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!