Thursday, September 21, 2017

Let's Go Geography

When I saw that we had the opportunity to review a geography curriculum for kids, I was intrigued. Geography was never a subject that interested me when I was in school, and because of that, the information never really stuck. Now as an adult, I find myself wanting to know more about other places in our world. I want my kids to have an interest in countries and cultures. But all that can seem overwhelming to kids, and I don't want them to be uninterested. Once I started looking through the material though, I realized that Let's Go Geography was exactly what we needed.

Let's Go Geography, created by Carol Henderson, is a K-4th grade curriculum that gives you a little taste of traveling the world. The study takes you to a new country every week and suggests you visit about an hour. Of course, if you find yourself having so much fun learning about each country, there are plenty of options for staying longer. There's everything from activities, crafts, songs, videos, journaling, books, online content, globe skills, and more. So, pack your bags for a trip around the world!

A subscription to Let's Go Geography's online program gives you access to download the weekly curriculum and also sends you a reminder email each week that includes the country of the week and a few facts about it. The curriculum will be a three-year program, covering quite a few of the countries in the world. Year 1 teaches about 28 countries from all over the globe and includes a few review weeks and breaks.

The lessons are divided into 6 chapters:

  • Map It -- a printable map of the country and lists many things to find and explore (cities, bodies of water, neighboring countries, etc.)
  • The Flag -- mini flag to be cut, colored, and glued to either a page in the travel journal or personal passport
  • The Music -- the lyrics for the national anthem in English and also a link to a video of it being sung in the national language
  • Let's Explore -- various facts about the country (landscape, people, places, animals, occupations, and more) with links to videos for further study; also includes more online facts, library books, a printable journal page for notebooking, and a photo album of pictures
  • Create -- printable coloring page relating to something in the study and directions, tips, and any needed printables for a featured craft
  • Printables -- all the printables needed for the lesson

The beginning of each lesson includes a printable itinerary with boxes to check as you complete the assignments. After that is a detailed list of things you need for the trip: library books, craft supplies, and a travel journal (3-ring binder to keep and organize the printables and information for each country). Carol emphasizes that this curriculum is to be adapted to best suit each family's needs, ages, and abilities. She also stresses that you shouldn't feel obligated to do every single activity that's offered, since the goal is to familiarize the student with the country, not overwhelm him. 

The lesson format is incredible easy to follow and includes the links for videos and other content directly in the lesson where they're needed. It's easy to scroll through the lessons in order without having to jump around to find what you need. There are also photographs, maps, and graphics throughout the pages, making them visually appealing, as well.

The kiddos and I are studying one country a week, but dividing each lesson into 2 days. The first day, we cover the first 3 chapters. We start by finding the country on our globe and then discussing the Map It topics. From there we move to The Flag and The Music. Instead of making individual travel journals for each of the kids, I chose to make a combined one for the family. The kids take turns coloring the flags and marking the maps.

Day 2 is Let's Explore and Create. We watch all the videos together and stop them often to discuss different aspects. Even the 2-year-old comes over to watch with us. Because the videos are found on YouTube, they vary in quality, but that also means it keeps it interesting because the content is so different. After the videos, we move to the craft and coloring page. Some of my kids are craftier than others, so I don't require my non-artsy 11-year-old to participate. On the other hand, the crafts are my daughter's favorite part. There are so many aspects of this program that it's easy to pick and choose what to use and still get a good understanding of each country.

Our family is loving this curriculum! We're currently finishing up week 6, so we've learned about US, the Northeast region; US, Hawaii; Canada; Haiti; Nicaragua; and Belize. The material is easy for me to teach and keeps the kids' interest. The variety is good and leaves plenty of room for deeper study. 

There are additional resources to enhance your materials, such as personal passports, travel journal covers, continent coloring pages, and bookmarks. You can also sample some of the products for free and watch a  sample lesson. And don't forget to check out the special offers for the current coupon codes!

You can connect with Let's Go Geography on the following social media sites:

You can read more reviews of this curriculum on the Homeschool Review Crew blog. 

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