Monday, July 19, 2010
TOS Review - Travel the World!
I recently reviewed this homeschool product from “The Old Schoolhouse ® Magazine”. You can visit them at http://thehomeschoolmagazine.com/
They provided me with a free copy of this e-book for review purposes in exchange for my honest, personal opinion. Please note that no other compensation was received.
“Travel the World” is the June 2010 add-on Module for The Schoolhouse Planner and sells for an amazing $7.95 only.
Modules for the 2009-2010 Planner include amongst others the following topics:
August 2009 - Favorite childhood books
September 2009 - Weather, clouds, and related experiments
March 2010 - Aviation
April 2010 - Keeping God's earth clean
One of the great things about this 56-page e-book is that you DON’T need the Planner to use it as all the mini-units are created as stand-alone unit studies. Each month brings its own treasure.
This product is geared towards all ages. Some sections would be better suited for younger kids, but there is a “High School Expansion” section for older students. As my children are 9 and 7 respectively, I did not use this part of the study.
As I initially e-flipped through the e-book I was very keen to start using it with my kids. They both enjoy geography immensely and it was a bonus to have some lapbook activities as part of this study. The links to relevant and exciting websites adding another dimension to this study got me even more excited to go and Travel the World! As we all know, when Mum is excited the kids are more likely to follow :-)
So we set off on day one, where we learned more about what geography is. We got our globe and world map as requested to have a closer look and learn a lot more about these two representations of the planet.
Several geographical concepts are linked to amazing and interactive websites (including fun, fun, fun games) where you learn even more! Some concepts included axis, longitude, latitude and the four hemispheres.
Next we sailed around the five oceans and again visited sites with extra information.
After our ocean endeavours we hopped from one continent to the next. These lessons were filled with excitement and fun. Each continent is introduced by letting the reader know about its size, in which climate zone it lies and any special geographical features that might be found on that continent. Again there are links to fun and informative sites to add to your learning experience. We found that we learned a great deal by playing some of the games. One game that was a favourite with the kids was the North American Mountain Ranges Quiz.
This unit study provides you with the option to choose how much you want to learn about an area at the click of a button. I think this is an excellent feature of this study as it is easy to ‘get off the bus’ when kids are getting tired, or to simply visit another place by following one more link that is provided…and no other planning or preparation is needed!
The majority of the above learning was done directly on a computer. We recently acquired a large HD television and linked our home PC to it. I loaded the “Travel the World” study onto that PC and we took turns in reading the sections for the day. The kids kept running between the lounge (where we had our globe, compass and small world map) and the passage (where we have an A2 size world map on the wall) to locate different countries and look for the flags of those countries (which is on the map in the passage).
Each child was provided with a ‘passport’ to collect stamps from different continents (an idea I got from the internet) and a notebook in which to write down the definitions of new concepts as we learned them.
The only printing I’ve done was the activity pages which the kids (especially my 9yo daughter) enjoyed doing. These engaging activities served as a good recap of some of the content.
The activities included:
• Fill in the blanks page
• Word scramble
• Word search
• Crossword Puzzle
• Rebus Puzzles
• Geography Acrostic Poem
• Lapbook Activities
• Colour in pages
The study also includes:
• Two recipes (which admittedly we still have to try).
• Print and Cursive Copy work pages (which we didn’t use as we are doing a devotional study that includes copy work)
• Another Online resources page (Amazing links to websites related to specific continents / maps / games / lessons etc.)
We thoroughly enjoyed this study and I’m very keen to have a closer look at some of the other modules available from TOS to add to our curriculum. Why don’t you join us on this journey and come Travel the World! (You can go here to find out what my fellow TOS Crew mates think of this product).
I think it is important to add the opinion of my fellow travellers - here are some comments from the kids about their favourite parts:
“I liked learning about the compass rose and longitude and latitude.”
“It was fun to learn about longitude and latitude and play the game where we needed to find the girl on the grid.”
“The games were fun and we learned where a lot of countries are.”
“I liked looking for places on the globe.”
As I’m writing this review and revisiting some pages I am fast coming to the conclusion that this study is not done yet… or is turning into a more in-depth study : ) KIIIIDS bring the passports!!!!