Wednesday, June 12, 2013

TOS Crew Review- Geography 1

Do you ever just want to start over with homeschooling?  OK, maybe not start over with the years, but with the curriculum?  Occasionally I get that crazy thought- and the company Memoria Press would be one of my biggest temptations!  Have you seen their foreign languages?  Have you seen their complete curriculum?  I love it!  All! 
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So yes, I was thrilled to be able to review Geography I, for grades 4-8, from Memoria Press. Geography of the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe covers the area that we know as the ancient Roman Empire.

 photo Geography1-CompleteSet_zps84b09173.pngHere's what it came with:
Geography Text (text sample)
Geography Workbook (workbook sample)
Teacher's Guide
United States Review- Student
United States Review Key, Quizzes, and Tests

What is this-
Let's start with the Student text. There is a great little introduction to Geography and then the rest of the book is broken into geographic regions- Middle East, North Africa,  and Europe.  The last few pages of the book have full color photos of each country's flag.  For each country (44 total) there is a full page map, Fast Facts section, History Headlines and Tour of Today.  The fast facts include the capital city and any major cities, language, population, religions, landforms, bodies of water, climate, resources and flag information.  There are also several pictures of places, people or things of interest.  The History Headlines is a brief description of the country's history while the Tour of Today gives some facts that are more currently relevant.
The student workbook then contains a one page spread per country for your child to list the country and capital, ancient name, a few fun facts they learned and has a smaller map to label with key features such as the capital, neighboring countries, rivers and landforms.  At the end of each region there is a review map to fill in with all the countries learned thus far and then a page to list the countries and capitals. 
The teacher's guide contains all of the answers you will need as well as quizzes and tests.
The Student workbook for the United States Review is slightly different as it is truly map work only, dividing the United States into 8 regions as well as space to write the states and capitals on each page.  Again, the teacher's key contains the answers, quizzes and tests.
How we used this program-
I used this program for our 5th grade son.  He has been studying the Eastern Hemisphere this year and has just completed his studies, so once again the timing was perfect for us to review this!  It gave him a chance to review what he had learned, solidify his map and capital knowledge and learn a few new facts along the way.  I had him do one page per day, though the teacher guidelines recommend 2-3 countries a week.  He would read the worktext on his own and then find the corresponding page in his workbook to complete.  Once he completed each section and its review,  he would let me know and then I would give him the test to take.  Students are tested on the map work only, not the facts learned in the text.  We opted not to do the quizzes.
What we thought-
We really liked this product, though I should not be surprised...I have liked everything I have ever used from Memoria Press.  Their workbooks are great quality and well organized.  One of the things my son and I found refreshing for a geography program was that this one did not just concentrate on maps alone.  It's not always fun to just memorize a map, but when you can throw in some fun and interesting facts along with the map it just seems to hold a student's attention better.  At least mine!  Not once did he complain about doing Geography and more than several times he came in to share things he had learned in the reading.  I love that this program is able to be used by the student alone with little guidance and has built in reviews before test time.  We did did not begin the United States Review book yet, but are going to make that our Geography for next year instead.  While it does not have the reading text included and really is to be used as a review, I think it is still an excellent way to learn states and capitals, which we have not done yet, as well as the map work. 
This is a good, solid program and for the price
I think it is more than worth it!
Geography I complete set, as we reviewed it, can be ordered for $48.00.  You can also buy the components separately if needed.

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