I ordered these kits from Canadian Home Education Resources. I know that it seemed cheaper to order it from the K'nex site, but I've learned through experience that it really won't be once they ship it over the border. One of the problems with homeschooling in Canada is that many of the curriculum and materials we need to purchase come form the United States and the shipping costs to Canada can be deceiving. We are always knocked with some strange charge that isn't known until it shows up on our VISA statement. So, even though these looked like they were more, I'm sure that they were less due to those extra costs for cross-border shipments.
We don't have far to go to cross the border so I could go across and pick it up at a parcel drop-off center, but I just didn't feel like I wanted to do that. It always feels nice to shop Canadian whenever I can, especially when it just makes more sense.
I ordered Intro to Simple Machines: Levers and Pulleys, Intro to Simple Machines: Wheels & Axels and Inclined Planes, Intro to Simple Machines: Gears, and I also got Introduction to Structures: Bridges.
As soon as Austyn saw them he went right to work. He made a manual hand-mixer first. Here he is holding it up, first thing the next morning. I don't even think he is fully awake yet! He wanted a picture right away so he can get right back to work, taking it apart and building something else!
He decided that he wanted to build the car window. As he builds I read the Teachers material that is on the CD that is provided in the kit. He is learning about different types of gears and how they work. He is learning about gear differential and so much more. This is proving to be a perfect purchase for us!
Here is the car window finished. It doesn't have as much mobility as we would have liked to see, but this just sets him up to alter it and better the design on his own.
Back to the company that we purchased these kits from... They don't have their site set-up to pay online (probably due to the cost and that it may reflect on the products), but they call to get payment or you can call in and give your VISA. I eventually called back, because we are out of the house so much and I'm hard to get a hold of. The customer service person I talked to on the phone was so friendly and polite, even though I've been a hard one to chase down. They had everything we ordered ready to go and shipped it right away. It got here in good time, considering it was coming across the country. When I opened the box I noticed that they reuse boxes! I was SO IMPRESSED! I've never seen this done before and to see a company do this was such a good feeling. They used a Scholastic box and rebuilt the box inside out to use it again. This makes me feel so good about purchasing from them! I will be a repeat customer!
If you decide to purchase these sets, check out the K'NEX website for lesson plans and other resources that are available.