Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Geography Lessons with Evan-Moor

As you probably know we are a home school family.  But this is not a home school blog.  I know that many (most?) of my readers aren't homeschoolers BUT I also know that many of you are teachers or parents concerned about your child's education.  So from time to time I review products and curriculum that we use for school.

Today is one of those times.  A few weeks ago I received an email from Timberdoodle Company asking if I would be interested in reviewing their Geography curriculum by Evan-Moor.  Well, since I plan to teach geography this fall I hopped on the opportunity!!

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Beginning Geography (Grades K-2), published by Evan-Moor.

Beginning Geography is exactly what it says - basic concepts for map skills, landforms & bodies of water, and continents & oceans. 

My kindergartner and second grader had no trouble completing the worksheets for the map skills.  Both boys love pouring over maps and finding airports, cities and other special sites so these worksheets provided reinforcement for skills they are already developing.

I am most excited about the third section - continents and oceans. There are reproducible maps of each continent as well as all seven continents together.  I think my boys will enjoy using these worksheets as we learn about world geography.

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Daily Geography Practice Grade 3, published by Evan-Moor.

Daily Geography Practice workbooks are based on National Geography Standards.  The book is broken down into 36 weeks of instruction with each week focused on a different standard.  A mini-lesson plan and answer key is given for each week.  Students are expected to answer 2 questions each day for a week as part of the lesson.

Honestly, national standards don't concern me.  Our state does not require testing.  At this early stage of their education, I'm more focused on growing my children's interest in the world around them than I am that they be able to keep up with other children in their grades.  However, I realize that some find the national standards reassuring and an easy guideline for what to teach and when.

I do believe Daily Geography is useful but I don't see me using it the way it's intended.  Answering just 2 questions each day would frustrate my children.  Also, I don't see us using this as our sole geography curriculum but instead as reinforcement with other products.

Daily Geography covers 2 basic elements - map skills and the United States.  I am most excited about the United States segment.  Not all of the States are included but those that are show interesting maps and information.  Like Beginning Geography this book is also reproducible and contains transparencies for all of the maps (not a feature that I need but would be useful for classroom teachers).

My one major criticism of these books is kind of nit-picky. All of the pages tear out but they don't have holes punched in them for a binder.  This means once I've pulled them out I'll have to put them in file folders or punch holes myself.  I hate file folders.  Like I said, it's nit-picky and totally a personal preference.

Overall I recommend this curriculum for home schoolers looking to supplement their other curriculum with worksheets and maps

I also recommend it for public school teachers looking for supplements for their classrooms and for parents of public school kids looking for fun and educational activities at home.



Disclosure:  Thank you to Timberdoodle Company for the free copies of these two books to aid in my review.  The opinions expressed are my own and not of Timberdoodle Co. or anyone else.

3 comments:

Linda @ Country Road Faith said...

I highly recommend EvanMoor as a supplement of reinforcement of skills for children. I used their workbooks for many years in all the elementary curriculum. They are easy for the children to understand yet help them learn required skills for their age level. Good choice.
Linda

Christie said...

I don't think I have used this specific resource, but I used the Daily Language lessons veersion of this when I used homeschool curriculum to teach five MKs in W. Africa. Your review refreshed my memory. I used it as a supplement and I loved the flow of it....just a couple of questions at a time. My 2nd grader in Africa liked this because it was something that didn't take long....and it bought me a few minutes to work with one of her siblings on something else.

I tend to be one of those people who misses the forest because of the trees!! I am a details girl! So I think this resource was a great supplement for a teacher like me who might otherwise go indepth on fewer concepts and miss the overview. The discipline of just quickly touching on a subject to jog the student's memory and reinforce skills quickly was good I think. I think I like materials like this that cover bases systematically and gives me more freedom to get into the details I love so much!! :)

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Christie,

I can also be a details girl. That's part of why we're changing things up next year. We've been skimming and I'd like to go a little deeper on a few things. We're not going to attend co-op this fall so we'll be able to spend more time on science. We did science with co-op this year and had to skim along. I also want Will to go deeper for reading comprehension so we're probably doing something different for language arts for him.

We'll use the Evan-Moor books with our U.S. geography. The worksheets for maps with go along great.

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