Saturday, January 22, 2011

Magnificent Moon Download N Go Review

Moon by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

I see the moon and the moon sees me...
God bless the moon and God 
bless me!

I have always loved looking at the moon.  There is nothing like a crisp September night with the smell of leaves on the air and a huge orange harvest moon rising.  Or how about the cold clear winter nights with a hazy full moon turning the snow glistening blue-white.

We were very excited to try out one of the newest Download N Go products, Magnificent Moon.  Chock full of lunar knowledge, such as the Apollo missions, moon science, physics, and the history of astronomy, you will love this unit study!  There is a touch of the unexpected, here, as well.  Math, Bible, and lots of copywork.  These unit study lapbooks are wrote by Amanda Bennett and you can buy it for $7.95 at Amanda Bennett's website.

We enjoyed learning about an astronaut each day, and were surprised to find that so many of them were Christians.  You can even keep your own little journal of moon observations for the week.  This would be especially suited to those who like longer studies, since it would be more effective to observe the moon each night for a month, and record all of the changes.   We learned that there aren't just phases that change, but also the location of the moonrise and the timing changes, with the seasons and months.

One thing you will notice if you buy very many Download N Go units is how comprehensive they are.  There is something here for every child.  These unit studies are designed for children in grades K-4, but they are easily stretched a bit for kids who are younger or older.  You can pick and choose the parts you want to use according to your child's abilities and interests.  Magnificent Moon includes simple word searches, copywork, math story problems, lapbook pieces, worksheets to fill in, pictures to draw, and hands-on experiments.

Egg experiment by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere
Egg experiment success! by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere

We did this fun experiment to prove one of the basic laws of motion- an object at rest stays at rest.  Hit the plate off the glass, and the egg falls into the cup.  Success!!

One of the neat things about Magnificent Moon is the nice combination of subjects which will appeal to a lot of different interests.  There are rockets and astronauts for the little boys, and things like moon phases for the little scientist.  I thought that CJ might be the only one to truly enjoy this download, but they Bop loved it as well.  Of course, she always likes the drawing pages but she actually liked the rocket-and-astronaut stuff too.  Just goes to show you how easily we can short-change our kids by putting them in boxes!  The only thing that did not go over so well with them?  Copywork.  I decided that they needed to do copywork every day this week, and Bop was less then thrilled.  I thought it was great, though!  :)

I thought that in this review I could answer one of the common questions about using the Download N Go unit studies.
How do you deal with all the printing?  
Well, there is a lot of printing with a Download N Go.  Actually, there's a lot of printing with most digital unit studies, unless you are sitting at the computer to do them. And that is exactly how Download N Gos work for us.

I sit down and go through the study before we start and print off all the pages I want.  I generally try to do this on Thursday or Friday the week before, so I can be all ready.  I start with day one and I just go through and find anything that I know I want them to do- for us this means drawing pages, lapbook pieces, puzzles (like crosswords) and some of the worksheet pages.  I typically stick to the workbook pages with the most 'meat' to them.  That helps me avoid printing off the WHOLE thing.  Which I would love to do, but can't afford.  :)  And while that would be great, you don't need to do that to enjoy these great learning tools.

Then when it is time to do that day's lesson, we just pull up the unit and read through it.  We can use the links that way, and when we get to a page that I have printed off, I just have them take them to the table to do.  Some other things you can do to save ink and paper:

Bop doing a Download N Go by warmfuzzies, on Pix-O-Sphere
  • Print in black and white (especially for worksheets)
  • Use the 'draft' printing option
  • Print worksheets and other 'throw-away' things on the back side of already-used paper
  • Only print off those things that you know your kids will use
  • Have your children answer the worksheet-type questions verbally

I received this product free of charge 
for review purposes. I promise to be honest and fair in my reviews, and I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. You can visit the Download-N-Go blog to read more reviews on this product.


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