Thursday, May 24, 2007

In Search of the Perfect (Fill in the blank)

I wonder how many homeschooling parents out there are constantly on the lookout for the perfect X, Y or Z. I know I'm always looking, even when I'm happy with what we're doing.

As our third year of homeschooling is coming to an end, I feel fairly confident with my choices. Thomas is learning, and learning well. We've spent lots of dollars trying to find just the right X, Y and Z. We've done pretty well all. Except for geography.

Would someone please wave their magic wand and present the perfect geography program for me? We've unschooled this year, reading lots of books, studying maps and playing games. Name that Country is a huge hit here.

I want more -- for me. I didn't learn geography well. Thomas wants more. Well, okay, perhaps he isn't asking for more and maybe he doesn't know he wants more, but he does. (the evil mother.)

At the beginning of the year, I purchased Trail Guide to U.S. Geography. We also got their ebook. We both hated it. Well, I liked it, but Thomas hated, hated, hated it. It zapped his love of geography right out of him. He called it busy work. I haven't ever come across anyone else who didn't like this program, just us. We will never fit into a mold -- which is a good thing.

I'm toying with the idea of writing my own program this summer. NOT how I want to spend my summer vacation. I'm also toying with the idea of just getting a text book from eBay to use as a spine and then do all kinds of fun stuff.

We have Mapping the World by Heart. It sits gathering dust. I'm too lazy to put a plan together. Besides that, it's just learning where the countries are. We want more.

So would someone wave their magic wand for me and give me the perfect program that encompasses the five themes?



Anonymous said...

Don't have the perfect book or curriculum, but if you're pulling stuff together yourself, here are 2 books that might work for you guys:

"Earthsearch: A Kid's Geography Museum in a Book" by John Cassidy


"Where on Earth?" (OOP) by Paul Rosenthal -- check your library for this one.

the GA peach ;-)

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Hi, Frankie,

When we were doing social studies text adoptions last year (I was still teaching gifted elementary then), we looked at this great program from National Geographic. I have no idea if they have a homeschool edition or if it would be feasible, but it looked really good. You could go to their website and check it out.

Frankie said...

I wonder if it's the Glencoe series. They collaborated and have had a series out for quite awhile.

That's what I'm thinking about getting.

And...I'm spending my Thursday night searching my local library online. They actually have a lot more resources than I thought. So I am leaning toward a text with lots of supplemental reading.

Ms. GA Peach, my library does have Where on Earth but not Earthsearch. So I'll be checking that out shortly.


Carole in DE said...

Another thing we have in common! I couldn't stand Trail Guild to US Geography either. The boys both saw it as busy work. What was worst was that I purchased not only that one but also the World Geography book too. UGH!! Sold them rather easily but I did take a bit of a lose on them.

I gave up on geography other than having the boys look at an atlas or maps whenever we hear of a place. Sorry can't be of help there.

Carrie said...

You might want to take a look at "Visualize World Geography (in 7 minutes a day)":
This helps you teach geography using pictography (Italy looks like a boot, the UK looks like a bunny... etc).

There are all kinds of rave reviews about it here on Google.

I own it (a personally signed copy, even) but have yet to dive into it. (Bad, bad curriculum-junky mama!) It *looks* really good and interesting, though.