The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Tess Hamre and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

The Curiosity Files: Dung Beetle Review by Amy M. O’Quinn

Explorations with Professor Ana Lyze, Expert in Outlandish Oddities
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC
PO Box 8426
Gray, TN 37615

Okay, I'm impressed! When I put in my request to review an e-book about dung beetles, I didn't really know what I would be getting. I just thought my children would enjoy learning about such an interesting (and somewhat gross) critter, and I like to read science-based non-fiction about unusual topics myself. But all I can say is . . . WOW!

The folks at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine have put together a very thorough and fascinating resource that children and parents will love to use! And because kids like to delve into anything that smacks of being even slightly disgusting, an e-book about the dung beetle is sure to be a winner. Moreover, students will find Professor Ana Lyze, the team leader and "creator" of the Curiosity Files, to be quite informative and excited about her topic.

With 78 pages of information, activities, links, and ideas, The Curiosity Files: Dung Beetle e-book contains more than enough material to use as a complete unit study. The targeted age level is 8-13, but I think that both older and younger children would like this e-book as well. Included are:

  • Bible study and memory verses
  • Math, history, and geography investigations
  • Literature and suggested book list
  • Writing, spelling, and vocabulary activities
  • Beautiful copywork pages (manuscript and cursive)
  • Science observations, projects, and experiments
  • Discussion questions
  • Art, crafts, drawing, and coloring pages
  • Lapbook and notebook pages
  • A physical education activity
  • Internet resources and video links
  • Complete answer key

I learned that there are three types of dung beetles--rollers, tunnelers, and dwellers--and the different beetles are attracted to different types of dung or animal waste. All are in the Scarabaeidae family and are beneficial insects. I had no idea what an important role these tiny creatures play in the whole ecological scheme, but our God the Creator knew just what He was doing!

I also appreciated the Bible verse references that are scattered throughout the e-book. I think they really add to the study as they bring home the importance of hard work, diligence, and the knowledge that everything God created, no matter how small, has a purpose.

I plan to use this e-book sometime during the spring as a brief departure from our normal studies to provide a nice change for my children. I think they will really enjoy the topic and all the activities and ideas that are in the e-book. The legwork and planning have already been done for me, and I'm glad the authors included additional reading suggestions, website links, and an answer key for my convenience. I also want to get more of the e-books in this series, and I think the cost of the resource is very reasonable. One Curiosity Files e-book sells for $9.95, but The Old Schoolhouse store also offers bundles of six for $39.95. Downloads are available immediately after purchase.

If you're still not sure if this type of resource is for you, check out the website and download a sample. However, I think The Curiosity Files: Dung Beetle e-book is a fabulous find, and I can't recommend it highly enough. I'm pleased and impressed!

Product review by Amy M. O'Quinn, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2010