I don't know what your experiences were like in school when it came to learning geographical terms, being able to adequately read and use maps, and have a deeper understanding about our world from studying geography.
I had very little geography in my school career, but I remember always enjoying working on maps. The only thing I didn't care to do with maps was to color them in. We were usually required to use colored pencils to color in our maps, and back then, I didn't have access to the very nice watercolor artist pencils like my own children do these days.
They have no idea how spoiled they are!
While I loved working on maps back then, I didn't care for the screechy way that my colored pencils would fill in the countries or regions or bodies of water. It actually became quite irritating to me!
In our state, as homeschoolers, our children are now required to take a completely different test than we have in the past. Now, we are required to have our children tested on social studies and science in addition to the usual tests on language mechanics and comprehension, and mathematical reasoning and computation. I feel comfortable with this, because we have fairly rigorous history and science curricula in our home.
Some of our homeschooling history curriculum has addressed the use of maps and mapwork for the last few years. I thought we were doing pretty well at having the girls learn geography skills and map skills.
Then, Timberdoodle asked me to review their Daily Geography Practice for Grades 6+, by Evan-Moor.
When Daily Geography Practice arrived in the mail, Kelsi looked at it to see what it was like. She loves to work on maps and learn about maps, or at least she has in the past. She decided right away that this was something that I'd need to teach to her and her sister instead of this being something that she would work on individually each day. And sure enough, in the introduction of this book, it carefully notes that the skills in this book should be taught in direct instruction, and not used as independent practice.
I agreed. While Daily Geography Practice is designed to be worked on for about 15 minutes per day, I would agree that this is not an independent learning workbook.
While I thumbed through the book that first day or two, it was obvious to me that there were quite a few geography concepts that we had not yet introduced to the girls at home. While I'm not overly concerned about how the girls score on the standardized tests that they take in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10, I also don't want them to freeze up on the tests because they're unfamiliar with some of the terminology.
In Daily Geography Practice, Grade 6+, 36 map lessons introduce basic geography skills and over 130 geography terms. What a perfect hands-on approach to geography instruction!
The geography skills presented at Grade 6+ include
Here are some of the features which I really like about using Daily Geography Practice - Grade 6+ in our home.
The pages are reproducible for classroom use - in one classroom. My girls are now working through the lessons together, so I'm allowed to photocopy the pages so that both of them have their own individual worksheet pages. Even if there were 10 children in my family, I wouldn't need to buy a separate book for each child. That's economical, and I appreciate that!
Each of the 36 weekly sections can be completed in five 15-minute time periods during the week, or in longer sessions one to three times per week. We chose to work through each weekly section over two longer sessions each week.
Background information and an answer key is available for the teacher, for each weekly section.
A map page is included for each week's lesson.
Vocabulary and question pages are included for each week.
A geography glossary can be found at the back of the book. In fact, it is printable so the students can make their own easy reference booklet throughout the year!
This book also contains 36 black-and-white transparencies of the maps and globes in the book. If I was using this in a classroom setting, I would use overhead pens to highlight and mark special features as we would be discussing the week's lesson and questions.
I've found Daily Geography Practice - Grade 6+ to be very simple for me to use as a busy home educating mom. The only advanced preparation required of me is to photocopy the girls' weekly lesson worksheets, and to check to see if I need to grab the globe or have us sit in front of the wall map in our schoolroom. Other than that, this book is very simple to use.
Brittany is now finishing up the 5th grade. While she's needed to think slightly harder while working on the questions during the week, she's understanding what we're doing. That's important to me!
If you're interested in taking a closer look at Daily Geography Practice - Grade 6+, you can flip through the first 24 pages of this book HERE.
Daily Geography Practice is also available for Grades 1-5. While we haven't used any of the earlier levels, we would have, had I known about this excellent series of geography study workbooks.
Timberdoodle also carries a variety of additional geography helps and tools for families on their website , like other geography curriculum, puzzles, and supplements.
You may also view their online catalog to see what other treasures they carry. I love looking through the Timberdoodle catalog. They offer so many neat educational supplies and materials that other catalogs and companies generally don't carry.
Daily Geography Practice is one book series that is perfect for home educators, and I highly recommend this! You have the flexibility as the parent to spread this out over one semester for advanced students, or over two years for younger students who need more time to absorb new concepts like these.
I'm very thankful to learn about this book series this year. My only regret is that I didn't know about it any sooner!
Disclosure: As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!