Monday, June 10, 2013

Schoolhouse Review: Memoria Press Geograhpy

With my daughter's special needs there are some things that are harder to teach her like the study of far away places and ancient times.  That is why I was excited when I had the opportunity to review the Geography I curriculum by Memoria Press for the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

Memoria Press is a company that provides "easy-to-use"  classical Christian curriculum.  They strive to provide three things: "simplicity, quality and affordability."  I was given the Geography I  curriculum for the purpose of my review which studies the Middle East, North Africa and Europe which covers the area of the ancient Roman Empire.  The unit also comes with a student workbook and answer key of The United States to review the 50 states and capitals that they would have already learned if they were currently using Memoria Press.

I have to agree that these books are easy to use.  The simplicity was such a blessing to me, especially since I am teaching a daughter with special needs.  My problem studying history and geography is that I want to learn everything there is to know.  That usually isn't possible in the best of circumstances, let alone in our situation.  Each country has a one page summary that includes a section on it's history, something about the country today or another important fact about that country, a Fast Facts section that gives basic stats about the country and an illustration of something of significance you would find there or should know about it.  Next to that is the map that you study.  In your workbook you do list some of the facts that you have learned but the only things you need to know for the test and quizzes are the locations and names of the countries and their capitals.

I also love that these are written from a Christian worldview and they use the Bible when explaining the history. For instance it tells you that "the history of Iraq goes back to ancient Babylon" and then explains that is where the Tower of Babel was being built and where people first received new languages.  It also gives Geneses 11 as a reference there.

The lessons were interesting to read and I actually learned a lot myself.  I must confess that I don't know my geography as well I should but I am getting better thanks to these.  I was truly surprised at well how Gess picked it up.  She loves the map work and is retaining her information really well.  When it came time for the quiz I expected that I might have to have some helps for her such as giving her multiple choice answers by listing the countries on the board. As it turned out, she didn't need that help at all!

On her first quiz she only missed one capital but knew where each of the countries were located.  I was actually amused that Jerusalem was the only one she couldn't remember. You would think as much as we study that Bible that would be the one she would automatically know.  While she got the problems correct on her own the only reason they are spelled correctly is because she asked me how to spell them.  She does not like writing a word that she doesn't know how to spell.  I didn't mind helping her with that at all.  I was just thrilled that she knew the answers!

The final test will have her remembering all of the countries and their capitals in the Middle East.  She isn't quite ready for that yet but we are getting close.  For review we took some of the the flags they provide in the back of the book and placed them on the map where that country was located.  That was a fun, hands on way to review and helped keep Gess from having to do so much writing, especially with all those big words.

I also helped her trim down on the amount of writing in her workbook by letting her draw lines to the countries rather than label them. 

I do believe these book encompass their goal of simplicity, quality and affordability and I would recommend them.  Other than there being quite a bit of writing of long names that are hard for Gess due to her special needs she adapted to the material really well.  The Geography I is geared towards 4th - 8th grade.  Gess is just now in the 4th grade so I think she did a good job for her age and she probably would have progressed more quickly if she were a bit older.  I think there is plenty there for each of these grade levels to learn from.  The older kids are more likely to retain more of the factual information but the younger ones can certainly master the geography which is what it's all about anyway.

We haven't used The United States Review books because Gess has not actually studied the states and their capitals yet.  Now that I can see how easily she can remember geographical locations and how well this curriculum is working for her I think I will purchase their States and Capitals curriculum next.  I will save these review books for after we are done with those!

The complete Geography I and sells for $48.00 and comes with the Textbook, Student Workbook, Teacher Guide as well as The United States Student Review and The United States Review Answer Key.  You can purchase these by visiting the links above.  To learn more about Geography I visit the Memoria Press website or see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought about it by clicking on the banner below.


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1 comment:

wodaking said...

I love your review! I especially loved your idea of placing the flags on the map! I am going to do that with my kids! Thank you!


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