Introducing... The Trail Guide to Learning series, an innovative new curriculum from Geography Matters. This series provides all the guidance and materials necessary to teach your children the way you've always wanted—effectively, efficiently, and enjoyably. But most of all, the learning series equips you to achieve the foremost objective of a homeschooling program—developing and nurturing relationships with your children! The tutoring approach makes each lesson individual, yet flexible enough to meet the needs of several grades at once. The sourcebook provides instruction in clearly laid out daily sections, PLUS every resource you need for success is available through complete packages. The learning series is a curriculum for multiple grade levels that will last all year and cover every subject but math!
The Trail Guide to Learning series is based entirely on proven educational principles. This is the first comprehensive curriculum to fully utilize methods developed by noted author and educator, Dr. Ruth Beechick.
Comprehensive instruction is geared towards multiple grade levels. Each series has been created to cover up to three grade levels, with enrichment assignments for older students. Easy to follow trail markers will show you which activity is appropriate for each grade.
Thinking skills tie teaching to learning effortlessly. Through guided discussion, students develop and use upper level thinking skills naturally. In other words, your child learns how to think, not just what to think.
Real books provide key connections. The reader and read-aloud assignments illustrate vocabulary and concepts so that students are ready for the next step - true understanding.
Activities make learning memorable. The multi-sensory approach provides variety and engages children’s minds for effective paths to permanent learning.
Skills develop naturally. Reading and writing abilities develop in a sensible, non-stressful way. Teaching these skills separately is unnecessary and ineffective.
Character grows in the light of the lives of others. Biographies form the backbone of this lifelong learning. Supplemental Bible connections (available separately) take the lessons even deeper.
Takes unit studies to the next level. Homeschoolers have come to understand the benefits of the unit study approach. With the learning series, you now have a complete curriculum that builds on concepts learned week after week, enhancing the unit study approach with continued active learning.
Unified learning takes place. TheTrail Guide to Learning series covers language skills, history, geography, science, and art. Science, history, literature, and geography knowledge grow while the tool skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) are developed along with them.
Each of the Paths in the Trail Guide to Learning series fully incorporate the principles of Dr. Ruth Beechick:
• uses the copying and dictation process to acquire language and writing mechanics
• develops reading and writing skills through history, science, geography, and literature rather than through separate artificial activities
• gradually connects grammar to reading and writing naturally
• uses the tutorial approach, thus reducing excess paperwork
• unifies and focuses the core concepts and knowledge—rather than scattering the focus through untargeted tasks, which often occurs in unit studies
• builds skills naturally through reflective thinking and discussion
Other curriculums may utilize aspects of Dr. Beechick's philosophy, such as dictation or copying. However, without comprehensive application of her principles, the true benefit of her philosophy can not be realized. The Trail Guide to Learning series is unique in fully applying Dr. Beechick’s philosophy, not just parts of it.
By following the above principles, the Trail Guide to Learning series also adheres to the true philosophy of life-long educator Charlotte Mason. Her belief in developing thinking skills naturally through observation and narration is honored throughout.
Mason also believed in the natural qualifications of the parent as educator. The Trail Guide to Learning series reiterates the highly effective and unique role the parent plays in developing a child's ability to think. It does not abandon this role to the textbook or schedule-based curriculum. And it does not simply add a single feature—like nature walks—in an attempt to be Mason-friendly.
Following the example of our key historical figures, biblical principles are foundational to the comprehensive nature of this curriculum. Ideas based on pagan and secular thought systems, such as the classical approach, are not included. Instead it works with the developmental levels of children and honors their God-given time table. Following this pace in presenting new skills and content is highly motivating and helps children achieve success and understanding.
Click Here for the Learning Series catalog.
