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The Great Canadian Geography Adventure Review by Kimberley Linkletter

Anneke van der Merwe
The Great Canadian Adventure
Box 4, Arrowwood, AB, T0L0B0
http://www.thegreatcanadianadventure.ca

As a homeschooling family in Canada, we often find a lacking in quality history and geography curricula about our country so when we were provided the opportunity to review Canadian Geography from The Great Canadian Adventure, we thought it might be just what we were looking for. Available in one, three, six, and twelve-month subscription pack options ranging in price from $29.95 to $335.40 (including postage to Canada) that are sent out to your child every month and contain a full-colour activity book, a monthly reproducible map activity, and a tool you will need to complete one of that month’s experiments.

There is also a new option to order Volume 1 of the Canadian Geography set for $169.99 that includes your first six months of lessons, maps, and tools. Either choice would make a nice gift for a child who lives in a different part of the country. This was the option we received, and I was quite pleased with the variety of tools included to help us work through the units.

As we opened our package and began to go through our books, we found our first six months would cover:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador,
  • Nova Scotia,
  • New Brunswick,
  • Prince Edward Island,
  • Quebec, and
  • Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

To begin with we learned a bit about each province and where it is situated in the country. This is also where you begin to colour in each province on the map of Canada, something that you continue to do throughout the series. I liked this activity as it gives your child a good idea of the size and vastness of our country and provides continuity within the units. Your child will also “meet” a new character in each province who will be a host for their “visit.”

In Newfoundland and Labrador this is a young Innu named Wiskacân who lives in the northern Labrador region. In Nova Scotia we meet Sunow, of the Mik’maq People. Moving on to New Brunswick Amélie becomes our guide as you earn about tides and gravity. Next, we meet Jack whose family is from Scotland and farm potatoes in Prince Edward Island before visiting with Etienne who teaches us about maple syrup in Quebec. Our Volume 1 six-month package finishes with our exploration of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories with Amarug who is Inuit and lives in Resolute Bay.

Throughout each provincial unit there are a number of activities including cooking, drawing, carving, and experiments. Each of these is related to the geography, culture, and history of the province and makes for a fun hands-on kind of learning that keeps kids interested.

We enjoyed practicing soap carving from the territories with the included bar of Ivory soap and carving set so much that we purchased a large economy pack of bars to make more creations on our next trip to our local warehouse store. Wrapped in tissue paper they make nice little gifts for aunties and grandmas!

We also learned how to make our own fruit leather that is all natural, Toutons from Newfoundland that are a lot like the fried beignet we enjoy on our visits to New Orleans, Montreal Lilac jelly that would be tasty on the Toutons, and Acadian Molasses cookies for sweet treats. There were also recipes for seafood chowder and PEI baked potatoes that provided a glimpse into everyday meals in the maritime provinces.

There is just so much included in this package I am not certain how to fit it all into my review. Your family will learn about the six essential elements of geography for each province. These are:

  • The World in Spatial Terms
  • Places and Regions
  • Physical Systems
  • Human Systems
  • Environment and Society
  • The uses of Geography

Within these elements are topics including; regional plants, recipes, conservation, fishing, acid rain, symbols, maps, insulation, landmarks, and industries. With this bounty of topics your children are sure to find something to keep them interested in their learning.

There is also a bonus Great Canadian Community on Facebook where you will find additional printables and news from both the author of the program as well as other families like your own who are working through one or more of the available subscriptions.

We found the Great Canadian Geography Adventure was a good fit for our family. The price point may seem a bit high but the high quality, full colour activity books plus the tools that are included make it worth the cost. You can also use these packages for your entire family since there are sibling pages available on the Facebook Community page that you can print out for each of your children to use. This is an especially important feature for larger families and makes it all more affordable.

-Product Review by Kimberley Linkletter, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2019

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