Friday, October 14, 2011

Geography Program that I LOVE!!

This falls into my best buy ever category.

Visualize World Geography

The Mental Mapping Curriculum  
"Each continent is covered by the unique Visualize World Geography pictography. Disclaimer: Not only does the VWG method forever change the way you see a world map, but it definitely works only for people who do not take themselves too seriously! If you can appreciate the use of humorous puns and/or storylines as a way of associating the shape of a country with its name, then you can allow the VWG method to equip you with a mental map of the world to recall at will and draw from memory while giving you reason to smile! "  as worded by the VWG people.

This was sold to me at the homeschool conference.  I walked pass a huge banner that read something like, "Can you pick Italy out on the map? Learn how to spot all countries the same way."  Two ladies were standing there watching me read the sign.  They then challenged me.  I walked over and they told me about a duck named Stan.  I could then spot Afghanistan and Pakistan on any map.  That was cool.  I went home and told J about it.  Geography is something that we always touch on but I never felt that I taught it very well.  J said go ahead and I made a huge purchase.  I got the full package.  Kind of expensive but for me it was worth it.  A program that I can use for 8 children means the cost per child isn't too bad.
My only issue with the program is that it isn't really written as a class but as a tool. That means you have to take the tool and figure out how to use it to teach. I would purchase the entire program again, I love it. I have learned so much. I have always thought it was cool when someone could spot any country out on the map without having to look for the labels. It just helps to have a general knowledge of where things are in the world.

We watch the videos together.  We do just the mapping pictographies first and then later go back to the social studies part of the DVDs after we know most of the countries in the region.  Those days we spend a few hours on it.  On our days of just learning the pictographies we will watch the videos a few times and then drill each other.
I test ever so often with blank counties and colored pencils.  I would give the instruction to color a certain country tropical blue and then wait and watch as everyone found that country.  I must say that the pace I am going is too slow for the older kiddos but just right for the younger ones.  Even Jumba knows his stuff.  On the news the other day he heard the name of Chili mentioned.  He got really excited and said, "Chili is part of the pepper!"  I love it!
I included the pictures of the kiddos to show another trick for reinforcing the information.  Notice that in both the dinning room and the breakfast room I have maps on the tables.  They remain there all the time.  The USA map is in the breakfast room and various world maps are in the dinning room, where we gather for our morning studies.  I show the DVDs on my laptop. 
Bundle-VWG Curriculum
DVD's, Textbook, Posters, Workbooks on CD-ROM, Flagbook

Can you find Italy on a world map... because it looks like a boot? Be able to find all countries as easily with the VWG method. This method replaces randomness (info your brain is not designed to process) and replaces it with meaningfulness which is easily processed by design! Once your brain is given a meaningful object in place of otherwise squiggly lines which define a country's borders, within nanoseconds, it automatically rewires itself so that now your visual system can ONLY process it as meaningful. Consequently, what your brain was unable to recognize before as being a specific country, it now can easily see, mentally manipulate, and automatically store within long-term memory. In fact, you will forever see it as that object. Try looking at Italy and NOT see it as a boot! VWG Curriculum Bundle contains entire product line in one package. Price: $215.00
This is direct from their website.  Please make sure to get the one from Tender Heart Press and not what Amazon is selling,  they are not the same thing.  This is really that wonderful.  I wish everything I taught could be learned this easy and with this much fun!


  1. Not about geography but wanted to say thanks for commenting on my blog. Now I found yours and I'm glad I did!

  2. I have enjoyed reading through your blog on homeschooling, and am really interested in this geography program. What age would you recommend starting it? I look forward to reading more of it.

    1. I am sorry it took me so long to reply. We just had surprise twins. I was sick until they got here and now just busy. Thank you for the kind words. I would say 3 years and older. The lessons are silly enough and short enough that someone as young as 3 could follow. My 4 year old loves it.

  3. This is awesome! What a fun idea to leave the map out on the tables all the time. I should do this as well.

    Have you ever heard of Little Man in the Map? It teaches the states in the US doing the same sort of thing. My newly 6 year old may not remember the name Florida but if you tell him it is the turle's head he's all over it LOL Eventually it'll all come together.

    Off to check out this geography program. This is an awesome review. You might be interested in trying out for the Old Schoolhouse review crew when the next applications come out in November :)

    1. The map on the table all the time is the best. I put U.S. map on breakfast room table and we refer to it all the time. Even when a place is mentioned on tv, they run to check it out. I love that.

      I need to check out Little Man in a Map. I was wondering how to teach the states. Thank you.

      Thanks for the kind words and I am sorry it took me so long to respond. . . I am loving my new surprise twins but running out of time.

  4. Thanks for your review of VWG. I bought it and my kids loves it. I agree totally, wish that everything I teach is this fun and easy. Don't know if you'd be interested as a follow on to VWG, but I'm slowly coming up with memory aids keying off the DVDs to remember the capitals of the countries to help my kids learn them and am slowly putting them up on my much ignored website

  5. Hello,
    I'm considering this program for next year and was so delighted to find your review. This program looks like something we would enjoy...and don't mind silly stories especially if they help us learn. We've used silly stories before for history and even vocabulary words.
    Many Blessings.....(even though you already have many!)