5 Stars Out Of 5
Fun and highly effective!
May 6, 2016
I stumbled across this product while searching for a video-based overview of the physical geography of all the continents and countries. VWG includes a disc for each continent providing a brief narration of not only the physical geography, but the culture and historical highlights of each country while displaying maps, photos, flags, and sometimes video clips. It was exactly what I was looking for.
What I wasnt looking for and was completely surprised and delighted with are the ingenious pictographies which are really the heart of the program. Using silly stories that cover a group of countries, each country represents a part of the story with a mnemonic. It works so well! We watched straight through the Europe Direct Mnemonics disc twice and learned every country in Europe BY SIGHT. Previously, I think I determined the names of most countries by memorizing countries in order. For example, I could name the Baltic states, but only by starting at Estonia and reciting the names in order till I reached Lithuania. With the pictography, I SEE Lithuania. I knew the old Czechoslovakia, so I would try to figure out Czech Republic and Slovakia that way. Now I SEE the Czech Republic and Slovakia independently. It does indeed work as well as seeing the boot of Italy when you know the pictographies.
The program includes a set of extra-sturdy laminated maps with the pictographic mnemonics on one side and outline drawings on the other side. We are using the pictography side for tracing with the hopes of learning to draw the map by heart. The pictures of the mnemonics are great for tracing because the picture is easier to remember than the lines. An included CD provides three versions of each continent to print - outline map, anchor point maps (only pieces of the outline are included), and blank grid maps.
Its pricey and it does have a homemade character, but it is very well done. I know the pictographies are available in book form only, but the video presentation is VERY efficient if one can afford it, and the physical geography discs and maps are a valuable addition. Highly recommend!