I have been truly blessed as a homeschooling mother to have found Geography Matters, also known as GeoMatters. I can say without a doubt, I have never loved a homeschooling curriculum this much. I have been asked on Facebook by some of my homeschooling friends is Geomatters worth it because I want to purchase it. My answer, the Trail Guide To Learning Series is not only worth it for your children, but also worth it for yourself. I have seen my children grow in their academic success with GeoMatters Trail Guide to Learning: Paths of Settlement and this is why!
Trail Guide to Learning covers every subject such as reading, writing, grammar, spelling, science, art, history, math, and more. The only subject that I find that I need to supplement with this book is math. Math comes in when using maps through geography, otherwise, there is not much of it. Trail Guide to Learning, which I will now shorten to TGL for my sanity as a writer, is amazing. This book is a guide line and I add myself into it. I take it as fast or as slow as I want to go with it. My oldest Einstein has just driven through the Middle Grade Supplement. However, he stops and takes time to learn with the younger children as well. He is an amazing help in his knowledge.
How does Trail Guide to Learning: Paths of Settlement, navigate me the teacher?
Each Lesson is broken up in subjects. Each subject is simple to teach. For example, a science lesson with TGL usually gives the kids something fun to complete at the end. I have also added to the lessons expanding their learning a little more if one of them is finding the area hard to grasp. There is also fun games with science that are easy for me to teach. I like the ease of the book, there is no guessing on where to find the items to print out for my children.
Along with the text being easy to teach, TGL gives me teaching tips in the side margins, these are a blessing. I need these. I love using them because they often give me ideas for the children that learn differently. I have a son with autism, so applying some of the suggestions has been a life saver!
TGL is my navigation tool to teach but not my dictator and I love that. With each subject lesson, there are different levels. GeoMatters does not place my children in a one size fits all box of learning. Trail Guide to Learning gives them branches and lets them grow. With reading and copywork, we might work together on level 2. Then with reading we might be set at a level 3. These levels are all placed in the Paths of Settlement book. There is no need to purchase different levels. Also, this allows me to teach multiple children at one time. I also can go back and repeat lessons using the harder levels later on.
What kind of literature does Trail Guide to Learning: Paths of Settlement come with? Is it boring literature?
No, defineitly not. The literature that TGL comes with is very engaging to my children. We are a Charlotte Mason homeschooling family and literature in our home is mostly living books. Sometimes labeled as boring literature; however, I find the literature that comes with TGL not only engaging, fun to read, and educational for my children but also wholesome. So many times I have come across a book for my son in middle school thinking it was a wholesome, G rated book that I would love for him to read and been disappointed. Paths of Settlement has given us Christian books that I can be confident in knowing that they are good wholesome literature. In fact, my oldest daughter Curie has gone on ahead of us with her reading and almost finished every book that comes with the package. Plus, she is happy when I read it again to them or they team read!
How is the quality of Paths of Settlement?
I am impressed with the quality of all the products from GeoMatters. Since we started using TGL, I have purchased items from GeoMatters that I know I can use over and over. These items will never be a homeschool sale item on my site. Beside loving the books, my favorite products are the maps and timeline. The laminated maps are what I have and I love them. I plan on having all of them for my children. The quality of the maps are wonderful, vivid, and to be frank, I cannot beat the price. I usually don’t discuss price but everything I have, I love. I know my grandchildren will be getting these!
See! These maps decorate our home. Even our 5-year-old, Elion, points out the different states or countries. I also love the historical timeline that my children have completed. I would say the timeline and the maps get quite a bit of use in our home. I also love the United States History Atlas and The Desk Atlas of The United States. When we where learning about the civil war in February for black history month, the United States History Atlas was beautiful. This is an atlas that moved my children through history, as well as, geography with ease!
Above is a picture of our timeline, however, I have taken a different approach and taped items on the timeline. Living in a rental home for a year is killing me. I don’t have a place to hang this gem and I’m really not suppose to put things up, but shhhh! I did place my maps up with just a small tack. If you are unfamiliar with timelines there is a great post over at Our Journey Westward that is wonderful on timelines. Cindy, at Our Journey Westward, writes it better than I ever could!
How much have your children really learned through using Trail Guide to Learning: Paths of Settlement?
My children have loved learning. There is assessments that you can take with TGL, however, I do not give my children these. I will start later maybe highschool giving them tests and assessments, but for now I can see their progress as they learn. I can evaluate without a test myself. I have a struggling learner and with the help of this wonderful curriculum, he has grown to love every subject. Now he still struggles in some, however, he loves them all! TGL gives me the tools to help him grow!
What are your’s and your children’s favorite parts of Trail Guide to Learning: Paths of Settlement?
I can’t forget to mention some of our favorite parts of TGL. They are in the back of the book! Thank you appendix A and B, where I can look at what we have covered in each unit at a glance! I love having my children complete the challenge spelling list, the resources rock, the games, the reading logs, and the activities.
Overall, Trail Guide to Learning: Paths of Settlement Complete Package is amazing and I cannot wait to see what is in the next volume, up Paths of Progress. Once you start TGL series you will want to grow with more items, I did. I have the add-on lapbook set which my children love. My daughter is completing Lewis and Clark activity book. There are smiles in learning, real learning with TGL series. I will admit, I tried to think of something bad to say so you would think, heck, there is a reason to not have this curriculum in my home. I can’t because GeoMatters has changed the way I look at education or what I want in a package. I use TGL Paths of Settlement for my four children even though Elion is in the pictures. My oldest, Einstein, is completing the middle school supplement. My other three do all the work together (Curie (11) Franklin (9) and Hubble (just turned 8)). I asked them what they didn’t like about TGL series and their answer was nothing. They love it.
To see what the entire package includes head over to GeoMatters!