Box of I.D.E.As. is a company dedicated to creating delightful interactive learning modules centered around random subject areas. IDEAs stand for Ideally Dynamic Enrichment Activities. Explorers will be irresistibly drawn into critical thinking & knowledge building activities through an amazing variety of fun topics. Box of I.D.E.As. are ideal for teaching multi level students, focusing on ages 9 to 16. It’s designed to get kids off the computer and around the table. Box of I.D.E.As. are a great to supplement your current curriculum but can also be used for a homeschool group activity, summertime learning, or just a break from the normal routine.
Some great features of each Box of IDEAs:
* are easily portable---provide excellent waiting room and traveling activities to create learning opportunities on the go.
* are filled with interesting topic-focused activity based learning.
* contains 10 (sometimes more) modules with exercises designed around a captivating aspect of the Box Topic
* provides 10 (or more) portfolio pieces to record the student's journey through the Box.
* are packed with many additional ideas and suggestions for diving deeper into an area of interest.
* has a variety of thoroughly researched web links to encourage further exploration of the topics.
* A timed SAT style summary test (exam with answer key) is included in each box
Box of IDEAs topics include ...
* WWII Pearl Harbor
The "IDEA Learning System emphasizes hands-on exploration, enhanced concept retention, reasoning and critical thinking skills, building abstract understanding of scientific methods and processes, and applying understanding of scientific methods of processes, ect.".
For our review Box of IDEAs sent us their Salt Box of IDEAs. Salt may not sound like something interesting to learn about, but to our surprise it was indeed. Let me tell you all about it. The 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 “teaches your kids about the history, geography, science, language, political systems and much more” about salt. Salt is something that most children see and use every single day. The materials presented in this Salt Box can be a wonderful stepping stone to opening their minds to more things they have yet to discover.
The Salt Box comes in 2 different forms. We received the physical box. It came with 10 modules that were in individual zip baggies. Here is one of them with the activity pulled out (smaller bag):
Each module contained a page with a brief Introduction to the lesson.
On this introduction sheet there are Extensions (things your older students can do for research, writing reports, essays, ect. with their study on Salt). Within the extensions are Weblinks he or she can visit for doing the research/study. There’s also a student Portfolio (worksheet) to help them build a notebook.
As I mentioned before there are activities to wrap the study up. This could be in the form of a pack of activity cards (some with a game board) to play a game or a dry erase chart to fill out.
The price of the physical Salt Box of IDEAs is $79.00. There’s no need to buy any extra supplies because it comes with everything you need right in the box. There is also a PDF version of the Salt Box for $49.00 that you can download. If you decide to purchase this version do know there’s lots of printing to be done. The photos in our box are high quality and use lots of color ink. I’m pretty sure you will need cardstock to print out the activity/game cards that will also need to be cut out. If you have more than one child you want to use this with, you’ll want to know that there is only 1 portfolio worksheet per module. If you want a worksheet for each of your children to fill out then Box of IDEAs has extra Salt Box student modules for $4.00 each.
What kinds of things did we learn? Here are some to name a few:
The History Of Salt—a gateway to learning world history through the ages. Take a ‘salty journey’ through time!
The Science Of Salt—bring science into your home through experiments with salt. Make science FUN!
The Salt March—an entre into the history of India and Mahatma Ghandi, one of history’s most important figures.
The Geography of Salt—your children will love learning about their own country and those around the world as well.
We started out using one module a week for two weeks. My son was having so much fun that he kept wanting to know when we would do the next one. I ended up pulling out 2 a week from there. Taking a break from everything else to do a module were the highlight of the day. We have just about finished going through our Salt Box of IDEAs. It has been a fun family time for us. We were found saying “Interesting” or “Now I didn’t know that”. For our short review period I just read the introductions, we did a small amount of research, my son filled out his portfolio worksheet, and we did the activities. I plan to go through these again a few months down the road but turn them into a full unit study. The only con for me is the price. It’s a bit on the steep side and I know if someone had showed me the website I’d be wishing I had the money to pay the price they are asking for. My son wants to try another Box but it’s not in our budget. I don’t know how many homeschool families would be able to spend that much money but the concept of the boxes are GREAT in my opinion. Box of I.D.E.As. has a newsletter you can sign up for or you can find them on Facebook and Twitter. While you’re at it don’t forget to stop by the crew blog to read other Box of I.D.E.As. reviews.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions in this review are entirely my own. As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I was not paid to write this but received the “Box of I.D.E.As. Salt Box” at no cost to me for review purposes, and to give my honest opinion.