The Curiosity Files - Platypus Unit Study Review

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I was recently given the opportunity to review the Platypus edition of The Curiosity Files series from The Old Schoolhouse. While I have used TOS materials in the past, I was not aware of The Curiosity Files and I must say, "Boy, have I been missing out"! There are currently 11 editions in the series, ranging in price from $1 to $6.95 for each downloadable e-book. The Platypus edition is $6.95.

Explorations With Professor Ana Lyze—Expert in Outlandish Oddities

 While this fun, yet educational, unit study is intended for ages 8 to 13, my 3 year old enjoyed it immensely and has a new found fascination for this curious creature. One of the things I absolutely love about this unit study is that it can be used for more than one grade level, and the activities are broken down for Elementary and Middle/High school. I also love that scripture is incorporated into the study, and the fact that the KJV is used (unless otherwise stated), makes me thrilled to use it for Bible study and copy work. The graphics are amazing and really brings this e-book to life. This study covers Science, History, Math, Geography, Spelling, Vocabulary, Bible, Writing, Memorization, Games, Activities,  links for further study & more. I can't wait to organize it into a lapbook. It's hard for me to believe that they packed so much great information into 87 pages! I can honestly say that there is not one thing that I disliked about this e-book and highly recommend it.

A few amazing facts my children learned about the platypus:

  • The male can deliver venom via a spur located on their hind feet.
  •  They are in the Monotremata order which means they are mammals that lay eggs!

  • They have a special sense called "electroreception" that they use to locate their prey (mostly shrimp, worms, and other small animals).

  • They are the only mammals that swim by rowing with their webbed front feet.

Want to know more about this awesome animal? Find it HERE at Ordering is easy and PDF's are available for download upon checkout.

Some other editions in the Curiosity Files series (not all inclusive):

If you have time, be sure to check out what else The Old Schoolhouse has to offer. You'll be glad you did!

Interested in subscribing to The Old Schoolhouse magazine? Click HERE to find out how you can get 19 FREE gifts along with a new or renewed subscription. Hurry! The deal won't last forever!

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Destination Davenport

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Tomorrow, we are headed to the Putnam Museum in Davenport, IA to see Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.

My oldest was a bit distraught when we missed out on seeing the exhibit when it was in Columbus, OH at COSI, which is way closer than Iowa. But, due to bedrest and whooping cough,it couldn't be helped so I was rather relieved to find a location so close. I say "close", because besides Iowa, my other choices were: London, Nevada, Brazil, and Canada. Compared to those locations, Iowa is close!

While I have traveled extensively with my older three children, this will be the longest road trip that my two youngest have ever been on. My van is packed from one end to the other with luggage, snacks, toys, books on Playaways, movies, games, Nintendos, and who knows what else. I look at all the things my 5 children will have to keep them occupied and wonder how I ever got by with just looking out my window when I was a child. Does anybody else remember playing "I Spy" or watching license plates? I can almost guarantee that after a couple of hours, at least one of them will say the inevitable, "MOM, I'm bored". 

Partially packed

After searching for hotel accommodations for almost 2 hours, I finally found one that would allow 6 people in one room. It is over an hour away from our final destination, but thank goodness for Baymont Inn & Suites in Peoria, IL!  I am finding that the best way for us to go, although a bit pricey, is to get 2 room suites. I recently joined AAA again so at least I get somewhat of a break on hotel rooms. I would be interested in hearing how other large families handle this dilemma, so feel free to leave comments!

For those of you interested in doing a Titanic Lapbook or unit study, here are some great educator guides:

Currclick Curriculum has an 11 page lapbook kit, downloadable PDF, currently on sale for only $2.00. Click HERE for more information, or to purchase.

 I will be posting trip pictures and a review of the exhibit when we get back. For now, it's off to bed. Five a.m. comes rather early!

Rebecca St. James CD Giveaway


My friend, over at Alive in Spirit is currently hosting a giveaway to win the newst Rebecca St. James CD: I Will Praise You. Check out her review and then enter for a chance to win your own copy. Winner will be chosen at 9pm EST on April 10, 2011. U.S. entries only. Click HERE to be taken to her blog.

