Trail Guide to Learning: Paths of Exploration Volumes I &  II, Second Edition      -     By: Debbie Strayer
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This homeschool product specifically reflects a Christian worldview.
 Trail Guide to Learning: Paths of Exploration Volumes I & II, Second Edition

Geography Matters / 2013 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Give your students the tools to learn HOW to think about history, instead of expecting a mere recitation of facts! Six units cover language skills, science, history, geography, art and thinking skills as students learn about Columbus, Jamestown and the Pilgrims in Volume 1, and Daniel Boone, Lewis & Clark, and Trails West in Volume 2. Each unit features six lessons with five parts that are designed fit within a week or shifted to suit your scheduling needs. Small icons mark the appropriate grade level of activities, allowing this curriculum to be used for students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, and with enrichment activities students in the 6th grade.

Opening with "Steps for Thinking", each lesson is clearly structured and labeled, with teacher notes and any materials needed listed on the side. The main content is interspersed with lesson instructions that are written directly to the child, creating a smooth flow for each day's work.

Lessons include copywork/dictation activities; reader assignments that bring real literature into the curriculum; Parent Read-Aloud, Discussion, Narration, and Reflective Writing activities; and a word study to help students gain contextual vocabularies, as well as improve their spelling skills. Geography, Science and History connections weave history together with geography, while the Charlotte Mason approach to science helps children observe, record, and evaluate nature. Writing exercises are integrated throughout as a response to lessons, while drawing activities help students to improve their powers of observation. "Doing" activities help students think through the information they've learned, while receiving additional motivation.

The included Student Notebook (to be downloaded with registration code) serves as a portfolio of student work with maps, charts, copywork passages for lower grades, unit games, and checklists. While the first edition featured a CD-ROM, this 2nd edition code allows for access to the most recently updated digital downloads.

This second edition features a number of updates and improvements:

  • Lessons now include spelling lists that are geared to the literature, while often directing focus to specific spelling strategies.
  • New games include spelling scrambles and spelling word searches.
  • Age-appropriate grammar concepts are reinforced through practice and games.
  • Two new books in the Pilgrims unit, Sarah Morton's Day and Samuel Eaton's Day, help children get a feel for life from a child's perspective in that time period.
  • Unit summaries provide a glimpse of what is covered for each six weeks, including materials and resources used.
  • The two appendices are now combined into one and arranged by unit rather than by topic.
  • The teacher section includes lesson at a glance charts, challenge spelling words, vocabulary lists, and more.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Vendor: Geography Matters
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN-13: 9781931397988
Series: Trail Guide to Learning

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    4 Stars Out Of 5 5 Reviews

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  1. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Fun curriculum, tied together well
    February 21, 2015
    After my sons and I were feeling burned out from our "same ole" workbooks and textbooks, I decided to switch mid-year to Paths of Exploration (w/2nd and 5th grader) and it was just the shake up we needed. We all like school now. Gasp! We are only in the first unit so I am not able to give a seasoned review, but we really enjoy the way topics are tied together in a way that doesn't feel like we are doing specific subjects. We aren't sitting down for grammar or writing or geography, we are just learning and it flows well. Very little prep each week which I love. We have not done enough science for me to comment, but my gut feeling is that we won't love the science, but that's okay because we were using a science that I really didn't want to give up anyways. It is new this year by Dr. Jay Wiles and it is called Science in the Beginning. It's great and I think it can be easily added to our school day because POE doesn't take very long. My boys are usually done in about 2. or 2 1/2 hours so adding math and science really isn't a big deal. I am also going to continue IEW for writing with my 5th grader because he is doing so well with it, but again, it can easily be added and the school day still doesn't drag on. I wasn't sure how I would feel about using a Charlotte Mason type approach, but to see the way that my children are enjoying learning, I am sold. I gave it 4 stars rather than 5 because I haven't used it long enough to say it is "excellent" and there are a few things I would possibly tweak.
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