"A Love for Learning" Educational Consulting - who is also a consultant for Usborne and Kane Miller books - will be providing us with the book of our choice each month to review. I'll be sharing my thoughts on how it helped with our homeschooling, and I'll be having the kids contribute when appropriate.
We've always been big fans of Usborne books, and it seems like as the kids get older, there are just more and more unique, interesting titles to choose from. Since Noah is really interested in inventions right now, that seemed like a great place to start. For additional information on this book or other Usborne and Kane Miller titles, you can visit Jan's online bookstore.
The Story of Invention
by Anna Claybourne & Adam Larkum
When I first saw this title, I thought it sounded like the perfect book to kick off our unit study on inventions - and it was! Noah went through a stage of avid reading where he tore through Magic Tree House books at record speed, but since then his interest has waned a bit. He has a strong preference for non-fiction, and since he's really into inventions right now, this book really helped to rekindle his interest in reading.
It arrived while we were wrapping up our unit studies on money and cars, and I thought we'd put it aside for a few weeks - but Noah had other plans. For at least a week, he carried it with him everywhere, reading it in the car and sharing interesting tidbits with me as we drove along. I loved that it held his interest enough to read it on his own, but I also wanted to sit down and read through it with him so I had a good basis for my review.
Once I did, I could see why he liked it so much. It's organized by topic - communication, medicine, machines, etc. - with each section being only a few pages long. This makes it easy to read a little at a time, which is good because there's quite a lot of detail on each topic. Each section follows the evolution of the invention using general dates, allowing the reader to follow the chronology without being overwhelmed with the dates of each small progression. The colorful illustrations bring the inventions to life and add a good bit of humor, which I know he liked.
The back of the book features a large, one-page timeline that plugs in many of the inventions featured in the content. Being a visual learner, I really appreciated the perspective of seeing the timeline of the inventions in relation to each other. There is also a comprehensive glossary with definitions for many of the words that may be new to young readers.
Overall, I'm thrilled with how this book captured Noah's interest and with the level of information provided. It's definitely been a great introduction to the topic of inventions and has given us many ideas for moving forward with our study.
I really liked it. My favorite was the self-cleaning house. It was interesting what they had in the past. The page about the crazy inventions was really funny.