The Daily Geography series has books for grades 1 through 6. Each course is a fairly thorough, year-long course that is closely aligned with the National Geography Standards. The standards include learning geography by studying the relationships between people, places and environments; learning to read maps of all kinds; learning the characteristics of regions; studying physical processes that shape the earth’s surface and influence ecosystems; understanding how human activity fits in with geography; learning about the effect of human activity on the environment and the environment upon people and human systems; and learning how geography helps us interpret the past and present as well as make plans for the future.
The primary component of each course is the reproducible teacher’s edition. While separate student workbooks are available, lesson presentation is done from the teacher’s edition, and that information is not in the student workbooks. Reproducible or printable student pages are in the teacher’s edition, so you really don’t need the student workbooks.
These courses were designed for classroom use so they are available in different formats. The standard version is a softbound book that includes weekly lesson plans, full-page maps or graphics that are used for presenting each lesson (plus overhead transparencies of each of these pages), a reproducible glossary, and two reproducible pages per week with daily assignments and a “challenge” question.
The teacher’s edition is also available as a standard e-book or an enhanced e-book. The standard e-book can be printed or displayed on a computer. Enhanced e-books include tools for editing such as copying and pasting, adding notes, and extracting pages. The enhanced features are more likely to be useful in a classroom situation than in a homeschool.
Each day’s assignment has two questions that students will answer based upon the lesson presentation at the beginning of the week, their own study of the week’s map or graphic, and, occasionally, outside research. Students will need to maintain their question pages in a notebook since they will work two or three days to complete each page.
Vocabulary words and their definitions are introduced at the beginning of each lesson. While the words are also included in the glossary of each book, the definitions in both places are not identical. You might want to have students write out words and definitions each week. Other than the time this might require, lesson presentation at the beginning of each week should take only about ten minutes. Daily questions should only take a few minutes each, but the challenge question might require research, coloring, drawing, writing, or other activity that will likely take much more time. An answer key is included on the teaching page for each lesson. There are no tests.
The first grade book begins with globes, directions, map keys, physical maps, street maps, city maps (and other types of “local” maps), park or zoo maps, product maps, tourist and weather maps, and political maps. By sixth grade students are learning about map grids and coordinates, map scales, projections, road maps, historical and cultural landmarks, population maps, time zones, climate zones, land use, and other topics. Many topics are repeated at different grade levels but at increasing levels of difficulty.
While lessons do not require a lot of time, some of them are interesting, sometimes even intriguing--the challenge questions more so than the daily questions. Students should acquire both broad and specific geographic knowledge through these courses, but the specific knowledge will be selective given the time and space limitations.
Evan-Moor publishes a separate Beginning Geography book that might be used for grades K through 2. It teaches beginning map skills, introduces types of landforms and bodies of water, and gives an overview of continents and oceans. Two large full-color maps are included—one on landforms and the other a simplified world map. Ninety-three reproducible activity pages vary greatly in format. Some are teaching and workbook type pages while others are used for games, cut-and-paste activities, coloring, puzzles, creation of a booklet, and section reviews.
Activities vary in level of difficulty given that the book tries to address the needs of kindergartners through second graders. So you will need to select activities appropriate for the age of your children rather than using all of them.
Beginning Geography is available in three versions just like the Daily Geography books.