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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Box of I.D.E.A.S.

What mom doesn't want a box of ideas to magically show up at her door?

Especially a box of ideas that have most of the work already done and supplies already gathered for you?

This is one of those reviews for something that I have never, ever heard of before.  But, when I first heard about it, it sounded intriguing. 

And it was.

This is a great, ingenious product for moms....whether you homeschool or not.

Box of I.D.E.A.S. is this super product that is......literally....a Box of Ideas.  Although their fancy-schmancy way of spelling Ideas.....stands for "Ideally Dynamic Enrichment Activities.

We got to try out the Box of I.D.E.A.S on Salt.



The box came filled with 10 individually packaged activities/lessons, each on a different aspect of Salt. It is designed for students ages 9 - 16. (We actually used this for all the kids....even V-girl, who is 3).  These boxes are designed to get kids off the computer and around the table.

Some of the little package units are: The Need for Salt, Salt of the Earth, The Salt March, and the Wall that Salt Built.

It is really a fascinating subject.  And, we all learned something new.  I guess these are offically considered a "unit study".....which I am slowly coming around to embracing.  It is hard not to when things allow you to learn and have it be fun and not just reading and testing yourself from a textbook.

Once again, because I was busy, I delegated "doing" the salt assignments to one of my older kids, to be in charge and get the ball rolling.  On days where I was going to be busy or out of the house for a while, I asked A-girl to lead the kids in one of the Salt activities.

(This one was about melting ice with rock salt and ice melt....and seeing which worked faster...the third bag was the control bag.)

I sort of regret delegating, because, as they would explain to me what they did, what they learned, or how their experiments turned out....I was sad not to have been there doing it right along side of them.  Even V-girl would come and tell me what they did in "Salt Class".

(Playing one of the games....A-man is not very happy because, somehow V-girl is beating him!)

By the time you work through the whole box, you will have created a small portfolio of projects about what they have learned.  There is even an "SAT style" test included so you can feel confident that they actually learned something about the subject.

This one was a really eye opener.  In this lesson, we monitored our sodium intake.  Something that I knew I needed to watch, with my high blood pressure....but even the kids were surprised at how much added sodium was in some of the foods that they like.

Salt of the Earth was just really interesting.  Showing the places all around the world that produce salt and how much of it.  The United States and China produce about 40% of the world's salt...but the other places it is produced are interesting...and really touches every continent.  I like to think of that as just another of  God looking out for us.

You can take these activities and just do them for fun...or you can dig pretty deep.  Each activity gives additional website information, so you can really dig in deeper.

In The History of Salt lesson....there are additional links to various sites that have information on salt. One of them explains the history of salt in relation to war. Did you know that there were more wars fought over salt than gold?

For the Salt of the Earth lesson there are websites that talk about the salt mining industry and even what happened at the 2010 International Salt Summit that was held in India.  I mean, be honest.  Did you know such a thing existed?

You can get your own Box of I.D.E.A.S. for $79.00....which I know seems a little expensive....but since the Box of I.D.E.A.S. isn't just a box of ideas....but actual supplies and pretty much everything you need, it is a good price for what you get.  If you don't mind printing, cutting and assembling stuff  yourself, you can get the PDF version for $49.00

For me, you know the least amount of work, the better.  So I am sticking with the slightly  more expensive versions that can just be the "magical box of ideas" at my doorstep!

Obviously, lots of the stuff I review is really designed for homeschoolers.  But, this is one that I  don't think is exclusively for homeschoolers.  I think you would be hard pressed to find a kid who wouldn't have some fun with these.  I think it would be a great gift for that (hard to buy for) curious child.....or brainy child.....or child that has too many video games....that quiet child.....that busy child....

I think you get my idea.

I think it might even be something that working parents could to have on hand for fun/learning activities that they could do with the kids on the weekends.  I guarantee you the parents will learn something too....unless they already work in a salt mine....or something.

There are other kinds of Boxes of I.D.E.A.S. available like, World War II, Laundry, Quilting, or the Eleven box. The Eleven box has 11 activities and isn't just on one subject.  It covers things like Eleven Oscars (Academy Awards), Eleven Secret Spices, and the Apollo Eleven space mission.  That one sounds really cool!

They have some new ones coming up that sound fun too and will be worth checking out.  Like Kitchen, Mystery, Pearl Harbor, and Olives.

See what other TOS reviewers thought of their Box of I.D.E.A.S.

Disclaimer:  I received the Salt Box of I.D.E.A.S for free, in exchange for an honest review.