The Child's Geography series was started by Ann Voskamp, who was inspired by Virgil Hillyer's Child's Geography of the World. Hillyer is famous for his conversational tone and engaging way of presenting facts. Voskamp wanted an up-to-date version of Hillyer's geography while still preserving his style and approach. Thus the series is written in his style, while being explicitly God-centric.
How Does This Work?
These aren't textbooks so much as history books for parents and children to read together. Voskamp suggests gathering the children on a comfy couch and reading the text out loud. Throughout each chapter children are asked to verbally narrate the information learned back to the teacher. At the end of the chapter children write a journal entry telling about their "adventures."
The volumes in this series vary in format and style. Ann Voskamp wrote the first and co-wrote the second, and Terri Johnson wrote the third and fourth volumes. There are some differences as far as what is included in the textbook. Volume I puts most of the activities and resources in the text, while volumes II and III opt to have them on the included CD-Rom or online resources.
Though suggested for grades 1-6, the series' writing style and activities tend to skew a bit young. They would probably be a lot of fun done in a mixed age group, such as a large family. The third and fourth volumes are a bit more demanding, but older children may need something more challenging if they're going to be doing geography alone.
Our Honest Opinion:
This a fun, friendly, engaging introduction to geography that's geared toward the parent wanting to teach multiple grades at once. It's more laid-back than a lot of other geography curriculum you'll find, which means the scheduling is more flexible, and for this age range that's not a bad thing. It still manages to cover some solid science, concepts, and terms, and we think it'd be a great jumping-off point for more in-depth study later on.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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