Our Family

Our Family

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Box of I.D.E.A.S

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Box of IDEAs is a company dedicated to creating delightful interactive learning modules centered around random sub-ject areas.   Designed to get children ages 9-16 off the computer and around the table, Box of IDEAS is a great supplement to your current curriculum, summertime learning,  homeschool group learning, or just a break from the normal routine.  Available Box of IDEAS include: World War Two, Eleven, Salt, Quilting, and Laundry.  Each Box of IDEAS id easily portable, filled with interesting topic based learning activities, contains 10 or more modules and portfolio pieces for students to record their journey through the box, is packed with suggestions and researched web links for diving deeper into the topic, and contains a timed SAT style test.  Box of IDEAS is available as a physical product or a PDF download.  We received the PDF download of the Salt Box of IDEAS to use and review. 


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 From the website: " Our Salt Box of IDEAs is a comprehensive look at salt and how it has helped to shape history, nourish our bodies and even build and destroy empires. This Box delves into history, geography, science, language, political systems and much more. Salt—something that your children see and probably use every single day—can be a wonderful stepping stone to opening their minds to so very much."  The Salt Box of IDEAS includes the following modules:

The History of Salt- this module shows an overview of the many ways salt has had an influence on the world
The Science of Salt- bring science into your home through experiments with salt
The Salt March- an entre into the history of India and Mahatma Ghandi
Salt of the Earth- investigate the highest and lowest salt producing countries in the world
Need For Salt- learn how much salt your body needs
Preserving With Salt- learn about food safety and preservation
Too Much Salt- learn about salt lakes and their functions
The Wall That Salt Built- learn about the importance of salt in building the Great Wall  of China
Where Salt Lives- this module takes your children to all the places salt is found
The Language of Salt- an overview of how salt helped to develop many common sayings, names, and words

All of the modules are stand alone and can be completed in any order. Most of the modules only require a pen or pencil to complete if additional supplies are needed it is noted.  If you purchase the PDF you will also need scissors .

You can purchase the Salt Box of IDEAS as a PDF download for $49.00, or as a physical box for $79.00.  You can also purchase extra student modules for the physical box for $4.00.

Here is an example of the module The Salt of the Earth (I did not print out the instructions page)

The first page has a few short paragraphs of information to read, 3 suggested learning extensions, and 3 weblinks to do further research.  The 2nd page is the portfolio page which for this module included a bar graph to fill in and some math questions to answer.


These pages contain a numbered map, a page with numbered squares, and a page of squares showing how much salt each country produces.  The first task is for the children to locate each country on the map and put the corresponding card on the matching number for the country.  Then, you remove the cards and put them in order by salt production.  Then the child fills out the bar graph with the top 8 salt producing nations and answer the math questions.
 Nick is finishing up his bar graph.

Quite honestly, I have never given salt a whole lot of thought before.  Who knew there were so many interesting things you could learn about salt?  The interesting thing is that through using the Box of IDEAS, you learn much more than just the topic you select.  History, geography, science, math, language arts, health were all learned around the topic of salt.  My 10 year old son enjoys learning (and memorizing) facts about various things we studied, and he found the history of salt the most fascinating topic that we covered. 

When I found out we were getting the PDF version of the Salt Box of IDEAS, I was a little disappointed mostly because one of the greatest things about the idea behind this product is that everything is separated and ready to go with no work from mom involved.  But, there are some benefits to the PDF version.  It obviously is a cost savings of $30.  I did not spend $30 printing the modules out although it does take quite a lot of colored ink. It does take a little bit of preparation to get everything printed and cut out.   With the PDF you can also make as many copies as you want and you have the ability to use the product again (possibly with younger siblings as they get older) in the future.  With a PDF download, you also have access to the product immediately.

I think the Box of IDEAS products would be great in a co-op setting.  It suits a wide age range, has fun hands on activities, and doesn't require a lot of preparation.

To see what other crew mates had to say click here.

Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary PDF download of the Salt Box of IDEAS for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation.



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