Monday, July 19, 2010

Review of The Schoolhouse Planner's June 2010 Module Travel the World!

Fasten your seat belts as you prepare for a trip around the world in The Schoolhouse Planner’s June 2010 module entitled Travel the World! This high-tech, geography-themed unit study is chock-full of facts, maps, pictures, puzzles, lapbooking activities, lesson expanders, on-line activities, and more!

As part of the 2010-11 Homeschool Crew, I was given the opportunity to use and review this product with my first and fourth graders, ages five and eight. I read through the entire module first and printed out the worksheets located at the end of the PDF file. The only items I found necessary to have available were a computer with Internet access, globe and map. We gathered around the computer and began the lesson. I immediately appreciated that the study was written so that I could read directly to my children without rephrasing. This saved a lot of time! As we read, we could click on links that took us to the Internet for visual aids, interactive maps, and games. This mixed media approach proved interesting to the kids and they really enjoyed taking control of the mouse and driving for awhile! I found that the content of PDF file was basic enough for elementary aged children to understand and that the hyperlinks took you to more in-depth information. We visited all of the hyperlinks and reviewed the information; however, some of it was more advanced than they were capable of understanding. So, I refrained from covering some of the material because I knew I would lose them. That is not to say that this module was not age appropriate because we could easily spend weeks exploring all of the material offered. The beauty of this module is that it can be adjusted to suit all age groups while still providing a wealth of information. It even includes a special high school expansion section which we did not use.

Through using this module, we learned about the earth’s form and movements. We studied the continents, bodies of water, mountain ranges and other important areas of geographic interest. We learned mapping skills and were offered lots of review opportunities through games, worksheets, coloring, and puzzles. The lapbook activity provides you with a finished product to display.

Pros: Travel the World! Is an e-book that can be purchased and downloaded immediately from the Schoolhouse Store for only $7.95. There is a tremendous amount of information included in this unit study and it is laid out in a clear and concise way. It can be simplified or expanded based on the age of the children and the time you are willing to devote to it. It is very flexible! The mixed media approach is interesting to both teacher and student. I found all of the hyperlinks relevant and available.

Cons: I honestly don’t have any!

Summary: An interesting and affordable geography study for computer-savvy homeschoolers!

Travel the World is just one of 12 supplemental monthly modules available from the Schoolhouse Store and can be purchased together as a group for $83.95 or individually for $7.95. I was given this product for free in exchange for my objective review.