A Childs Geography Explore His Earth by Ann Voskamp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
We completed Ann Voskamp's A Child's Geography volume 1 last week. We weren't very consistent reading it, and finished it in less than a year. There are only 11 chapters, with several divisions each, so a focused study could be completed relatively quickly. This curriculum can be used in as much depth as appropriate with the extras included in the curriculum and additional books or projects. I agree with the other review on GoodReads that suggests that the book, on its own, is sufficient for early elementary ... perhaps even a little challenging for that age.
Ann Voskamp, of course, is the author of 1000 Gifts and a well-respected blogger at A Holy Experience. Her writing style has a distinctive poetry to it which some readers find enjoyable and some find difficult.
Here, her prose is much more straightforward, yet still retains some of the poetic qualities of her writing. I found it to be a much better style for readability. The text was clear and precise. The integration of verses from the Bible was fitting rather than tacked on. The worldview is decidedly creationist with explanations from the flood and creation woven in seamlessly and appropriately, in my opinion. I would think this would be a difficult text to use in a secular way.
The excitement of the author of seemingly mundane topics like the layers of the atmosphere and the engaging presentation were great. Her explanations were good. I loved how longitude was explained as a problem that needed solved with the story of how it was solved.
I, the mom, learned a lot about Physical Geography using this book. Embarrassingly, I had 45 hours of Geography coursework in college for my major, and I don't remember anything about most of what is covered in this text in that coursework.
For example, I couldn't ever remember which was longitude and which was latitude (I always talked myself into the wrong one). Thanks to Ann's Latitude Ladder song, I don't think I'll forget. The names of continents and their etymology was so interesting. Imaginary travel up through the layers of the atmosphere and down through the layers of the core and their protection and provision for earth's crust were creative and well thought.
The chapter on the Oceans was not our favorite, but still had good information.
I agree with the reviewer who complained that the quality of images could be better; bigger and more up to date would be an improvement. That is a minor quibble with how much we liked this book.
We did not complete many of the projects or writing suggestions in the book, but I could easily imagine using this again in the future in a much more thorough way. The program comes with a CD-ROM with copywork and other pre-designed forms to aid with writing and narration.
Overall, we enjoyed this study, and I hope to utilize it in more depth again.
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