The Queen has a very special opportunity and would like to invite you to share in the experience. The Old Schoolhouse (TOS) magazine is selecting reviewer bloggers for the TOS Homeschool Crew. As part of the selection process, I was given 2 download products to review and blog about. I begin with my first blog today and hope you will give me your feedback. That way, I can continue to improve my reviews and get you the information you need to make informed decisions about products to use in your educational journey.

As a relatively new homeschooler, the Queen opted for a boxed curriculum and has not used unit studies as a stand-alone week of learning. The Queen couldn’t see how it would fit into our regular schedule and really never looked into getting one. One particular Monday, the Queen and the prince were having a hard time getting into the groove of the homeschool day. Exasperated, the Queen sent the prince to his bed until he was “ready” for school. In a moment of clarity, the Queen decided to ditch the plan of the day and go to Australia. It is roughly half-way around the world, but we went and stayed for a week. We were pleasantly surprised at what we learned.

Title: Expedition Australia
Author/Publisher: Amanda Bennett and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC
Target Audience: K-4th grade
Format: Download from The Old Schoolhouse Store (phone 1-888-718-HOME)
Price: $7.95, with a money-back guarantee

In this 5-day unit, we studied:
     Where on Earth is Australia?
     Some of the Special Places in Australia
     A Bit of Australian History
     Cool Things to Know About Australia
     Fun and Games in Australia

Each daily lesson included:
     Video links related to the daily lessons
     Geography – definitions, mapping, continents, oceans
     Vocabulary – Australian words and their American equivalents, other words related to   the lesson
     Science – animals, habitats, food, astrology (on day 4)
     Math –Animal size, counting, time, temperature, distance, currency
     Art – drawing and coloring
     Poetry – each daily section starts with a poem about Australia and there is one poem to complete on Day 3
    (Day 5) Music – national anthems

As part of the unit materials, there was a reading list and links to other resources. We were actually able to find some of the suggested books at our library (shocker!) and found them delightful. There were also fun family ideas to further the learning experience. At the end of the unit, the student had a notebook and a lapbook about Australia, and received a completion certificate.

The Queen’s Overall Assessment:
We really enjoyed this unit study. It was a great break from our “everyday” and gave us a chance to explore a different country and a different learning method. Our current boxed curriculum is more of a desk-work type program. To move our “classroom” to the computer was quite an experience. For a 6-year-old little boy, that provided for a lot of opportunity to rattle the Queen’s nerves. The Queen learned not to let the prince have the swivel chair and to disable all drawers. (Top this off with a slower-than-normal computer, and the Queen was shaken.) The video links that started each unit were enticing enough to get the prince to begin his schoolwork. This was his favorite part!

The unit is directed towards grade levels K-4. This could be altered depending on the student. There seemed to be a lot of writing for a first grader and some of the writing was in small spaces. At times, the Queen did the writing. For example, we used the vocabulary lessons as a time for the prince to practice alphabetizing by looking up the word in the dictionary. The Queen would read the definition and write it in the appropriate place. As we read about the animals, we would stick to the facts asked in the notebook pages unless they spurred more interest. More research on the animals and places in Australia could be easily added for an older student.

This unit study is well worth the price of $7.95. The Queen is already looking forward to the Expedition Ireland due out this month. She is planning to take a virtual trip to Ireland when the royal grandparents make the real journey.

G’day Mates.

Disclaimer: This was a review of my experience with the product described. I tried to give a complete and honest assessment without divulging too much information of a copyrighted product. In order to review the product I received a free download version with no additional compensation. This in no way influenced my review of the product. The opinions expressed are my own and were not affected or reviewed by anyone prior to publishing.

I'm linking up to Works for Me Wednesday. To see things that work for others, check out the list at We Are That Family.

date Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2 comments to “Expedition Australia -- Review”

  1. The Sunshine Crew
    March 23, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    Sounds like fun! Thanks for reviewing and for sharing your experiences.
    Colleen at

  1. Ebuck
    March 23, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    Sounds like fun. There is a lot of stuff covering all the content areas. I like that it starts with a video to inspire learning. Good deal. =)

    Do you think I can stowaway in the Royal Grandparents' luggage? I really, really, really want to go to Ireland. Real bad.

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