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 Jenny Higgins and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Nature Study and More with Rascal (E-Book) Review by Karen Yuen

Orrin Street Press

Nature study is something many of us who were traditionally schooled have never experienced, and yet it is so enriching for our students. So how can nature phobic homeschool parents include quality nature study in their student's curriculum? Orrin Street Press has come to the rescue with their Nature Study and More with Rascal e-book, retailing for only $7! By reading aloud the book, Rascal by Sterling North, parents and students are introduced to nature study via this e-book without even stepping outdoors!

Rascal is a delightful autobiography about Sterling North's adventures with his pet raccoon named Rascal in the early 1900s. This e-book nature study guide for Rascal covers animals and plants of Wisconsin, mapping exercises for Wisconsin and Europe, exploring how people lived at that time, drawing and sketching, enrichment activities, and more!

The study can be adapted to multiple ages, but it includes enough high-level thinking and activities to easily engage older students. As the book by North is read, Socratic questions and activities included in the e-book correspond to each chapter. Notebooking pages that support these activities are also included, and multiple copies can be easily printed to provide resources for all your students.

Although much about nature can be learned and appreciated from simply utilizing this resource, we were delighted to discover that our family became much more excited about exploring nature beyond our front door as we worked through this material! We are now including nature walks several times a week with our students on a nearby hiking trail. It's amazing how our eyes have been opened to God's creation around us!

The only difficulty with this study was locating the book itself, Rascal. The Orrin Street Press website does not sell the accompanying book, nor do they clearly state the novel's author. Although I later discovered the author's name in the e-book text, I initially had difficulty locating the correct book. And ultimately I had to contact the e-book publisher to get the correct title and author information before we could begin this nature study. It would have been helpful to have the book and author information clearly documented on the title page of the nature study e-book. However, once I had the correct author information, I was delighted to find the book readily available at our local library! The novel by Sterling North is quite well written, and it's great that Orrin Street Press wrote a nature study based on such excellent literature.

In all, I would recommend this study to others--especially for families that need a little help stepping into the wonderful world of nature study!

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