Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Language DO We Speak?

This week we've been reviewing Download N Go - Expedition Australia as part of our 'try out' for The Old Schoolhouse (TOS) Homeschool Crew. It has been so much fun for us here at home, and very timely! We spent our summer vacation traveling 4 states in 5 weeks (husband is a teacher so we get great vacation time). We saw some of the most fantastic sights from inland to ocean. We camped in National Parks which meant that it was just you and the best Australia has to offer. So Download N Go Expedition Australian has been a fantastic unit study to apply fact and knowledge to our experience.

However, this unit study doesn't require such an experience as ours to be a fantastic learning tool. It examines Aussie geography, culture, language, traditions and our Indigenous people. It's user friendly and as the series suggest you just download and go. All the research has been done for you including lists of relevant fiction and non fiction books coupled with video clips for the kids to 'see' for themselves, which are available at the click of a button. As the recommended book list is not exclusive or exhaustive, you're not left feeling like you need to purchase or track down all the books they suggest. You are able to mix and match with what you have available to you.

This unit study has been designed to be completed over a 5 day week, but we've spread it over 2 weeks because I'm working with a 7 and 4 year old. It's a combination of workbook style and lapbook. Maddie has enjoyed both aspects and at no time felt bogged down with a lot of writing or over whelmed with facts. Lucy worked on her own lapbook which included many of the same activities that where age appropriate eg. colouring, map work, animal facts. The joy of working with this style of curriculum is the 'tweekability' of it. You just pick and choose according to your 'students' needs. Its all there whether you have big or little people or a combination of both.

The first day I found I was jumping between the computer, books and activities a little more than I would have liked. With young ones the slightest break in 'transmission' and it can be all over, they're off doing their own thing. However I managed to find my flow and was much better prepared with links, books and info on the subsequent days and found the girls fully engaged on their 'journey' around Australia.

My favorite question in the Expedition Australia was "What is the national language of Australia"
I asked Maddie "what language do we speak?" She looked puzzled and said "...clearly" All those speech pathology lessons have paid off because we'd always say " Maddie you must speak clearly". In her mind 'clearly' must have been our National Language!!

Amanda Bennett has done a great job at putting together a variety of subjects for the Download n Go packages. As the E-Book series name suggests "Go for Learning, Go for Fun, Go for Adventure" and they are great value at $7.95 US each. Bundles are also available as are Sample pages for you to try before you buy.
So whether or not you are an Aussie looking for a unit study on Australia or just looking at exploring where we are & our way of life I would give this one a definite thumbs up!

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