I stalked the mailbox waiting for this country crate. For review purposes, I was given this product for free and I was paid for my time. However, paid for my time does not mean paid off. All opinions are my own and I will always tell you what is on my mind. Not every product gets a positive review. But because I carefully sort through numerous offers for reviews, it usually means that I’m giddy about the product when I do accept it. Read my full disclosure here.
Science intimidates me, but I’ve always managed to teach it through one of my other strengths. So when I had a chance to shake up STEAM with geography by receiving a country crate about Poland from STEAMworld, I jumped at the chance. I can’t wait to tell you about the country crate, tell you what you get in one, and how I used it.
First, though, I don’t want you to miss both the sweet discount and giveaway at the bottom. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway and use the discount code.
After reading recently that STEAM jobs are on the increase, I’ve been looking for easy ways to incorporate science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics in my unit studies, but that takes a lot of time.
Too, nothing takes the steam (corny pun – I couldn’t resist) more out of a hands-on project then missing items to do them with.
Knowing that the crate comes with everything that we need in it to learn about Poland is a huge time savings tip.
Right now 3 countries are available: Poland, Japan, and Morocco with more coming!
(Confession – the paper and template for the rooster are missing in the picture because Tiny couldn’t wait to get started.)
Look at what you get in each crate:
- materials for a math project,
- materials for a science project,
- materials for an art project,
- materials for an engineering project,
- one student activity book, which includes instructions for all STEAM projects, and
- one country scrapbook style guide, which includes back ground information, fast facts and landmarks about a country.
What you do not get in a crate are items you normally would have in your homeschool room like rulers, pens, pencils, scissors and glue.
One of the things I like most about the crate and ideas for each subject is that they were uncomplicated and not lengthy.
It has just the right amount of laid out activities without telling you what to do each day.
If you’re new to unit studies, you may want a unit study that is more comprehensive, but that can also be overwhelming.
Right now in this season of my homeschooling, I want the freedom and wiggle room to learn at our pace without day to day lesson plans.
For example, for the first week and half or so we worked on the art project.
Look at my post Polish Paper-Cutting (Wycinanki): Day 10 Hands-on Learning.
The student activity book, or guide, has one or two pages of explanation with a hands-on project.
After reading the art activity, we took our time working on the art project. After learning about the beautiful art of polish paper cutting, we researched art patterns as well as read about the history of Poland.
In addition to the 8-page student activity book, the 4-page scrapbook style country guide has background information and quick facts about Poland.
Then, we took another couple of weeks watching a few YouTube videos and reading books from the library.
Both guides are springboards if you want to research and read longer about a topic like we did.
What I also like is that each project your child can work on independently. While I love teaching my kids at the middle school and high school level, I know it’s important to choose resources that support a child’s natural desire to learn independently.
Having each day’s lesson plans laid out is not exactly the way to do that.
Instead, giving your child guidance, some background information, and bringing the information together under a geography topic gives a middle school or high school student a beginning point.
Having an idea for each subject in a geography unit study also keeps your geography study balanced. Following a unit study approach means that you normally want some starting point for subjects about a topic and it means to introduce it in a balanced way.
I know I’ve been guilty of being unbalanced while covering unit study. While there is nothing wrong with digging deep on a topic you and your kids are excited about, a few subjects could be overlooked.
Using STEAMworld, gave us not only ideas to cover more in-depth, but hands-on projects for each subject.
I’ve confessed that when the boys were little that I took a hands-off approach to teaching because it either intimidated me or sounded like a lot of work for maybe a little return.
After homeschooling longer, you learn that kids retain information better when they are engaged and through hands-on projects. However, the next mistake in learning how to teach unit studies is that you can complicate hands-on projects. It’s almost enough to make you quit unit studies.
That is another reason I’m tickled to use the the country crates. Simple, but meaningful projects while learning about Poland keeps unit studies from being either boring or overly complicated.
However, the best reason I love STEAMworld is the focus on STEAM.
When it comes to geography and history it’s our first love; I can easily add in more content. But my boys have always loved science and want more ideas when we are doing unit studies.
STEAMworld may be a good fit for your family:
►If you love STEAM and want to include a framework for geography and history with it.
►If you love STEAM and want to fold it into your unit studies.
►If you want all the important supplies for hands-on projects at your finger tips and not have to worry about gathering all of them.
►If you love in-depth geography and history and prefer to add it yourself while having ideas for STEAM.
►If you prefer to have a beginning point and an easy hands-on idea for each subject in STEAM.
►If you want to encourage your kids to work more independently in unit studies, the guides are not bulky, but helpful and simple.
►If you prefer to do your own in-depth planning and don’t need to be told what to do day to day.
►If you don’t want to come up with a hands-on idea for Science,Technology, Engineering, Art or Math. An idea is provided for each subject tied to the country you’re studying.
►If you have multiple ages of children and want them to work together on a topic, but not necessarily on the same lesson. There is enough wiggle room in the guides to allow each child to work on a sub-topic that may interest each one.
I think you’ll love these country crates and I can’t wait to see the other country crates that are released.
What I love too is when a company is generous and hosts a sweet giveaway in addition to giving you a discount.
Be sure to enter the giveaway because there will be two winners and you have several chances to win. You never know; you may win. Don’t forget to use the coupon, as well as to share with your friends.
Hope you win!
How to purchase it.
►Product Name: STEAMworld Country Crates. Includes everything needed to do the activities. Materials included for science, math, art and engineering. Basic homeschool supplies like scissors, glue, tape and pencils are not included in the country crate. There is a duo option for extra material to include siblings.
►Website: STEAMworld Learning.
►Suitable for grades: 4th to 8th, but so it’s so flexible to include all of your children.
►Format: A physical product that will be shipped to you.
►Cost: $39.95. Remember to use the code: steam2017 for a discount.
You may also love reading 5 BEST Books to Create an Around the World Unit Study (and Hands-on Activities), Geoscavenge – A Rock and Mineral Hunt: Day 6 Hands-on Learning and 11 AWESOME Ways to Learn Geography (Other Than Labeling a Map).
Hugs and love ya,
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