Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Brookdale House-Drawing Around the World:Europe {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

Are you looking for a resource to assist your children in learning geography, using Charlotte Mason methods? Brookdale House has some excellent resources for that. We've been using Drawing Around the World: Europe the past few weeks, and the boys actually like it! Hey! That says a lot, when teenagers enjoy schoolwork, right?

Brookdale House provides an excellent variety of Charlotte Mason resources, such as: Writing Through History, Drawing Around the World Europe and USA, Writing from Rhetoric, Bible memorization, primary and middle school grammar, and even easy Spanish.

Drawing Around the World: Europe is available as an ebook or a printed book. We received the ebook version, which made it handy to use with both boys.

Each week, your student will learn at least one, sometimes as many as three, new countries by tracing their shapes, locating them on a map, drawing their shapes freehand and from memory. There is also a page for recording various facts for each country: area, population, capital, people/cultures, major religion/s, climate, and resources.  They suggest a few different resources from which to find this information, such as the website, Prayercast, and the book, National Geographic Bee Ultimate Fact Book:Countries A to Z.
On day one, the boys traced the country, and then drew it in the box. On that same page, they filled in the facts. We went to the Prayercast site, watched the video clip for each country, listened to the brief audio clip of a praise song or hymn in that language, and read the facts there about the country. We couldn't find all of the facts there, so then we'd look on Wikipedia for the rest of the facts, usually for climate and resources. Then they'd find the new countries on a map that had dotted outlines of each country. Then on a blank page, they were to freehand draw the new countries.

On day two, they traced the all the countries learned so far one the dotted line map, followed by a blank page on which to freehand draw them. Day three is the same as day two.

Day four is more challenging! They have to list all of the countries learned so far, then freehand draw them...without looking back for assistance.

Well, Botanist Boy learned a trick to get around drawing the freehand pages. He'd take the dotted line map, place it over the blank map, and make sure he'd press hard enough while tracing, to leave an impression on the blank map. Then when it was time to do the "freehand" drawing, he'd just trace the impression. Hey, well...at least he IS learning the outlines of the countries, and their locations.

I've noticed that Little Bit hasn't even been attempting the freehand drawing. I guess for now I'll just let that slide. He does trace the countries on the dotted line maps (and even colors them), and he fills in the facts, and lists the countries. I guess that's good enough for his skill level at this time.

I wasn't sure how they'd like this, since at first they balked and complained about having to do it. But they have grown to actually enjoy doing it, for the most part. I enjoy going over the facts about the countries with them. I find it interesting, myself. And I like how this is meshing with our studies in world history. It helps them have a better picture in their minds as to where the events took place.

The boys enjoy it so much, they have actually asked to keep on doing it throughout the rest of the year! So I'll have to get busy and print off the rest of the pages for them.

Be sure to read the rest of the Crew reviews, since we also review Drawing Around the World: USA (which is now on my wishlist!); Fun Spanish; Middle School Grammar; Primary Language Lessons; and Writing Through History.

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