Our first grader loves to learn about the world, examine maps, and study different cultures. So when the opportunity to review Let's Go Geography (specifically Let's Go Geography, Year 2) was provided to us, we were very happy to take a look and use this wonderful curriculum in our homeschool. Let's Go Geography offers two years of a geography homeschool curriculum that examines and explores different cultures and countries around the world for grades K-5. (Year 3 is currently in production at the time of this post.)
What is Let's Go Geography?
Let's Go Geography follows a very similar pattern with each lesson. Week by week, children are introduced to a new place around the world (or even in their backyard). The goal is to open the eyes of children to the world around them. Not everyone looks the same as them, eats the same food as they do, or lives in the same type of house as they do and Let's Go Geography helps children learn about these differences.
Each lesson contains similar activities:
- Explore maps (finding locations and coloring countries or states)
- Cutting out flags to include in a passport or on the flag page
- Listening to the music of the countries (including their national anthems)
- Taking notes on pages provided as part of the curriculum
- Looking at a variety of pictures provided in the curriculum
- Watching videos provided through YouTube safe links
- Reading suggested library books or Internet sites (and as we have done, you can select your own books that are more readily available to you)
- Color-themed coloring pages provided in the curriculum
- Create one craft a week that coincides with the country or area of the world you are studying
How Are We Using Let's Go Geography, Year 2?
As soon as we received access to the site and Let's Go Geography, Year 2, I downloaded the first two lessons and read through them to see what we would need when we started the curriculum. We had several options as the course can be used for grades K-5. So far, we are using the majority of the materials.
All the information was very easy to find on the website. First, I gained access to Year 2:
And then once I was in Year 2, I was able to access each individual lesson to download the material. You can see that all the lessons for one semester are listed on the right hand side of the screen while the lesson you have open is on the left side of the screen. Everything was very easy to navigate.
Once I started printing out the materials (cover page, map, note-taking worksheets, etc.), I put together a folder for our first grader (and one for our preschooler because she loves working alongside her older brother). The course recommends a binder and we may transfer all our materials to one in the future but for now the folder works fine for us.
Each homeschool day, we have been following the lesson. On some days we are even completing more than one activity as our son has been really enjoying Let's Go Geography. The flexibility of the program is fantastic – allowing us to do what works best for our family. And because of the variety of activities, on some occasions our preschooler can join us.
If you want, you could print out the entire lesson or just read it from your computer or tablet. I have been printing the necessary pages for our children and reading the plans on the laptop. This makes it very easy to then click through the YouTube safe videos (which we love). I love the fact that Let's Go Geography includes videos to show culture, geography, and more. For example, we watched a video about a lumber mill, the Golden Gate Bridge, traffic in Cairo, Egypt; and the Hoover Dam.
|The links for the videos are often accompanied with facts and interesting details about the country.|
In addition to reading about the country and watching videos, your children can also use the notebooking pages to write down what they are learning to include with their maps, coloring pages, and other activities. The curriculum truly encourages note-taking and reading comprehension. Our son was very excited to research the different areas and take notes on his findings. There are suggested books, an online site, and even a brief description as to where to find geography books in your library. Flexibility again plays a part in how great this program is because we are able to use books we already own or borrow those available to us from our library. For example, I was able to share some of the many books I own on Ancient Egypt with our first grader to help him complete the coloring page.
|Each week contains a different coloring page. Here is our son's partial completely one for Egypt.|
What Did We Think?
This has been such an easy curriculum to incorporate into our homeschool day. To prepare for each week, all I need to do is read through the PDF and print the applicable pages. Sometimes I need to make a trip the library if I can't find appropriate sites for our son to use for his research and on occasion I needed to purchase a few items for the crafts (most of the materials we already have in our home), but in general it does not take long to prep for each week.
There is a checklist at the beginning of each file. If you print this page, your child can work their way easily through the week. And if your homeschooling children need consistency in their day, you will see the checklist is very similar from week to week as they will be completing a map activity, a flag activity, listening to music from the country, exploring the country through videos and books, and finally completing an arts and crafts activity.
|The checklists make it easy to keep track of what we have done and need to do.|
And there is also a list of craft supplies which I really appreciated. It was quite simple to look ahead to the next week and see what materials we would need. I could put them all together in our folder or set them aside with our other homeschooling materials for the week. In the screenshot below, you can see the craft supplies needed for studying England.
Our son loves having the opportunity to read about different places and decide what he wants to write down on the notebooking pages provided in the curriculum. He finds it fun to do the research. He also enjoys the videos and the crafts. His favorite video so far was one about the Sequoia known as the "President" which was included as part of the Pacific Northwest Lesson Plan. Of the four crafts we have completed, his favorite so far was the first one: using watercolor paints to recreate the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.
I think one of the favorite parts of the curriculum was the weekly crafts we completed. Each week was a bit different. We painted a picture of the mountains, recreated a sunset in the desert, made a standard barn, and a picture of a camel next to the great pyramids so far. (This week we will be making a lion craft as it is the national animal of Ethiopia.) The three crafts shared below were all from the second to fourth weeks while studying the United States.
|Painting mountains of the Pacific Northwest|
|Creating desert sunset scene while studying the Mountain West|
|Crafting a traditional barn while studying the South Atlantic states|
Who would enjoy using Let's Go Geography, Year 2 in their homeschool? I think anyone looking for a flexible and fun geography curriculum for teaching multiple ages at the same time. As this curriculum is for grades K-5, you can use it for all of your elementary students. Our first grader thinks that a child who likes history would enjoy using this curriculum and I agree.
Let's Go Geography is also very easy to incorporate other activities into your week that connect – like cooking food from the country or visiting local museums so that you can learn more about the place you are studying. The Let's Go Geography geography curriculum is fun and exciting!
Do You Want to Learn More?
Our family was not the only homeschooling family who was studying geography these past few months. Please check out the other reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew.
Let's Go Geography provides an excellent overview in this video: