Wednesday, September 20, 2017

World Traveling (Digitally!)

Geography is one of those things that's important to include in an elementary curriculum, but definitely doesn't work well as a "workbook" activity.  Let’s Go Geography has fun homeschool geography course that includes many hands-on activities, and I was happy to get the chance to review it!

Let's Go Geography

We've tried a few geography programs with varying degrees of success (great, but expensive; perfect style, but not "enough", etc) as well as a mom/library directed study where we get books and DVDs and try to work our way through with projects I find online. But the girls love hands on programs with plenty of things to do, and not being a super-Pinterest mom, I burned out on that pretty quickly. 

Let’s Go Geography is an online subscription for  K-4th graders that will introduce students to the tastes, sounds, and sights of different countries around our globe each week. The author, Carol Henderson, has been teaching geography in her co-op, and now the program is available in digital format.

Let's Go Geography

What I like is that it works well for both girls together, and I don't need to worry about not receiving enough materials. This subscription style curriculum will send you an email each week with a hands-on study for a new location to explore, or you can download the entire year and pick and choose countries you want to visit.  Each year is 36 weeks and will cover 26 countries, and 2 regions of the the USA, and the full curriculum is designed to take three years.

Let's Go Geography
Each week’s lesson is designed to take about an hour.  The downloadable PDF lessons include 5 chapters with with a variety of activities, so you can spread it out over five days, or combine chapters into fewer days. I like to do two days, usually covering chapter 1 and 2 on the first day, and 3-5 on the second. (We school four days a week with the fifth day available for projects, field trips, and catch up, so we have used that fifth day to do some of the creating). All of the printables for the flags, notebooking, and coloring are included in the 6th "chapter", which felt more like an appendix.

In Chapter 1 the students locate the country on the map and learn some basic facts. We use our globe as well. I'm helping my second grader to jot down a few notes.

In Chapter 2 the focus is on the flag. Print, color, cut and paste the flag into your Travel Journal (three-ring binder) to keep all the geography mementos organized.  Free printable covers come with your subscription.

Chapters 3-5 have the students delve into the culture. In Chapter 3 they will listen and watch the music of the country with online videos – all videos are in a safe viewing mode – no YouTube ads or comments. Chapter 4 has them sightseeing, focusing on landmarks, food, and the people. Finally, in Chapter 5, you're doing a real hands on activity with step by step instructions and a detailed list of supplies.

Your membership gives you access for a year for all of your students - and even your co-op if you want to make it a class! This is definitely a plus when you're teaching multiple kids. Since it's all digital, you don't need to worry about sharing supplies. Although you get an email each week reminding you which country is up next to cover, there is some flexibility to skip around. This is good for us, because it lets us align with other things we may be doing, or with my husband's travel. We haven't gotten to go with him yet, but it's nice to be able to jump over to China the week that Daddy is in Shanghai for work, and then have a real conversation with him when he gets home. My husband and I are traveling to Hawaii in November, so I held on to that lesson, and they'll do it while we're gone.

We also chose to do interactive journals instead of binders (we have journals for different things - field trips, pleasure reading, documentaries we watch, history units, etc). The journals travel much more easily for us, and it lets us really discuss what's important as we cut and paste and copy. I do love how neat the binders are for organizing, and we may switch later on, but so far, we've been successful with a smaller format.

Overall, the girls are loving it. They love learning the National Anthems, the flags, and marking the countries we've "visited" on our map! I'm excited to keep going!

Let’s Go Geography {Reviews}

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