My children had mixed reviews about coming our of “learning hibernation” (Summer vacation) to do a unit study so mom could post a review, but they did it, and I daresay, they enjoyed themselves.
If you’re looking for a quick, easy introduction to geography for your students, this e-book could really fit the bill. It’s packed with a lot of information, but doesn’t take an awful lot of time to go through. Our children got a good overview of the world and how it fits together, continents, oceans, climate, latitude and longitude, maps, atlases… all in a logical and simple format.
This mini unit study is part of TOS’s “Schoolhouse Planner” series, which includes a new study for each month of the school year for $7.95 each. Topics range from insects, to Bible to music and beyond. (Explore some of their other offerings here.)
The book starts out with a teaching portion that you can read right through with your students. It’s practically scripted for you, requiring almost no preparation. I have to say though, the conversational tone of the text actually ended up being my least favorite part… for this one reason: repeatedly, the book would ask a question, for example: “Okay, what is the first thing you notice about a globe?” Then the next line is affirmation, “You’re right - it’s round.” But honestly, it wouldn’t have surprised me a bit if one of my children’s answers had been “it’s blue” or “it has words all over it”, making the line “you’re right-it’s round,” ridiculous. Maybe I’m nit-picky (OK, I know I am), but after a few incidents of that, it just irritated me.
The e-book had a good supply of printable worksheets for reinforcing the concepts. There is a word find, a crossword, fill-in-the-blank questions, a word scramble, rebus puzzles and a form for an acrostic poem. Since we were taking a quick whirlwind tour of this product, I didn’t print all of the forms, but I gathered the children around the screen and used them more as a quiz game. The children won marshmallows for correct answers. (It is Summer after all, I had to boost the appeal of doing schoolwork in the middle of vacation a LITTLE!) They had fun, and I was amazed how much they had learned from this short study. (Further along in the book, there are more in-depth worksheets and puzzles for older children, as well.) There are handwriting pages and copy work (both manuscript and cursive), of geography quotes and related scripture. There are even ethnic recipes!
If you’re a lapbooker, you’ll also find a section of applicable mini-books for lapbooking. If you’re not familiar with lapbooking, they’ve also included several links to check it out and learn a bit more about this popular homeschooling practice.
Further in, the book included fun coloring pages for several continents, showing the shape of the continent and a series of small illustrations of things that might represent the countries therein. Personally, I was more than a little disappointed that they didn’t include ALL of the continents! It felt like a pretty big oversight.
Beyond what I’ve already mentioned, the 52-page e-book is packed with links to even more information - online games, maps, videos, pictures, and more. While we did a quick cruise through it, you could really go as in-depth and take as much time on the study as you wanted to, if you used all of the links, and additional listed resources provided. That option also gives you the flexibility to use the study with very young students (mine are K-3), right on up through High School, if you required them to do more of the memorization and map work.
Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this product in exchange for my honest review. I have not been compensated in any other way.