As part of the TOS Crew, I got a chance to review the June Module of the Schoolhouse Planner titled Travel the World. It is a world-geography program, loaded with information, activities, and websites to enjoy. The format of the Module is an e-book, which downloaded very quickly as a PDF file. The module is suitable for ages 7 and up, but I think it could easily be adapted for younger ages too. The cost for the individual e-book is $7.95, or you could buy a 12-pack of modules for $83.95. Each month has a different topic. The e-books can be found at The Old Schoolhouse Store, http://www.theoldschoolhousestore.com/index.php?main_page=index . If you type “planner module” into the search bar, it will take you to the page with all the different modules on it!
The e-book begins with a general explanation of geography, maps, globes, and key terms. From there, it discusses the geography of each continent. There are hyperlinks in the text (highlighted in blue) that will take you to various websites if you click on them. For example, if you click on the words “South America” it will open a website that includes a map of South America and other links to tell you more about the landforms, bodies of water, and other information. My kids enjoyed these because when they were interested in a particular topic (i.e. Australia), they could research and find out more information on their own. In addition, there are links to various games and quizzes for your kids to enjoy!
The e-book is colorful, and contains 56 pages of information, activities, and resources. An answer key is also included. Some of the other activites include recipes, rebus puzzles (which my boys really enjoyed :)) word searches and crossword puzzles. The e-book does include Christian content, including the words to “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands”, which we enjoyed singing together, but if you wanted to use it secularly, it would be easy to do. This product is all ready to go and requires little to no teacher prep, unless you want to print out some of the pages. I decided to print out the puzzles, but we read the text together on the computer, so my boys could play with the links. However, you could easily print the whole thing and visit the links later if you wish.
We enjoyed using this product for our summer studies. My children have an interest in geography and travel, so we spent a lot of time dreaming up places we would like to go on each continent. My children are ages 9 and 12 and there was plenty there for both of them. There wasn’t “too much” information to make my younger son’s eyes swim, but with the links and extras included, there were plenty of ways for my older information-seeking son to find out more! I thought the e-book had a great balance of types of activities, from coloring pages and copywork, which suited my younger child, to acrostic poems, recipes and word searches, which suited my older.
There is a “High-School Expansion” included with the e-book which my 7th grade son enjoyed. He is advanced in his studies and could use a challenge. This has a link to the National Geographic geography challenge, and goes further into the study of geography with explanations of mathematical, physical and political geography. There is also a link to the Ambleside Online reading list with suggested literature for older students and other suggestions for activities like brainstorming an idea for an online business and using a world map to mark places you would ship too. This turned out to be a great activity for both of my boys, as they brainstormed a product idea together, calculated shipping rates, expenses and profits as well.
We thoroughly enjoyed our “trip around the world” and I will be looking into some of the other modules that are available (my boys are interested in the Weather and Aviation modules ). These make for great, short studies for a summer or holiday activity, or as an addition to a topic you are already learning about!
Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge from The Old Schoolhouse for the purposes of writing this review. All opinions stated are my own.