Our family had the opportunity to review the Geography I curriculum from Memoria Press. Memoria Press includes this program in their fourth grade curriculum. You can purchase the Geography portion for $48. I used it with my fourth- and fifth-grade sons.
Geography I covers the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. It also includes a review booklet for the United States. We’ve always done geography in conjunction with history, and not as a separate subject, so I was interested to see how this would work for us.
The Student Text begins each section with a brief overview and map of the region. The regional information is followed by a two-page spread for each country in the region. You can see a sample of this layout on MP’s website. The first page is broken down into three sections: History’s Headlines, where we get highlights of the country’s past; Tour of Today, where we learn of events from the not-so-distant past; and Fast Facts, where we get the stats about the country and learn about its flag. There are also black-and-white pictures to accompany each country. The second page is a basic map showing the country in relation to its surrounding countries and bodies of water. In the back of the book, there are several colorful pages of flags. My kids were very interested in the flags, so I actually found them some flag stickers that they could put on each page.
The Geography I Student Workbook has a page for each country for the students to label a few of the major geographical locations and to record some basic information about the country. You can see a sample page here. The answers are provided in the Teacher Guide.
The United States Student Workbook breaks the country into eight regions. For each region, there are worksheet pages to identify the name of the state and its capital. We had never done a formal study of United States geography, so I was surprised when my kids just whipped through the United States booklet. They informed me that they learned the states and capitals through various educational video games.
I normally choose secular materials for my kids, but I have used other MP items and have not found them to be overbearing in their religious viewpoint. If you want no mention of God or Christianity at all in your curriculum. though, this is not the program for you.
As a preliminary foray into Geography, I don’t think you’ll find a more simple and easy product to use. It provides a good overview of the various regions and what countries make up those regions. The text is brief and simple, but you could easily do more independent research on a country that strikes your fancy. The maps are clear and simple and provide a good sense of the main points of interest. My kids enjoyed using these books, so we have decided to continue on with Geography II next year. Once again, though, I will cut off the binding and have the workbooks spiral bound. My kids do not like trying to hold a book flat while writing in it. I just photocopied the workbook pages so they could lay them flat until I was able to spiral bind the book.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product in exchange for my honest review on the Sandbox to Socrates blog. Opinions expressed in this review are the opinions of myself or my family and do not necessarily reflect those of the Sandbox to Socrates blog. I received no compensation for this review, nor was I required to write a positive review. This disclosure is in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
by Lynne –Lynne has enjoyed homeschooling her two sons for the past three years, after their brief stint in the local public school. Her older son is a humorous fellow with high functioning autism who thrives in a home education environment. Her younger son is a sensitive soul with a great deal of patience. The boys, Mom, and Dad, along with the two guinea pigs, live in Northeast Ohio. Lynne holds a Master’s Degree in French Language and Literature. She is also a Harry Potter fanatic, enjoys line dancing and Zumba, spends hours scrapbooking, and loves organic vegetables. You can visit her soon-to-be revitalized blog at www.daysofwonderhomeschool.blogspot.com.