One of the latest fads in the homeschooling world is web interactive unit studies. Make no mistake, I don’t use the word fad pejoratively here – I love this kind of study. They’re fun, different, diverting, and usually cost-effective. Sometimes, though, they’re not really very well done. Unless you really know and trust the publisher of the study you’ve chosen, you can end up with disorganization, dead links, and disappointment! Enter The Old Schoolhouse’s June Module, “Travel the World.” It is designed to accompany the 2010 TOS Planner, but it is also perfectly capable of standing as an independent study. If you own the 2010 planner from The Old Schoolhouse, then you already know that one of its most phenomenal features is its ability to hyperlink from one area of the planner to another. This particular module is no different. In fact, the hyperlinks in “Travel the World” take you to numerous external sources, making this seemingly modest fifty page introduction to Geography in actuality a full-fledged Geography unit study!
World Geography can be one of the most intimidating subjects to teach, especially if you plan to teach it to multiple children at once. The Old Schoolhouse has made this task infinitely more enjoyable, and has taken all of the work out of creating an introductory Geography course. As a seventh grader, my gifted nine year-old daughter hovers on the edge between enjoying the activities for younger children, like the marvelously detailed coloring pages of each of the continents, and the offerings aimed at older children, such as the Geography and Literature and Geography and History expansions. We used the provided copy work for dictation, rather than as straight copy work, and we spent copious amounts of time playing the geography games available at many of the links cited in this module. Unfortunately, my daughter is past the lapbooking stage of schoolwork, and a decent percentage of this module is occupied by lapbooking components; however, my three younger children loved being able to take advantage of this portion of “Travel the World.” They were not necessarily as entranced with visiting numerous websites and looking at atlases, but they always love a good cutting and pasting activity! Whenever I review a product, I always feel it incumbent upon me to point out at least one thing that my family didn’t particularly like. In this case, finding that one thing was easy. As with many of its products, The Old Schoolhouse includes clickable links to dozens of related eBooks and products at the end of “Travel the World.” That kind of financial pressure I can do without! The temptation is almost overwhelming!
I am a huge fan of all of the TOS Planner Modules that I have been privileged enough to use. Each one is similar enough that I know my family will be able to use it, but certainly different enough for me to know I will be getting my money’s worth. In this case, though, a DISCLAIMER is in order: I received the TOS June 2010 Planner Module “Travel the World” free in exchange for my honest review. I did not, however, receive any other compensation. If you are looking for a creative, pain-free, and, most importantly, FLEXIBLE way to teach introductory World Geography, you won’t go wrong with this particular eBook. If you are as interested as I was, feel free to check out this product here: http://www.theoldschoolhousestore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191_193&products_id=16122 where you can purchase it for a reasonable $7.95. Still thinking about it? You can read even more at The Homeschool Crew Blog here: http://homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolcrew/782810/