September 19, 2017

Making Geography Lessons Fun with Let's Go Geography {Review}

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Geography is a subject that I enjoy teaching my preschooler. It's such a vast study, and we can focus on a broad group of topics that really interest him. Even though he's quite young, he has such a joy for learning about other countries, as well as our own fifty states. During the past few weeks, we've been having a lot of fun enjoying our new homeschool geography curriculum called Let's Go Geography.





A subscription to Let's Go Geography offers you access to an entire year (or semester) of studies. A yearly membership can be used with one student or an entire co-op class. I do have to note that this a three-year curriculum, so signing up for the first year will give you the first thirty-six weeks worth of lessons, which covers a select group of different countries around the world. Each of the three years offers at least two regions of the United States, as well as more than twenty-six additional countries.





The curriculum is meant to be used to cover one country a week (although we sometimes sneak in an extra geographical area if we have time). Members will receive an email each week reminding them what the next lesson will be. With that being said, there is also some flexibility in which countries you can cover. This is one of my favorite features in the program. You see, each country is available as a PDF download and everything is already made available, instantly. So let's say that you are in Week 6, which is the study of Belize, but you and your children can't wait to get to Iceland, which is all the way in week 17, you can simply skip to that week. Although the program offers a three-year plan to cover world studies, there's no set requirement that prohibits you from skipping around.




Now let's get to the fun part, the actual lessons! You also have the option of downloading all the year's lessons to your computer or you can work straight from the website. I always prefer having a backup copy on my computer to work with and for quick and easy printing, so this is the method that I chose. Each PDF file contains the study of one country. The files can be anywhere from twenty-seven pages to almost forty pages worth of teaching notes, itineraries, assignments, and activities.

What I really like about this curriculum is that it's adaptable to children of different ages. Each lesson offers a vast collection of visual and hands-on activities. One activity might be suitable and pique the interest of an older child, whereas others that are offered are perfectly suited for preschool and kindergarten age children. Other activities will work for both younger and older children, alike. You'll also have links to external video and audio sources, maps, craft ideas, coloring pages, etc. 






One of the first things that you are recommended to do is create a travel journal or passport for your child. We choose the travel journal route. The program even offers free cover and tab divider templates to start you off. When putting together my son's journal, we decided to go with a three ring binder. I had some tab dividers on hand, so this is what we just decided to use.  We currently have six tabs:

  • North America
  • South America
  • Europe
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Australia and Antarctica





 





This system has been working for us, but we may go ahead and split up Australia and Antarctica down the line, so each continent has it's own designated tab placement. The travel journal is where all of my son's work goes as we move through the weekly lessons. We've only been doing the lessons for a few weeks, but we have been steadily filling it up with all kinds of goodies. 




After putting together my son's travel journal, I mapped out the course of study. I decided to go ahead and move around the recommended lessons plans, although we initially stood on track for the first couple of weeks, focusing on North America. After planning the course, our next stop was the library. Even though this program offers everything you need you to complete the lessons, there's nothing like having a few good library books to complement the course. This really gets my son going whenever we study something. Once we begin a lesson, he always wants more, so the extra books help enhance his studies. The course even recommends this in the lesson plans.



  



The lesson activities were really engaging for my son, as he learned many different aspects of each geographical area. We had fun learning national anthems and studying various creatures that are native to certain countries. The hands-on activities were a huge hit! Not only are there plenty of coloring pages throughout this curriculum, which he enjoyed quite a bit, but each lesson also offers a flag activity sheet for specific regions. I printed out the tiny flags and he would color them in. Afterwards we'd cut and glue them to the flag sheet. These sheets then go into his travel journal. The flag activities were by far my son's favorite. My only recommendation would be for the program to also offer a full-color version of each flag, in addition to the semi-black and white (color outline) version. This way parents can have an option on which one they'd like to use with their children. Since the flags are pretty small, it can be somewhat difficult for very young children to precisely color them in, particularly if they are still developing their fine motor skills. I did have to guide my son though some of this, but nevertheless, it was still a ton of fun for him. Sometimes when I'm using a program that may be listed for children who are slightly older, I try to adapt things in a way that will work for us, and that's pretty much what I did in this situation.










This maple leaf craft (below) was another favorite. My son did this one during his Canada lesson week. We adapted the activity a little, using washable paint, instead of tempura or watercolors. We also pasted the maple leaf on top of the page, instead of using it as a stencil.










I personally like that this program thoroughly covers a particular region, while offering a collection of different assignments to accommodate multiple age groups. My son especially enjoys the hands-on projects like the flag activity sheets and coloring pages. If you're looking for a simple, easy to use curriculum that actually makes learning geography fun for all ages, then I highly recommend giving Let's Go Geography a try. 






Learn more about Let's Go Geography by visiting them on social media:

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Read what the rest of the Crew had to say:


Let’s Go Geography {Reviews}


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2 comments:

Brenda Loves Sharing said...

You are such a good mom, doing all of these lessons with your son and organizing them so well! He's doing a really good job coloring! My son is starting his geography lessons in school. They have a test on Friday on 13 of the states and their capitals. My daughter printed a blank map and a map with the states and capitals to help him practice. He also made flashcards and we have a couple map puzzles I saved for him from his brother and sister.

Kelly (Our Everyday Harvest) said...

Thank you so much, Brenda! We are still working on staying inside the lines. I had to guide him a few times with the flags, because they are so tiny. I'll be praying for your son to do well on his geography test! :-)

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