The crazy life of the ClarkClan. Living a life of grace through Jesus Christ.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Curiosity Files: Quicksand

     As the theater darkens and the opening scene of the movies starts, the swashbuckling hero is seen running through the jungle when suddenly: QUICKSAND! As he rapidly starts sinking and your heart begins racing you suddenly remember: “Oh yeah, quicksand does not pull you down that fast and if he would just quit thrashing around he would be fine.”

    While this Curiosity Files: Quicksand, may make adventure movie watching not quite as much fun, you can be assured you will know a lot that you never knew ( or maybe never thought you wanted to know) about quicksand. This Unit Study from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is part of a new series called The Curiosity Files. The Curiosity Files are Explorations with Professor Ana Lyze, Expert in Outlandish Oddities. Professor Ana Lyze will guide you on a journey to discover and delve into topics never before imagined.  These studies are designed for ages 8-13 and can be easily adapted to include older and younger students for a whole family learning experience.

Curiosity Files

  • Blue Diamonds
  • Dung Beetle
  • MRSA
  • Puffer Fish
  • Red Tide
  • Zombie Fire Ants
  • Blue-Footed Booby
  • Cicada Killing Wasp
  • Quicksand


What the ClarkClan studied


     We were given the opportunity to choose one of these new Unit Studies to review. Looking over the topics I decided that Quicksand would appeal to my children. As a quick side note, we have already used two of these studies, so my children were very excited to be able to review a new one.  I have to admit that I was skeptical about how much could be learned about quicksand. Once again, I found that I had no need to worry. We learned a large amount from this study.

Everything You Never Wanted to Know

     As a Unit Study, the Curiosity Files cover many different aspects of learning.  As a parent, you get to decide how and when to present the information contained within the study.  Bible study, math, creative writing, spelling and vocabulary, copywork, science, geography, art, and music all combine to make up this complete study. If you want extras, book lists and web links are included.  The studies are easy to adapt to all learning styles and to your families preferences on how to present the material. Click here to view a sample of the Quicksand study and get a feel for how it is presented.

How the ClarkClan used it

      I had Sarah (13), Benjamin (9) and Rebekah (7)  use this unit study together. We usually met for an hour and a half to two hours a day for a week. This is an E-book and you can either read it all on the computer or print it off. I decided that the best option for us was to print it out and place it in a 3 ring binder.

     On the first day, we went through the section “Everything You Never Wanted to Know about Quicksand. This is in a question and answer format, so we invited one of Rebekah’s puppets to help and ask the questions that mom would then answer.  After this I gave them the “Let’s See How Much You’ve Learned…”papers and had them take this as a little quiz. They did seem to take in a lot of information and all of them did very well on the quiz.

   The bible study included in this study was based on Matthew 7: 24-27, the wise and foolish man. It was a study designed to teach your kids how and why to “build” your life on the Rock, Jesus Christ.


This study included a lot of science experiments. I have to say that this was my kids favorite part. We made our own “quicksand” with cornstarch and water. This fascinated all of us and we played with it for about 2 hours.




Another experiment involved viscosity. We were able to test various fluids viscosity. We used shampoo, conditioner, ketchup, laundry detergent, syrup and water.




     We spent one day doing the Geography activities. We made vocabulary books to help learn the different geography terms. Then we took the terms we learned and drew maps of a “made in our heads” place with all the geography features we studied. We also colored maps to show how much coastline the world has.

     I took the time to work with Ben and Rebekah on the creative writing assignment. Together we went through the information written and then came up with a short essay together. Since Sarah has written much more, I had her take the assignment and do it on her own.

     Sarah used the spelling and vocabulary list for the older students, while Ben and Rebekah used the list for younger students. I had them read the words out loud to me and they also completed the activities included in this section.  Ben was very happy to see a crossword puzzle as he loves to do those. I had Rebekah complete the Word Search.

    There were multiple activities to choose from for math. We learned to read Tide tables and answer questions based on those. Reading a TV Schedule was great practice for Ben and Rebekah. Sarah and Ben worked on “Quicksand Sinking Rates” together.

     Ben and Rebekah and I used two blocks as rhythm sticks and learned through music how to remember what to do if you ever get stuck in quicksand.

     We ended our study by making “Edible Quicksand” as a Friday afternoon treat. The kids had so much fun studying about quicksand that even now, 3 weeks after we completed the study, they are still using quicksand scenarios in their play.

     Just to give a quick overview of how much information this study contains, I want to say we did not use every activity available.  I did not have my kids complete the copywork pages or the art experiments. These were not bad activities it was just that there was so much I felt I could focus more on the science experiments that sparked my kids curiosity.

ClarkClan Recommendation

     We would highly recommend not only this Quicksand study, but any of the Curiosity Files. They are packed full of information and learning activities and makes for a fun, learning filled time.

How to Buy


The Curiosity Files are available from The Old Schoolhouse Store.

     To get the best deal on The Curiosity Files, you have two options: the CD of all nine units is available for $49, or you can get all nine units as downloadable E-Books for $46.  To purchase individually, please refer to The Old Schoolhouse Store website for pricing details. 

     Analyze the data for yourself and visit the Crew Blog to read what my Crew Mates thought about the Curiosity Files.  You can also follow Ana Lyze  and The Curiosity Files on Facebook.

As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of TOS Homeschool Crew I received the E-book The Curiosity Files: Quicksand for free from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine in exchange for my honest review of their product.


Pleasantly Peavey said...

Looks like a lot of fun. Red tides was pretty good too. I am now following you.

The Unsell Family said...

We reviewed the Quicksand too and loved it. The Quicksand Goo was our favorite part as well. :-)

Vickie said...

Funny! I was thinking like you....what could we really learn about quicksand so we opted for Blue Diamonds.

Guiding Light said...

Awesome review! This one sounds great too! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment!

Elizabeth Herr said...

Hi Jill, Thanks for visiting my blog. I really enjoyed reading your review and might just get this one for the kids : )