My older children grew up going on adventures with Ms. Valerie Frizzle and The Magic School Bus and they are sure she would think that Professor Ana Lyze (Expert in Outlandish Oddities) is a long lost cousin, or in the least, a forever friend with a kindred spirit. They both delight in exploring, learning and teaching children, but there is a significant difference in the heart of Professor Ana Lyze. Here’s an excerpt from a letter of introduction, from the professor:
Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Professor Ana Lyze… My research team and I specialize in the obscure, the abnormal, and bizarre.
Outlandish insects, rare diseases, unique gems, and more. There are things in God’s creation that you’ve never seen before!
…read, learn and research The Curiosity Files.
Professor Ana Lyze
She acknowledges God and gives Him the glory!
We first “met” Professor Ana Lyze, when we were given The Curiosity Files: Blue Diamond, to read and review. This is an 88 page eBook, from The Old Schoolhouse (R) Magazine.
Because of the professor, my children found it appealing from the first page. It is presented in an easy-conversation style. The Curiosity Files are ideal for ages 8 – 13, but there are enough internet resources, video links and options for older learners included, that it wasn’t difficult to stretch the age below or beyond and still keep everyone interested.
Currently, there are 9 curious unit studies available from TOS –
- Blue Diamond
- Blue-footed Booby
- Cicada Killing Wasp
- Dung Beetle
- Puffer Fish
- Red Tides
- Zombie Fire Ants
But, there are others in development, already. If you have an oddity you’d like Professor Ana Lyze to sort out for you, she’s a contributor to The Curiosity Files facebook page, and I know she’d like to hear from you.
Blue Diamond is a thorough study of… you guessed it, diamonds. Especially, those rare diamonds that are formed when boron mixes with the carbon, the blue diamond. “It is estimated that for every 10,000 clear diamonds, the earth produces one colored one.” One of the most famous blue diamonds, The Hope Diamond, is highlighted in history. Bible scripture is referenced and adroitly woven throughout the unit. The subjects tie into one another, seamlessly.
Diamond –> Blue Diamond –> the Hope Diamond –> our greatest Hope/Jesus Christ
There are puzzles, maps, quizzes, worksheets, games; crafts and experiments – with Notebook and Lapbook instruction, covering writing, math, vocabulary and spelling, history, geology and Bible study.
More than 20 websites are listed for more fact finding. My older children researched the conflict/war diamonds of Sierra Leone and Angola.
Blue Diamond was especially interesting to us, because my children’s grandfather was a gemstone cutter for 5 years and then a diamond tool cutter for another 30 years. “Diamonds are extremely hard and focus light well, therefore everyone from computer manufacturers to military contractors are interested in them.” This gave my children the why to go with the what they knew their grandfather had done. We have a couple of old, uncut and unpolished diamonds and one, small round cut, set in a shank, that we studied under a magnifying glass.
Between the academics, reinforcement activities and the discussions on Biblical grace and hope; our family heritage and work ethics, and the true cost of blood diamonds, this was an exceptional unit study.
All eBooks published by The Old Schoolhouse (R) Magazine have a 7-day money back guarantee. The Curiosity Files are available in 9-pack CD-Rom ($49.) and 9-pack instant download ($46.); they are also sold separately. Check TOS store for individual pricing though, because every time I turn around they’re having a sale or promotion on something and the prices are cut. Sweet deals!
Go to The Homeschool Crew Blog to read reviews of the other Curiosity Files.
This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog. The opinions expressed are my own.