Saturday, April 10, 2010

When I grow up, I wanna be... a Firefighter!

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Proverbs 1:7

What do YOU want to be when you grow up? Well, if you are 4 or 5, probably everything. Bop is going to be a cowgirl- princess-doctor, and CJ is definitely going to be a policeman that also fights fires. So last week's study was perfect for him.

When I grow up, I want to be... A Firefighter!

We were using the Firefighter study in The Old Schoolhouse's "Wanna Be" series. This series includes several different career choices that are exciting for children to consider. The books in this series are $8.95 each, and include studies on farmers, doctors, artists, and police officers, along with several more. They are also available as a set, including all ten of the units.

The study starts out with an introduction, and then jumps right into the material for the student. We first read about the history of firefighting, and it was brief yet thorough. I found several things there I didn't know! We went on to learn about firefighting equipment and building codes. Other sections included more about the life of firefighters, including salary and training.

One large section that surprised me was about robotics. It was a great fit for a firefighting unit, and it included examples, pictures, and directions for building your own model robotic arm.

There are enough literature and math activities to make this a truly complete unit study, with no extra planning needed. However, there are lists of additional resources, Internet links and suggested books, if you want to dig deeper. I was impressed by the long list of vocabulary words, and the copy-work and crossword puzzle added a fun touch. All answers are included in the back of the e-book, so there is no extra work for mom.

As we started using the unit, I noticed right off that this study, while aimed for ages 4-10, was a little too old for Bop and CJ. The math and literature was much too complicated, so unfortunately we had to skip it completely. I was impressed by the scope of the copy-work, however, which included phrases and single words, in both manuscript and cursive. Bop enjoys copying words, so that was fun for her.

The other activities, such as the crossword puzzle and the word search were also geared for older children, but they looked perfect for memorizing terms and spellings. We enjoyed coloring the special pictures of a Dalmatian and a fire 'apparatus' (They aren't called fire trucks- one of the things I learned) . But the best part was hiding at the end of the study- party time! Everything you need for your very own firefighting party, including tons of fun games and great snack ideas! Exactly what is called for to celebrate the end of a unit study.

It ended up being a subject we all enjoyed learning about (even the cowgirl princess) and it was a very complete and broad-scoped unit. I was disappointed that there was so much we couldn't do, but if you have older children I would highly recommend this series. And you can be sure that your younger ones can be included in a lot of it, too.

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