My most recent review for the TOS crew was unique for me, in that I was reviewing a textbook that has been developed specifically for the public school system.
While this may not seem really unusual, because many software programs and some select curriculums are a bit interchangeable and can be used for either homeschooling or traditional schools, for this textbook, it made a difference in my ability to use the text because I did not have access to all the parts I felt I needed to really teach the textbook.
Now, that being said, I did like the textbook I received: All Together, a Social Studies text for first graders from Scott Foresman, an imprint of Pearson Education.
The book itself is a sturdy hardback book of 300+ pages, with high quality printing and binding. The book is designed to engage children and allow teachers to teach with a minimal amount of planning. It is not text heavy at all and incorporates loads of colorful photos and graphic elements.
When I first thumbed through the book, I thought the content seemed slim. But, after reading it and watching how my daughter worked through it, I have to say that the concepts covered are extensive and useful. The book is divided into sections, and supposedly is designed to let a teacher cover essential Social Studies concepts, such as:
- Map and Globe skills
- Earth’s Resources
- Symbols (Flags, Landmarks, etc)
- Leaders of the Past
There are six main units which each end with a review section and project and then assorted reference materials, mainly to introduce kids to what reference materials are: an Atlas section, Geography terms, Picture Glossary and Index. Teachers and students can access additional information by going to an online resource for the book as well, http://www.sfsocialstudies.com/ .
Overall, I liked the setup of the text and my daughter seemed to love reading through it. We just read a bit each day and discussed the chapter and answered the questions. Reading through it, I liked the security of knowing I was covering the same things she would get in school. However, we were finished with it within a month. I know from the website that there are additional teaching materials, plans and cds and such that teachers must use to extend the chapters through the year, but I did not get access to those items and the costs are prohibitive for a homeschooler. The textbook I received retails at: $43.47 while including some of the cool teacher resources could cost over $1,000.
All in all, it was a neat experience to look at this. I try to check out state standards so I see what is expected from students in our state (and when), but, I do like the freedom of an eclectic approach.
If companies like Pearson come up with packages more specifically designed for homeschoolers, I would be interested.
See what my crewmates have to say about Pearson Education.
I received the Scott Foresman Social Studies book, All Together through the TOS Crew for review purposes. I have given my honest opinion.