Friday, October 8, 2010

Who Doesn't Love a Field Trip?

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We sure do here! In fact, we just went on another one today to learn about how Native Americans lived long ago in Maine. It was so much fun! However, we had to drive almost two hours to get there and two hours home. While it was a great way to learn (so much hands-on stuff), it was a long day of driving.

This is one reason I was so happy to be reviewing The Digital Field Trip Series ($125 for the home version) put out by the neat folks over at Digital Frog. While Digital Frog is probably best known for its virtual frog dissection it has so many more neat products.

One of those products was this DVD series....    The Digital Field Trip Series. In this DVD were field trips to three unique ecological sites. One was to The Wetlands and one covered The Desert in five different locations while the last took us to The Rainforest ($60 for the home version if purchased individually).

My boys were very happy to see this arrive. I installed the programs directly to my hard drive and we all sat down and took a tour of the desert. What was neat about it was this...I didn't have to drive anywhere! Oh, and Maine is a little short on deserts. We actually do have one but it's located two hours south of where we live. It's the result of poor farming practices by the way.

The boys had a great time clicking through and learning things about cacti plants, animals, flora and fauna, and what makes a desert, well, a desert.

I was able to eventually walk away and let them play with it themselves. B14 did most of the mouse work and read everything aloud to his brothers. At the end of the trip there was even a game to play in which they had to put together their own desert ecosystem. It was neat since it would only work a certain way and they really had to use the knowledge they had learned by clicking through it all to figure out what to add and what was too much of one thing, etc and so on.

Given that my two older boys can read quite well on their own, I also allowed them turns going on trips alone - something I wouldn't ever do in real life! They enjoyed exploring each of the ecosystems presented in the DVD's.

Each field trip teaches the children about what makes that ecosystem unique. It discusses the various animals that live there and how they survive in that environment. The flora and fauna is also discussed.

Overall I thought these were a wonderful product and very well put together. While the price is a tad high for a lot of people ($125 for a DVD with all three products), it is high quality. I would recommend purchasing the home version especially if you were studying any of these ecosystems. It really brings it to life for the children and helps them to see how everything is dependent on everything else to survive in that environment.

Be sure to head over to the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to read what other Crew members had to say about the Digital Field Trip series.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for these review. All opinions shared are my own. TOS Crew Members are given the product free of charge in exchange for our unbiased opinion of the product.

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