Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: Geography I from Memoria Press

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I was very excited when Memoria Press came up as a vendor for review since we are choosing to give our kids a classical Christian education and their stuff fits in perfectly. Memoria Press is a wonderful, family run company, that sells quality products. We received their Geography I set, which sells for $48 and includes:

Geography I Text
Geography I Workbook
Geography I Teacher Guide
United States Review Student
United States Review Key, Quizzes, and Tests

Geography I (recommended for 4th - 8th grade) covers the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. We just finished Cycle 1 in CC about the time we received this, so we started with the Middle East and Africa as review of what we studied last year. I'm so excited that Cycle 2 covers Europe and then Cycle 3 is United States. This one set covers all their geography for all of their Foundations years - score! By the end of the course (doing 2-3 countries a week), the students should be able to identify all the countries and capitals on a map. We used the globe for this to help keep it all in perspective.

Here it is!

 The student text contains a two page spread about each country and  includes a map of major cities and landmarks, and info and interesting facts such as population, language spoken, climate and their flag. There is a section in the back of the book that has all the flags in color too, which is nice so they can copy. This book is not consumable, which is great for us since we repeat each cycle twice.

The student workbook goes hand in hand with the text. Each country gets one page that includes a blank map (that matches the one in the text) and places to record info from what they read in the text. There are numerous pages for review work in there too. These are consumable so we will have to buy a new one next time we go through this. Thankfully it is only $11.95 to buy on its own!

The teacher's guide is really just an answer key, with the addition of quizzes and tests at the end. There is one page at the beginning of all three of these geo books that explains how the program works though. The "teaching" in this set is the student text so don't skip that! While you can't copy anything in the student workbook, you are allowed to copy the quizzes and tests, and even encouraged to make multiple copies for more review.

Copying from the text to the workbook.
Then on to US, this is always our favorite part of the world to study since it is more familiar. The student workbook is only 25 pages long, but will last the whole year! We didn't do this one yet, but did look through it and are excited to do it in Cycle 3. They divide the US into 8 regions and each region is studied in each of the 4 sections with increasing difficulty. I wish I had this book last time we did Cycle 3 in CC. I was piecing together work to help them learn the states and capitals but I really like how this is laid out. The Teacher's Key is almost 100 pages. The first 25 are duplicates of the student workbook, with the answers written in, and the remaining 75 are quizzes and exams to help retention. This set is only $12.95 and a great resource for US geography! I'll be picking up an extra student book ($5) before we get to Cycle 3 so T and P can both do it!

So, how did we use this? Like I said, it is targeted at 4th grade and up. T just finished 4th, but P just finished 2nd. However, I like to do as much together with them as I can. We did this two or three times a week, one country each time. I let them choose which countries they wanted to do each day, since the order doesn't really matter, except for quizzes, which I'm just waiting until we finish to do. We finished up North Africa first and moved on to start the Middle East. T and I would read the passages out loud and they would find the countries on the globe. We had already studied all of these this past year and have a map of each of them that they used for their memory work, so we pulled that out too and traced them on there since it was familiar. I loved how this reinforced what we are learning. P was able to copy the info from the maps to the student workbook and fill in the basic facts, then T would help finish any she missed and fill in the fun facts. C also jumped in on our lessons because he just finished a year long geography study in Challenge A and is drawing the world, free hand this month. He had lots of good input and enjoyed taking the lead on their lessons when they would let him. lol.

I think that this is a great addition to your homeschool day. Geography is often overlooked but such an important part of a classical education. You save about $5 by purchasing the entire set at once, but if you need to break it up, the individual prices aren't bad at all.  If I wasn't purchasing the entire set together, I, honestly, probably would skip the Teacher's Guide to the Geo (but get it for the US!) and make up my own quizzes. Since I did this with the kids each day, I was able to look back at the student text and find the answers with them as we went. While I agree with the 4th grade and up recommendation, I think that with help, like we did, it can work for younger kiddos too.

Check out what other Crew members had to say about Geo I and Prima Latina.


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