"I ordered Trail Guide to Learning this past Tuesday and received it a mere two days later! Wow! Kudos to your customer service department! I am so happy with the curriculum thus far. It is extremely well-laid out and very easy to implement. I have [curriculum X] I've tried to use [curriculum Y] and ended up selling them after a few weeks. You have brought together the best elements of all of those and then some and put it together in a way that makes sense and is easy to use. The Handbook of Nature Study has been sitting on my bookshelf for years but I could never really incorporate it into the curriculum we were using, but now, with Trail Guide, I can! I know people will want to tweak and add things, especially grammar, but I'm with Dr Beechick and plan to wait until high school for formal grammar instruction. I also love the teaching notes. They provide handholding without being scripted. They help me to understand what my children should be taking away from each lesson and provide opportunities for discussion. Your curriculum is an answer to my prayers. Thank you!"
The Paths of American history...
Paths of Exploration - now available
(Grades 3-5) Learn about the character and experiences of explorers who shaped us as a nation with their vision, determination, bravery, and sacrifice. They blazed a trail for others to follow. Some key figures studied: Columbus, the Jamestown settlers, the Pilgrims, Daniel Boone, and Lewis and Clark. Lessons can be adapted to a second or sixth grade level, with a Middle School Supplement available.
Paths of Settlement - now available
(Grades 4- 6) The settling of our nation is examined through the lives of leaders who made a difference by standing for their beliefs and making a way for us as a nation. Key events studied—the Colonial Period, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, and Westward Expansion. Some key figures studied include George Washington, Abigail Adams, Francis Scott Key, Clara Barton, Robert E. Lee, and Abraham Lincoln. Lessons can be adapted to a third or seventh grade level, with a Middle School Supplement available.
Paths of Progress - available August 2011
(Grades 5-7) To grow as a country, another group of leaders had to step forward during our history—scientists and inventors. The lives of these devoted individuals and their contributions will be examined throughout our history, into the Industrial Revolution and the beginning of the 20th century. Some key figures studied: Ben Franklin, Samuel Morse, George Washington Carver, the Wright Brothers, and Thomas Edison. Lessons can be adapted to a fourth grade level, with a Middle School Supplement available.
There’s more to come...As Geography Matters has done in the past, we plan to continue creating materials to meet you as your students, older and younger, progress along the path of learning.
Optional Support Materials:
Middle School Supplement
A Middle School Supplement is available to provide guidance for older students who are using the learning series. Content follows along with the sourcebook but at a higher, more challenging level. Including higher level literature books, writing assignments, activities, and thinking skill points. Connect all your students to the same time period, and type of learning with the Trail Guide to Learning series Middle School Supplement. Available in digital format.
Pre-printed Student Notebook Pages
Paths of Explorationis easy enough, but many folks requested we have them already printed and ready-to-use. The pages are all conveniently three-hole punched for placing in a 3-ring binder and are printed on high quality 60lb paper.
Does your state require testing? Do you want to be able to assess your student's progress while teaching from the Trail Guide to Learning series? This assessment CD-ROM is just the ticket.
Coupled with the daily observations and interactive discussions and games that are a natural part of the Trail Guide to Learning series, this disk provides ample material upon which to base an accurate evaluation of student progress. Evaluations provided for each grade. Answer keys included.
"Wow, what an awesome CD; very comprehensive teacher keys and assessments in one organized file. I just wonder, can this series possibly be any more organized??? Thank you!"
– Sarah from Charlottesville, VA
Light for the Trail CD-ROM
Optional Bible study curriculum that coincides with the 6 units in Paths of Exploration. Easy-to-use guide provides daily assignments and helps students make the most important connection of all, the one between their faith and their view of the world around them.
Lapbooks provide interactive, hands-on connections. Their biggest benefit is that you dramatically increase your student’s ability to retain learning. Great for all ages, using the lapbooks makes it even easier to teach your younger students. Each unit has a separate lapbook with multiple activities for learning fun. These are available as digital downloads (eBook), printed and ready to use, or on CD for you to print. For your convenience, file folders are already included in the printed versions!
These fascinating, yet familiar, games are used to review material learned in Paths of Exploration and are assigned throughout the curriculum when appropriate. They are also great for family fun or as a compliment to any study of the topics they cover.
Although the games are included in the appendix and CD-ROM of the curriculum this set of games, printed on card stock, makes it even more convenient for you.