Want To Travel The World? ~ Schoolhouse Planner Module #Review
The Homeschool Crew has set sail, searching for great new products to share with other homeschoolers. Homeschool Crew members are provided with products for free in order to share them with you. You’ll always have my honest opinion, so jump on in and explore with me! Our first stop is at The Old Schoolhouse...
If you’re looking for a fun unit study on geography, the June 2010 module of the Schoolhouse Planner, Travel The World, might be the way to go. More of a general overview then an in-depth study, this activity-based ebook has 50 pages with a variety of materials, including worksheets, lapbook printables, maps, copywork, and a plethora of links.
Designed to be used by the whole family at once, most of the worksheets are appropriate for late grade school or middle school, though my older student enjoyed them due to the puzzle-style content. The “high school expansion” section could be also be used with younger children.
It’s economical: most printables are in black & white, so a copy can be made for each student, but the “text” portion of the book is in color, sometimes with multiple images per page, so we just printed one for everyone to share.
Additional items that will be helpful to have on hand:
- Computer with internet access for kids to use for reference and game/quiz links
- Globe or world maps
- Geography book with regional description information
Activity rather then lesson-based, it’s very flexible; do each part straight through, or pick and choose, it’s up to you. I provided the kids with all the materials at once, and let them decide what order to work in. That spread resource use out enough that we didn’t have a line of children all stuck while waiting to use the same item, always a potential stumbling block in our house.
Adaptable to any learning or teaching style, it worked well for us with a bit of light guidance and direction. Mine are fairly comfortable with researching a given topic and finding information for lapbooks. I did find myself wishing that lapbook parts had been included specifically to go along with the vocabulary worksheets. Nowhere in the activities were the meanings of those words used or discussed, and we ended up creating our own booklets with that information.
An abundance of quality links; many were added to the kids’ resource and game bookmarks for future use. Some will provide the most benefit by returning occasionally over time.
Preparation time is minimal; printing materials and gathering resources. Teaching time will depend on the particular students involved, and could range from minimal with older students to intensive with younger students who aren’t able to effectively research yet.
Individual reactions: We enjoy unit studies, but this one was a bit more broad-spectrum then we’re used to. It highlights the main points of geography, which would work well as an introduction or a refresher, rather then for complete understanding. My older students felt the worksheets were “easy”, but still enjoyed participating, thanks to the puzzle-style worksheets. (And they’re always happy to do anything cut-and-paste or on the computer.) My detail-oriented, perfectionist 5th grader also caught an error on the fill-in-the-blanks page, #3, that none of his siblings did. That required some mom-intervention to figure out what the answer was actually supposed to be.
Don’t be mislead by the title – my initial expectation, was that the theme would be something “fluffy” related to summertime travel or vacation time, perhaps common places and activities that people go and do. Instead, I found a hefty amount of solid geography material with a wide selection of ideas to choose from.
Travel the World is may be purchased from The Old Schoolhouse for $7.95. New modules are available each month as add-ons to the Schoolhouse Planner, but it’s not necessary to have the planner to make use of the modules; each module is a stand-alone unit study.
To see what other crew members had to say about this product, check out the TOS Homeschool Crew blog post, TOS – Travel the World E-Book (June 2010).
**I received this product for free as a member of the 2010-11 The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew so that I could provide you with an honest review of it by our family.**