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5 Stars Out Of 5
May 3, 2014
I have to say, when I look back on our early elementary homeschool years, Galloping the Globe is one of my favorite memories that comes to mind! This book is a guide - not an all-inclusive curriculum. We did have to reserve the needed books ahead of time from our local library, or just looked for them when we were there. We have wonderful memories of reading some great stories while snuggling on the sofa, playing with Madeline paper dolls while studying France, making a salt-dough map of China, creating artwork on the underside of the kitchen table (Michelangelo @ Sistine Chapel in Italy), and at the end of many of the studies, making a meal (Eat Your Way Around the World). We invited friends to join in and share our meal who had been there, and they often brought stories and items to share. We didn't do as much with some of the suggestions, but that's the beauty of it - you make it your own and even add to it what you want.
I am not often a big unit-study type of person, but this was so enjoyable that I still prefer this type of hands-on approach to geography (we've graduated to maps and lapbooks!).
This book has great illustrations and activities for each country... However... You need a ton of supllemental books to accomplish each study. Not what I had in mind. I wish that they could compile more information inside of the book. I have to agree it seemed 'empty'. Maybe I am new to 'unit study' approach but this is not what I expected... Bummer!
Ok, I was super excited about this book and I understood that it used alot of other books but I figured it would have more than to it than simply a book list! I think I am guilty of judging this book by it's cover, it looked so cute and I thought my daughter would be more excited about it since it was so cute looking.
I would moreso say this is a book that will give you an idea of how to teach geography. It starts out with the world giving you a 5 page list of ideas you could do and other books you can read. Then provides a couple maps one labeling continents and a blank one the students must label then it has a couple word searches a maze (an anthill) and a dot to dot (a butterfly). It then moves to Asia. I looked at the table of contents before I bought the book and was under the impression that there was a good lesson about each country; well there is 1 paragraph about asia and a labeled map. Then there is a picture of China, 3 paragraphs about China, 3.5 pages of ideas and books-only 8 one line ideas, the rest books- and a flag of china coloring page. This is how the whole book goes.
To be fair I will say that it does have material we will use. Such as the blank map in the beginning and the general idea of the book. I bought the game Where in the World with this and I would highly recommend it. I have decided to spend 1-2 weeks per country, day one general facts-the where in the world game had one card per every country in the world listing population, monetary unit, imports, exports, language, literacy rate, etc; day two: brief history (yay for internet); Day 3: notable people and types of animals; Day 4: Literature of country, fascinating facts and missionary stories; Day 5: Food from that country with a quiz. Some countries will obviously require more weeks than others. I got the idea to do it this way from the book, but I think that about sums it up-unless you want their book recommendations. My advice is to be creative and do your own thing.
As a homeschooling mom, I like flexibility and FUN to make learning memorable...This is a PERFECT unit study for multi-grade levels. I currently homeschool a 6, 8 and 10 year old and they are loving this...I am incorporating this with our pirate study....and it is hit. I like the outlines, they are enough to give you an idea and some organization, but also vague enough that you can make it your own. LOVE this!!!
I was expecting a stand alone geography curriculum. Instead, I received a unit study filled with other books to buy to complete the curriculum. I'm sure that it will prove helpful with our geography studies...I just didn't plan on having to purchase more books to make it work. (Also, I have found it very hard and expensive to purchase the books suggested.)