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The Daily Bird Bundled Set Review by Krystin Corneilson

Brandenburg Studies

Nature studies are such a fun way to learn science, either as stand-alone curriculum or to complement (or take a break from!) another course. The Daily Bird Bundled Set from Brandenburg Studies offers 10 mini-unit studies in one. Each two-week segment includes lesson plans, instructor notes, and easy-to-read information focusing on one type of bird. Some of the birds covered in the bundle are the bluebird, cardinal, blue jay, hummingbird, red-headed woodpecker, bald eagle, and peacock. There are reading comprehension questions as well as pages for copywork, notebooking, and coloring. The resources also include suggested literature and video supplements and project ideas. Most of the mini-units contain Web-linked instructions for making a keepsake lapbook of the information learned.

The Daily Bird is aimed at elementary students and is flexible enough for use with a single student or for teaching multiple-levels and/or students simultaneously. The lessons are well written and include enough cool stuff to keep everyone engaged. The various copywork and notebooking pages cover the needs of students just learning to write as well as those of advanced students. The colorful photographs of the birds are beautiful, and the maps of where to find the birds are useful and interesting. The additional resources, such as audio and video clips of the birds' voices and flight patterns, games, information on building birdhouses, etc., offer opportunities to tailor the studies to the specific needs and interests of the student or students.

Brandenburg Studies is a Christian homeschool business that is family-owned. Their unit studies, which are Web-interactive, are updated every six months and those revisions are available to anyone who purchased the lesson in the past.

I really like practical, affordable, and non-consumable curricula. My Daily Bird fits that description and is an easy option for me since they have done all of the research, found beautiful photographs and other online resources, and developed reading comprehension questions. We live in the country and have abundant bird watching opportunities year-round, so promoting this life-long hobby is fun and practical.

I did encounter a couple of issues. A few of the files that I downloaded were corrupt. However, Brandenburg's customer service quickly responded with files that worked.

Also, many of the notebooking pages and some of the reading comprehension pages had spacing issues, such as pictures that were bumped partially off the page or were in the middle of the writing space. However, as a graphics layout person, I know those things are an easy fix.

For my kids, I am pretty sure we will use all of the lessons in the bundle. They may make one big notebook, or they may decide to make a lapbook or two. That flexibility is a plus for The Daily Bird. I also know that much of what my kids learn in this series will stay with them, and that too makes it a worthwhile experience.

Product review by Krystin Corneilson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2011