Last March, I decided to invest in a LEGO Education set for my son, who loves building with LEGO bricks. The Simple Machines Pack for homeschool seemed like the most basic set and a good place to start. It did not disappoint.
It presents four sets of simple machines: gears, wheels and axles, levers and pulleys. The target audience is students in grades one through three, but my son was not even in kindergarten in spring and he had no trouble building.
Of course, he needed guidance. At times, it seemed the concepts went over his head, so I did not insist on the theory. I let him building and play with his creations. He really enjoyed predicting outcomes and then testing to see if he was right or wrong.
I could follow the lesson plans easily, even though I am not mechanically inclined. The binder contains the same information as the CD-ROM, but I would highly recommend you get both, for your convenience.
Wheels and Axles, the second lesson of simple machines in this activity pack, showed my son how to build a go-cart and a wheelbarrow.
Levers provided further fun learning, with models like a catapult and a railroad crossing gate.
Finally, the fourth simple machines: pulleys. This complex model on the left is called crazy floors. On the right, my daughter is enjoying her go-cart.
We have since bought the Simple and Motorized Machines Activity Pack for our son, so the Simple Machines set has become my daughter’s set by default. She cannot build yet all by herself, as she is only three.
She enjoys watching me build these models for her. I tell her what I need and she helps by handing me the right bricks and plates – great exercise for reviewing colors and numbers in both Romanian and English.
I highly recommend both these sets for your homeschool and, if your children are small, I would definitely start with the Simple Machines Pack first to test the waters. For more LEGO projects, click here.