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Captivating Clouds E-Book Review by Karen Yuen

By Cindy West and Melissa Leach
Shining Dawn Books, LLC

Captivating Clouds is a part of the NaturExplorers series of nature-based unit studies. Studying nature with children is always inspiring, but with this unit you will be encouraged to tackle topics that you may not have much previous knowledge of. Because the unit is sold as an e-book, you don't have to wait to start learning, and the Internet links throughout the study provide you with instant access to images of clouds and other details that make you an expert! The Charlotte Mason approach provides the novice with enough information about preparing for nature hikes without being overwhelmingly detailed. The unit includes some great nature study ideas that are easily adaptable to various ages, though it is designed for the elementary grades. Project ideas include cooking, hands-on arts and crafts, and written essays for older children. The e-book contains a useful section in the Appendix that explains how to set up a notebook to complement this study and beautiful notebook pages that are ready to print out and 3-hole punch! The Appendix also contains some nice articles about nature study to help prepare novices.

Other titles in the series include Fungus Among Us, Delightful Deciduous Trees, Spectacular Spiders, Frogs and Toads, Wonderful Wildflowers, Beautiful Birds, Everchanging Erosion, Butterflies Flutter By, Constant Conifers, and Fruits and Nuts, among others.

Captivating Clouds includes information about what clouds are, cloud formation, types of clouds, and using clouds to predict weather. In addition to this excellent scientific information, Cindy and Melissa include a wonderful Bible Lesson section that we found inspiring. We also loved the ideas for tying in poetry and artist and composer studies, as well as the suggested living books. The Internet-linked NaturExplorers Store contains information on setting up lesson plans and utilizing the units successfully. Also, you can purchase all the literature books that are recommended for use with each study at the NaturExplorers Store!

I highly recommend these well-structured and attractive unit studies, and I can't wait to use additional titles myself in the future. The unit is excellent and well worth the effort to study!

Product review by Karen Yuen, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2010