If you spend lots of time teaching your kids geography, you probably don't need these books. For everyone else (i.e., most of us), Spectrum Geography offers four worktexts for grades 3-6 that help kids review what they've learned and get ready for taking standardized tests. Each volume is full-color, student-directed, and easy-to-use.
The series covers communities, regions of the U.S.A., the geography of the United States, and world geography. Each book includes a glossary and a complete answer key for all exercises, as well as exercises and instruction concerning landforms, map skills, ecology, environment, cultural history, and even current events.
Every volume contains 15 lessons, each with three two-page spreads including both text to read and exercises to complete. These really are visually engaging texts: there are lots of color photographs, detailed maps, cutaways of landforms, etc. Exercises include map work, matching, short answer, chart completion, and more.
Don't use Spectrum Geography as your only geography program. For one thing, it only covers four elementary grades; for another, it's vastly incomplete. It is, however, excellent for reinforcement and test preparation, or for introducing your kids to the study of geography, which is a notoriously difficult subject to tackle.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.
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