Thursday, August 29, 2019

Review: Kids Learn About Their Bodies with Dr. Bonyfide

Some homeschoolers are always on the search for comprehensive materials on specific subjects. If you are one of those, then today's post is for you!

Dr. Bonyfide (aff) is a comprehensive series of workbooks that introduces young children to anatomy - specifically, the skeletal system - through engaging characters, rhymes, and illustrations. This is truly a high-quality series from Know Yourself Academy, a company dedicated to building self literacy in children.

Self Literacy

This was a new term for me. I have, of course, heard the terms preliteracy, adult literacy, and even digital literacy. But self literacy? What is that? I wondered. Then was delighted to discover that it means having a working knowledge of your body and your mind. According to Know Yourself Academy’s website, “If you are self literate, you are happier, more confident, and better equipped to handle decisions for yourself and your health.”

What an empowering skill for every person to have! Naturally, I was eager to begin developing my children’s own sense of self literacy.

Dr. Bonyfide Workbooks

The focus of this series is the skeletal system. Your child will learn the names and functions of all 206 bones in their body. There are four workbooks in all:

Dr. Bonyfide Presents: Bones of the Hand, Arm, and Shoulder (Book 1)
Dr. Bonyfide Presents: Bones of the Foot, Leg, and Pelvis (Book 2)
Dr. Bonyfide Presents: Bones of the Rib Cage and Spine (Book 3)
Dr. Bonyfide Presents: Bones of the Head, Face, and Neck (Book 4)

Although I suppose you could begin with any of these books, I would strongly recommend starting with the first one because I think it is the easiest. These workbooks cover a TON of information, carefully teaching in manageable chunks so that children don’t become overwhelmed. And more importantly, each book builds on what your child has learned in the previous book.

The series is named for Dr. Bonyfide, your osseous guide on this journey through the body. He (she?) makes jokes, wears costumes, and even speaks Latin. The Doc’s sidekick is Pinky Le Darpals, a young girl who teaches the reader things like the Bonyfide Hand Jive and how to pronounce those longer, complicated words.

The workbooks are full of rhymes, puzzles, comics, games, fun facts, and even a pair of “x-ray vision” glasses at the back that you can use to discover secret images and words on specific pages. Your child will write, draw, and laugh their way through the activities. An answer key for the written activities is included in the back of the book, as is a glossary. There’s also a certificate of completion that you can fill out and present to your student.

These books definitely don’t read like traditional textbooks with gobs of writing on each page. Instead, the information is broken down and the illustrations dominate each page making this a perfect educational resource for visual learners.

Kinesthetic learners will also appreciate how the text regularly asks the reader to stand up for physical activities that demonstrate various concepts in the book. Your child will stretch, jump, balance and clap their way to understanding.

Osteology, triquetral, and scaphoid are just a few of the impressive terms your child (and maybe you!) will learn as you move through these books. DON’T worry! Your child doesn’t have to memorize all of them! The point of these books - in my opinion - is introducing your child to the bones and making him familiar with his own body.

The books say they are “for ages 6 to 206!” I agree. We are using these workbooks as part of our homeschool anatomy studies and my kids, who are 10 and 12 years old, are really enjoying the time they spend drawing, writing, coloring, and more. In fact, after learning about the bones in their hands (the 14 phalanges, which are made up of distal, intermediate, and proximal bones), my kids and I then spent time using our phalanges to fingerspell our names in sign language using the photo alphabet provided in the book.

I read the text aloud so that we can all benefit from the information being presented. Plus some of the words may be a little tricky for my 5th grader to pronounce. I find this to be an excellent resource for our homeschool lessons. However, this series could also be used in a homeschool co-op setting or in a traditional classroom.

Totally Worth It!

I strongly recommend that homeschool families, science educators, and school librarians invest in this comprehensive, (ironically) meaty series. The teaching approach of these books is remarkably engaging and effective.

My inner digital designer loves the layout of these books, while the artist in me appreciates the creativity in the illustrations. I also love that each book begins with a quote by a famous historical figure, each one on the theme of knowing thyself. And lastly, I am grateful to see that the characters depicted are inclusive, reflecting the diversity of our country. Our children deserve to see themselves reflected in the books they read, including textbooks.

You can order your set here (aff).


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