It let my middle child enjoy being part of the study as well.  Every day my boys asked what we would learn next about roller coasters.  There were so many different facts that I didn't even know!

I wound up taking the unit to my local Office Max to have it printed.  I would have the DNG file opened on my PC and also have the printed version with us so we could fill in the pages.  We put them in a notebook and also made our first lapbook.  I think next time I will definitely print it up in color instead of black & white. Though it does give the kids an opportunity to color the illustrations.  It does provide several pages for drawing which was great for my oldest!  He loves to draw and make pictures for others.  This was right up his ally.

It was such a great treat to share this experience with them and I am looking forward to doing more Download N Go Unit Studies with my boys.  I know this will be a great way to enhance our education experience.  This is definitely a great way to get away from the textbook and do more specific topics to study.

Take a glance at what is in the Roller Coaster Unit here.

Feel free to follow the Download N Go Review Team as we review other DNG unit studies.

You can also purchase Roller Coasters and other Download N Go studies from The Old Schoolhouse Store.

Now for the fun part!  I have been authorized to do a giveaway!  YAY!!!   Here is how to participate.

The giveaway deadline is Monday, August 23rd, 2010.

1. Leave a comment below.
**For extra entries do one of all of the following and be sure to leave a comment letting me know you did so.
2. Share on Facebook about the giveaway.
3. Tweet about the giveaway.
4. Like Download N Go

Just a quick update

My boys & I are working on the Download N Go Roller Coasters Unit study.  What a blast we are having!  So stick around and look for my full review this weekend as well as pictures of our completed lapbook!

Download N Go

YAY!  I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.  I was chosen to help review Download N Go (DNG) products!  YAY!!  You may be wondering what a Download N Go might be.  DNG  is a unit study tied into lapbooking.  I have never done unit studies with my boys nor have I created a lapbook.  This is an awesome opportunity for me to try something new with my boys and also help others by giving my honest opinion of a product.  There are weekly topics for DNG which is absolutely wonderful.  You can spend as much time on the units as you want too!  My first review will be on the unit for Roller Coasters.  When my son found out he was like, "Cool mom!  Now we need to go to Kennywood so I can ride the Phantoms Revenge and write about it!"  I just have to love how this has gotten my child interested in learning.  :)  So I want to give some info for those of you who may not know what Unit Studies or Lapbooking are all about.  This is from the Download N Go website.

What is a Unit Study?

Download N Go™ studies are daily lessons and lapbook instructions woven together with eye-pleasing pages and interactivity based on exciting themes—ready for immediate use.

There are no expensive resources required; these units are  complete and very affordable.

Unit studies  are a wonderful way to learn. Many homeschoolers love this method because it works so well for simultaneously teaching multiple age levels. Each unit is designed to be one, very full week (five days) of hands-on learning adventures for kids from K- 4th grade. These studies consist of concise, topical material, reinforced by a variety of activities, including lapbooking.  The units explore exciting topics such as roller coasters, chocolate, seashells, Davy Crockett, and Africa.

What are some other benefits?

• Students learn more detailed information with an  in-depth study of a topic. Capturing children’s natural curiosity with many exciting themes to choose from opens up the path to deeper understanding and  better retention.

• Unit studies encourage the use of  imagination, creativity, and thinking skills. The basic subjects are covered while reinforcing other academic abilities.

• The topic studied is perceived as a  whole instead of bits and pieces scattered throughout their education. They are not likely to forget what they have learned and experienced!

• It’s a  fun way to learn and bring the whole family together!

Why is lapbooking a great choice for learning?

Lapbooking brings a lively, creative project appeal to this series in a simple, ready-to-use format.  Daily lapbooking templates are ready to just print and use.  Have you ever created a lapbook with your child?   These activities are made to be easy enough for a beginner, but "meaty” enough for children who have been lapbooking for a long time.

I can hardly wait to experience all of the different topics available through Download N Go.  I know this will add so much to our homeschool year.  I am also looking forward to sharing my reviews on the units with you all!

Here are the links to the Download N Go website, Store and all of the review team blogs.  I hope you find this information helpful.  :)

Download N Go Website

Download N Go Store

Download N Go Review Team

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

No, I am not going to say Christmas, though that is a line from a Christmas song and there are already people posting a countdown of days until that most wonderful Holiday.  But I am talking about School!  That seems to be a wonderful time of year!  This year it is especially wonderful to my family because we are electing to do something different.  We had been stuck in the rut of textbook schooling and while my children did learn, they would often get frustrated with this approach.  It took me reading 2 books and realizing that I am the one who would be better suited for textbook learning while my wonderful boys are more hands-on in their learning.  So, this year we are going with an eclectic/classical approach.  More hands-on activities for the boys (which I know they will love), trips to the library, running outdoors while it is still nice out and focusing on what they need.  I am quickly learning that all children have different approaches to learning and also the speed at which they learn.  I was a very independent learner and picked up on things rather quickly.  My oldest can pick up on things fairly quick.  But he is a boy who has the "I have to keep moving" bug.  He just can't sit still.  LOL!  I don't know a boy that can though.  Our Middle child is 3 and is always on the go.  There is just no way he would do well in a public/private school setting.  These are just a couple of reasons why we homeschool.  So back to this year.  I have purchased most of the school supplies we plan on using this year and I am SOOOO excited about using them.  Jonathan, our oldest, also seems very excited.  He was requesting we open the boxes as soon as our books arrived.  :)   We are also taking a trip to DC this year and going to incorporate that in as part of our schooling.  SO exciting!!  It's always fun to visit new places.  So much to see and learn!