Friday, August 19, 2011

Expedition Earth!!

I am excited about a wonderful geography curriculum that I'm planning to use with both boys this year.  It was created by Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler and is only $15 to download.  That is a bargain!!

Using this curriculum, we will explore a different country each week.  There are different levels of activities, so I feel that both my first grader and fourth grader will be adequately challenged.  The most fun of all will be learning together about our world.  We went to a "big" library in a town about 20 miles away the other day and came home with a load of books.  In addition to getting books about the countries we'll study the first three weeks, we got books about deserts and ancient Egypt to supplement our World of Adventure curriculum.  This photo shows our living books all ready to be explored.  Can't wait!!

For the Expedition Earth curriculum, I've made up a binder for each boy where they'll keep their work related to the countries we study.  Their binders look the same on the outside, but are a bit different inside.

Each binder has a passport in the front pocket.  We'll "stamp" each country into our passport as we move around the world.  In the photo below you can see the passport sticking out.  Erica suggests using dividers and tabs for each country, but I felt that was a bit cost-prohibitive for us given that I'd need 62 dividers between the 2 boys.  So......I am going to print a colored map of each continent (included in the curriculum) on white cardstock to use as dividers.  I'll probably add tabs to just those sturdy pages for each continent.  Then all the papers for that continent will be filed behind the map.  You can see the Asia map in the photo below.

Erica has included a details page for each country as well as a black and white flag to color.  Below you can see the info page for China in my youngest son's book.  I forgot to take a photo of it, but my older son's binder has a more detailed "report" type of info page for each country instead of the one shown here.  I won't make him write a detailed report for each country, but I will have him use his more detailed note page to occasionally write a report, maybe I'll let him choose one country per continent to write up as a report.  I want the focus of our geography study to be on the joy of learning, without bogging them down too much with "busywork".  My youngest son has a flag coloring page behind each country page.  He likes to color flags, so I don't think requiring this for each country will be a problem for him.

In the back pocket of each binder is a full-size sticker page that I printed (from the curriculum) with the flags for each country.  The boys will attach these flags to their passports at the end of our "trip" to each country.  These could easily be printed on regular paper and glued into the passports.  I just happened to have sticker paper on hand.

Finally, I am going to try (as much as possible) to choose a picture book read-aloud each week to go with the country we're studying.  I'm planning to use a FIAR format, reading the book aloud each day and doing an accompanying activity (which might just be a brief discussion about the theme or illustrations).  I'll post my book selections as we go along. 

Is anyone else using Expedition Earth this year?  I'd love to hear your take on this wonderful curriculum.  I forgot to mention that Erica has a ton of suggested resources to use as well as internet links for each country so you can really provide your children a rich experience without a lot of preparation on your part!  I also like how she has included prayer cards to allow your family to pray for the people in each country during your "travels".  It's just a really well done curriculum and I highly recommend that you check it out!!


  1. Sounds fantastic! I'll be interested to follow along and see what books you find. :)

  2. Hi Laura! I always enjoyed Erica's posts on their Expedition Earth and am super excited to see what you guys get up to with this curriculum. I remember the day she posted about their South Africa unit - I was so tickled!! Would love to send you guys some goodies here from the southern most tip of Africa to enhance the experience, so won't you kindly e-mail me your mailing address to joyfulmama(at)telkomsa(dot)net? Mail from here takes forever, so I'd love to get it off to your boys asap! I am so thrilled about this new journey you are embarking on and look forward to reading what you will be getting up to this year. Also LOVING your Pinterest pins, by the way! Have blessed weekend!

  3. Wow! What a sweet and generous offer! I'll email you soon! Thanks so much!

  4. We are looking forward to this too!

  5. I am using expedition earth! We havent started yet as I am finishing up our state study and getting stuff printed and bought for this study. Will be following you :)