My Newest Addition - HP G62

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My husband has been talking for months about how he needs a new chain saw. He's not joking, either. He really does "need" a new chain saw. When you live in the country like we do, there is always a use for one and having a new one would sure make life easier for my husband. We do have one (at least I think we still have one), but even after several visits to the repair shop, it refuses to work like it is supposed to. Or at all.

But, my husband didn't buy his chain saw. He bought me a laptop. And who says he's not romantic??? (Hmmmm, that would be me, myself, and I.) Romance, showmance.....I'd take a laptop over roses any day. I am still more than a bit surprised that it is here in my grubby little hands!

After much research, I decided on the HP G62. The price was right, shipping was free, and several upgrades were included. While I didn't get everything I really wanted in a laptop, I at least got what I "needed" which is more I can say for my husband. Every time I use my computer, I think about that chain saw so I hope he is able to get one sooner rather than later so I can stop feeling guilty about loving my new laptop so much. Hard to believe a chain saw cost as much as a computer, or vice versa. I've been using it for about 3 days, and I am still learning my way around Windows 7. I'm not sure yet if I like it or not. I feel that way about each Windows upgrade though, and 7 does have some great features. Specs said that the battery life was over 4 hours, but my experience has been about 2 which is still much better than the 15 minute life of my old laptop, a Toshiba Satellite A105,  which is now in the possession of my daughter. My 11 year old son, who is turning into a major computer geek (said lovingly by his mother) is majorly jealous that I am in possession of a) a new laptop and b) a laptop running Windows 7. The G62 is MUCH lighter than the Satellite, which is definitely a plus as well.

Now that I have a system that actually works like it's supposed to (unlike said chain saw), I'm looking forward to being able to post on a regular basis again! That's a difficult thing to do on a system that's always bogged down and getting hung up. So, to my "unromantic" husband, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

Spouting off on Facebook

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Over the past year, Facebook has turned into something that I can't imagine my life without. Pitiful, huh? It's how I stay in touch with friends and family both near and far. It's where I vent and (gasp) gossip. I never really have gotten into any of the games (I waste enough time on FB as it is!) but it is nice to just hang out for awhile and chat with friends or browse for coupons or giveaways, and look at pictures posted by friends. I've even been known to chat with my teenage daughter in the next room.

That is, I used to. Until this past Friday, when the Facebook powers-that-be decided to disable her account for a reason unknown to us. I've read their rules, and as far as I can tell, my daughter has not violated any of them. She used her real name, her real age, and her real email address. She never spammed anybody. Never posted any inappropriate pictures. But, for some reason, without warning, her account is gone. I, myself, emailed Facebook to try to get some answers and I was told that because my daughter is 13, there are privacy laws to protect her. She had to email them herself. WHAT? Thirteen, people! I'm all for privacy, but as far as I am concerned, my daughter's business is my business, privacy issues or not.

 So, here it is 3 days and 5 emails later, and still no answers. Come on Facebook. What's your deal? Who is running the show, anyway? Actually finding an email address to contact FB about the issue took me over an hour. Now that it is a company worth billions of dollars, I'm sure that they actually don't care enough about "customer service" to make access to account help easy. Companies get big, and they all of a sudden forget about the peons who got them where they are today. There is no such thing as "customer service" nowaways. I know, I know.....get off of my soap box, right? It just really gets my goat that there are little kids with Facebook accounts because their parents set them up with one under false information, and they get to keep their accounts. Theirs aren't being disabled because mommy lied and said they graduated in early 2000. Daddy lied and provided employer information. Come on FB, can't you see by their profile picture that they barely finished teething? Why aren't their accounts disabled? I thought 13 was the minimum age???  And, that's not even including all the accounts people have for their pets. Since when does Fido need a social networking site?

I am so frustrated, but what can I do? They just don't care and who plays fair anymore, right? Certainly not Facebook. And, to those of you reading this and saying to yourself, "for Pete's sake, just open another account" - once your account has been disabled, you may not activate another account unless you have the permission of FB to do so. Privacy policies or not, I am going to keep fighting for my daughter's right to have her account reactivated until I get my own account disabled. Then, the two of us can go to Facebook Withdrawal Support Group together! LOL Does anybody want to join us?

Until next time, poke, poke, poke!