We have been using the Oaka Books Topic packs for a few years now and I am really enjoying the way the packs are growing with us. That might sound strange but what I mean is we can use the packs in different ways. Sometimes they start us off on a topic, sometimes they wrap up a topic, some packs I use with just 1 kid and other packs we use with both kids even though they are 3 academic years apart. I love that about these packs and recently I realized I can also use them in a slightly different way with my oldest. She is wanting to do more independent learning, so she wants to be largely left to cover a topic by herself and just come to me with questions when she needs too. I am thrilled and I want to encourage this more independent learning style but I also want to make sure she is understanding everything without interfering and making her feel like I don’t trust her to do the work (she is a very conscientious kid). I immediately thought of the games at the end of each Topic pack. They have always been a popular activity with both my kids and I have always felt like they were great at highlighting any area that the kids did not understand.
So once she finished the Digestion section in her Science book I asked her to go through the Digestion and Food Topic Booklet and Write your Own Notes.
Which she did and apart from checking 2 small things (the 2 sources used slightly different words) she was fine. I must point out she loved the last 2 pages in the Write your own notes she thought they were excellent and my youngest also loved the label the person’s digestion system diagram – he thought the diagram used was funny which means he will remember it.
Then onto the game and my chance to see how much she really has understood. It was perfect for us. We played the game together (I learnt a few new things) and we realized we needed to clarify one point which we then went and read up on in a bit more detail together. Exactly what I wanted, I could satisfy myself that she understands the section and I could highlight any possible areas of confusion (it really was just one term).
I am really happy with the way this works. It is giving her that more independent learning style that she wants, she does not feel like I am peering over the shoulder checking every small thing but at the same time playing the game allows me to find gaps or issues.
So once again these packs have adapted with us. They seem like such a straight forward idea – a Topic Booklet with short concise notes, illustrations for every point and then a Write Your Own book and a Game. But we are able to adapt the way we use them the set to suit the kids learning styles as they change.