I must confess first off, when I was contacted to review Team Challenges by Kris Bordessa, I was a little sceptical. I wasn’t quite sure it would be a good fit for a homeschooling family, especially one leaning towards unschooling. I expected a bunch of recycled indeas and the usal teacher/student instructions.
Boy, was I surprised.
First, when I got my hands on the book, I noted how professionally made it was. It’s about eight by ten, with a nice glossy cover and at least a half-inch thick. Even though it has regular binding on it, it still manages to lay flat, which is a good thing for a fun book like this.
In the first chapter, Kris talks about creativity, cooperation and communication. I consider myself and our family highly creative people. There were enough good points, that had I underlined all the ones I liked, the page would be half-covered.
Some might be tempted to thumb through the book and start in the middle. I would really suggest reading the first few chapters, as they have quite a gold-mine of tips within. Not only is this book good for people who work with groups of children (it made me actually wish I was back helping Brownies!) I can see how it would help *any* family group learn how to work together and have fun. Like the next step up from Family Game Night. I immediately thought of at least two families that I know who would enjoy this book.
We have done an activity similar to these before, and Ron has done something similar in one of his classes. Using straws, toothpicks, tape, paper and strawberry gummi candies, he had his students build either a structure to hold a book or a bridge.
Kris has a chapter on activities that are more improvisational or drama oriented, which personally appealed to me. There’s also a long list of answers that participants have to think of the questions for. I tried some on my children.
“The answer is ice cream.” I said. I got a blank stare from Addison, until he finally said “I’m eighteen. I’m exempt.” I looked at Meaghan and she said, ‘What’s for breakfast?” with a grin. Fair enough.
So you can see from the above, it is not just book with one kind of activity inside, repeated a hundred different ways. There is quite a wide variety to appeal to all kinds of learning styles. I can also see how things like vague, open-ended activities and/or a small time frame could turn off some participants. As with everything else, you could adjust that to your needs.
If you stop by Kris’s blog, you can request a FREE copy of her e-book, Ten Minute Tasks. It’ll give you a great idea of what her book is about. And I know my readers like free stuff.
(cross-posted to both blogs)