Winter Promise Children Around The World

Winter Promise Children of the World review www.thecurriculumchoice.comI wanted my children, especially my eldest, to have a big year of geography again. I had noticed some of his skills were lacking. Not to mention it was time to expand upon some bigger geographical items as well. I looked at both Winter Promise’s Children Around {CAW} The World and Sonlight’s updated Core F.

They both had resources I really wanted to use and both seemed really exciting. In the end we purchased both. We ended up using a bit of both to make the perfect fit for our family. However, because we used more of CAW, I thought I’d share how much we enjoyed the product.

I owned an older CAW Guide which has your weekly schedules, plans, tips, and info inside of it, but decided it might be time to update to a newer one which is what we did. We went with the updated Digital Guide.

How I Use It:

For the most part we used this guide as it was written changing only by adding in a bit here and there. We used all the spines in both the normal CAW guide as well as the older learner’s guide. The older learner’s guide included Hungry Planet, Material World, and Usborne Guide to World Religions. Three books that are absolutely lovely to give a well rounded view of how things work in other countries.

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My children are absolutely infatuated with the first two books and love looking at how other families live. I do use those books slightly differently than listed. For instance, rather than reading through all the contents of one’s home in Material World, each family member takes a long look at the picture and writes down three items they spotted that really caught their attention that they think no one else will see. Interestingly enough the items we all pick tend to represent things we find more important.

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Hungry Planet has also been an eye opener on how other cultures eat and choose to spend their allotted grocery money. Some of the information inside has surprised me, but all of it has surprised my children. For instance, did you know that Mexico is the #1 Cola drinking country in the world? That blew us away!

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The only other thing we’ve changed up is that we added in more read aloud books. If you’re looking for just a few, beautiful, well planned read alouds to use with your family then you’ll enjoy exactly what is preplanned with Winters Promise. Here’s the thing, our family devours books.

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There were books in the other program I mentioned at the start that I really wanted to share with my kids or that I knew would compliment the countries so well that I just didn’t want to miss out on them. So basically I took the spines from Winter Promise and the literature from SL and smashed it together. Perfect-o!

This meant we used all that Winter Promise scheduled and more. It’s worked for us and we’ve been really happy with how things have turned out.

What I loved:

The digital guide. Okay, let me be really honest. I hate digital books, I like real books. I love opening them up and smelling paper and glue. I love that I can flip back and forth at ease. But international shipping is becoming more and more expensive and having access to a digital guide that I can print and bind myself was a perfect medium for me. Check the notes at the bottom of this post for shipping for digital items on the WP website!

The Spines. I liked that my children seriously fought over the spines to this Theme. I’m not talking, “Can I have a turn now!” I’m talking, “MOM!! He won’t let me look at the book!” kinda spats.

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The Prayer Journal. This took me a little time to get use to, but I love that it touches on matters that touched and spoke to my children. Knowing that not all children have a home or a bed made a difference in the way they viewed things. There were many different schedules for praying for children around the world for 30 days on specific subjects and on a lovely permanent weekly rotation. Once my children saw the plight of other children it opened up their eyes as to why they should consider praying for others. The other book that really helped them with this was WP’s Working Children. It’s a very small book, but very, very full.

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The World Traveler’s Diary. Seriously, this is a must have for this program.  It has notebooking pages for each country included in the theme. They are beautifully done, especially if you get the digital version which is in color, and add a bit extra to the theme. My children have loved doing them and will bind them all up at the end of the year to have a lovely keepsake of what they’ve learned.

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Cultural Gatherings. The idea is that behind each country you do a little more and have an evening where you celebrate the studied country. We didn’t get into as many of them as we had hoped, but my kids enjoyed what we did do and have grand plans to have a few special celebrations for some of the other countries in our summer break.

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My kids’ growing geographical knowledge. Thanks to the weekly map labeling, the constant reviewing, and the maps hanging all over our home our entire family’s geographical skills are growing rapidly!

What I Didn’t Like

I was a little sad that the DK Children Of The World book was removed from the updated core. It’s such a lovely book, all most eye candy to be honest, to give you some insight to people around the world. This is another book my children fought over and absolutely loved thumbing through. Because we own an older Core we simply wrote this book into our new Guide. I do respect that it was removed because the book, I believe, is out of print. However, if you can lay your hands on it you could easily make it work with the new theme by simply using the index.

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The Maps. Now I think the maps included with this curriculum that you can purchased directly from WP are beautiful. They are colorful and lovely. They did have one small error, which I was told was being corrected. BUT, here’s the thing. The children are suppose to add all sorts of lovely items to the maps to become familiar with the world. We found the maps simply too small to make this work. We corrected the problem by printing out MegaMaps and labeling those with the lovely WP Map Labels, which are absolutely amazing!

A Few Side Notes

When you purchased digital products from WP you’ll notice a normal shipping fee can be added in your basket. Here’s the thing, you need to enter Ebook5 into the discount box on the checkout page. That will remove $5 of the shipping fee. The other is considered a digital licensing fee should you lose digital ebooks, passwords, etc. However you can waiver that as well, but it also waivers WP’s ability to help you with digital products in the event of loss. If you wish to forgo all that you can use the code: NoPro.

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Something else to keep in mind is that you will need to await an email with your download links inside. If you don’t get one within 24-48 hours just drop WP a quick email and they’ll set things right for you!

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While Draw Your World is a part of this theme, I chose to save it to use next year so my child would stay refreshed on his geographical skills obtained this year. So I can’t offer a lot of insight to the product, all though I do own it and think it’s a very lovely item!

Bottom Line

We’ve really loved our time with Children Around The World and I feel my children have a greater understanding of not only many geographical locations around the world, but a greater understanding for the plight of children much less fortunate then them!

~ by Kendra, Aussie Pumpkin Patch

Kendra (32 Posts)

Kendra lives in Tasmania Australia with her husband, the Man From Down Under, her two curious boys, a dog that thinks he's human, a guinea pig that won't stop squeaking, & a bird learning to talk back. She's a second generation home educator. She loves using methods from Unit Studies to Boxed Curriculum and everything in between to help feed the curious minds of her two, ever growing, boys. Creator, and avid user, of the Homeschooling Book of Days & The Nature Game. She can be found retelling tales from The Land Down Under over at the Aussie Pumpkin Patch.


{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Tristan February 4, 2014, 9:51 am

    Tell me more about MegaMaps Kendra! We’re doing world geography next year at the request of Makayla so I’ll be doing 8th grade plus 4th, 3rd, 1st, K, and then have the 3 little boys under that. I have some plans already made but wanted larger maps.
    Tristan´s last blog post ..Today’s Simple Moments

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