The Adventurous Mailbox, a cultural education book series for kids, has facilitated a fun and engaging time reading with my son. The program provides outstanding exploration of world cultures through attention grabbing tween humor which totally hooked my reluctant reader.
He’s been following each story as it reveals Crameye’s latest mission along side halarious middle school candor. He enjoys both my reading it out loud to him as well as reading it independently. There’s a definite voice it’s written in, the perspective of Crameye, which made us laugh- a lot. As a 12 year old, my son could really relate to it!
At a nice reading level, about 4th or 5th grade, it remains attainable for children ages 8 to 12 and even advanced younger readers. It is excellently written. The characters are well developed you begin to know them on a personal basis.
Geography Adventures for Kids
The beautifully prepared Adventurer Package comes to your door right from Crameye Junker of Taiwan. Series 1 includes 8 books for the following countries:
- Peru Too
You know how excited your child gets when they receive something special in the mail that’s only for them? Well, this series captures that while engaging your child and expanding their cultural knowledge- just what good living books do. It really is an adventure, so much so that is it doesn’t even feel like school!
The box comes directly from Crameye, who lives the life all adventurous kids dream of, personalized to them. So, it’s just like having a friend who is sending them a package. Written in letter format, your child hears all about Crameye’s missions and in the personalized introduction letter receives “confidential access” to Crameye’s World!
What is Crameye’s World?
Crameye’s World is an online resource that compliments the series through interactive activities to include: games, languages, a user’s forum that is monitored and safe, character blogs and links, fun jokes and riddles, exotic foreign foods and recipes, world art and architecture, music from around the world, user contests, writing missions, and more!
Beyond the Adventurer’s Package- The Teacher’s Lounge Upgrade
The most impressive thing about this upgrade is how much you can really tap into if you would like. In addition to the book series you can upgrade for just $20 (or FREE with code end of this post!) to the Teacher’s Lounge. Believe me when I say that it is well worth it if you plan to use these language arts materials with the program. Doing so would give you a complete language arts program -minus grammar.
With the upgrade, you will have access to some extensive printable teaching resources, exercises, workbooks and compliments for each and every book in the series:
- Vocabulary– For the first book alone the vocabulary section is 36 pages and covers 30 words. Exercises include word usage skills such as finding definitions and examples, filling in the blanks, best word choice, various vocabulary nuances and usage, choosing responses, rewriting sentences using vocabulary, synonyms and antonyms, crosswords and more.
- Reading Comprehension– multiple choice questions, identifying true and false statements and then finding supportive evidence to back up the answer, using contextual information to understand meaning, answering questions in own words, and verbalizing summaries, and explaining events and ideas from text.
- Writing Exercises– Offers step by step writing guidance for three to four types of essay style writing including opinion (persuasive), informative, narrative, and creative. Approx. 53 pages for each book.
- Critical Thinking– Exercises for verbal discussion, foreign language connections, various web research activities, and tons more!
One thing I really liked about the extensions is that they are also written in the same voice as the books. They are just as humorous and written by Crameye directly to the child.
Each of the downloads have complete teacher’s guides and answer keys (the first 3 books have lessons currently available with the rest coming soon). The teacher’s lounge also has additional research and cultural lesson links for additional unit studies and research as you homeschool and explore each country. In addition to being extremely comprehensive and easy to navigate, the teacher’s lounge offers both Word and PDF downloadable formats as the entire workbook or just the portions you would like.
Cultural Awareness for Kids with Adventurous Mailbox
Being a military spouse, I’ve been deeply impressed by the cultural awareness and insight each book delivers. This is not something most children can gain from simply reading a book. But because of the delivery of each adventure, it’s as if your child is experiencing being in that country with Crameye.
These books are not twaddle, but presented with childlike honesty and frankness. The pages are packed with the cultural nuances of each nation. You can tell the creators went to great lengths to research the content of their stories and provide a fun, and though fantastical, believable adventure to present real cultural situations.
This was something I could really appreciate having lived overseas for 8 years of my life. I also sincerely appreciate that the family in the series is a homeschooled family. This makes the series particularly friendly to military and missionary families.
The engaging stories are right up mechanical man’s alley with mysteries to solve and mission’s to accomplish. Being a military child, I think he can also relate a bit to the mysteriousness nature of his father’s unexplained career which keeps the family moving and going on adventures.
He’s been delighted to read the books with their humorous tone, making the process fun in addition to being educational. He was even inspired by a combination the Taiwan book adventure, which deals a little bit with Mandarin Chinese, and his homeschool co-op linguistics class to research and create the pages below…
Using these Geography Adventures in a Homeschool Setting
These geography adventures will add much to our homeschool throughout the summer. I’ll be using the teacher’s lounge quite a bit to keep my son’s reading and writing development going. We’re pretty relaxed homeschoolers, but we can cover a book and all the supplements every two to three weeks. My son can read the rest of the books independently and do a typical worksheet page in 5 and 10 minutes. The writing we will spend a bit more time on, working on an essay a week in addition to one of each of the vocabulary, comprehension, and critical thinking worksheets daily.
Here’s a few creative ways you could use Adventurous Mailbox in your homeschool:
- Solely for fun; something your child does without realizing it’s school!
- As the reading portion of unit studies on countries- series one would provide you with reading for 7 different countries
- With the Teacher’s Lounge upgrade, use as a complete language arts program for one semester
- To complement a geography or social studies program
- To partner a cultural cooking class where you make foreign dishes to complement the countries in the book series
- Along side verbal or written map skills practice
- With notebooking pages (I feel a new freebie brewing!)- each book in the series includes a country fact section in the back
- With a writing journal where your child can write letters back to Crameye
- Read while creating a Nation Notebook- notebooking with a section for each country Crameye visits
- As the reading portion of your homeschool program
- As a complement to an art study on watercolor -the book has beautifully done watercolor illustrations! Why not use them as the picture study portion of an art unit on watercolor?
- As the companion to a cartography unit