Canadian History for kids, Canadian Geography for kids
We are a homeschooling family and the idea for Great Canadian Adventure started in 2017 when my oldest daughter started Grade 2. We are lucky enough to live in a small village where there are three homeschooling families. Between us, we have ten children between the ages of 3 and 12.
As homeschoolers, we had found a variety of programs tailored to our specific childrens' needs for Language Arts, Math and Art. The only curriculums we found was difficult to address was social studies and science.
All three families had tried a variety of social studies curriculums. Some were wonderful, and some needed a lot of extra research or felt a little slap-dash.
Together, we started making a wish list for a social studies curriculum that might meet the needs of our ten very different children, at their different ages.
One mom's daughter needed hands-on activities to keep her focused. Too much text and lack of colour would result in her losing interest.
One mom's daughter wanted to do science experiments, but her concern was that experiments done out of context wouldn't lead to understanding of the subject matter.
These two needs resulted in our geography series. Filled with hands-on experiments, full colour pictures and characters that lead us through topics.
One mom loved history, her younger daughter loved paper crafts, painting and collage and she hoped for a history curriculum that would let her children engage with the content artistically as well as cognitively.
Her eldest son enjoyed learning about it and building timelines. Three of the older children in our group loved to presented with the ethical dilemmas we often find in history and were very adept at discussing possible causes or effects of events. They enjoyed being asked to find images or answers and they would often go deeper than the work required.
These particular needs resulted in our history series. Our hope is that children can engage with the topics at hand through the artistic arrangement of the content and conversations about the events that occurred.
When our first attempts at artwork for the history were judged pretty but boring by the kids, we decided to go with funny. The stickmen artwork made it possible for kids to discuss some very difficult events without scaring them too much.
Having then children between us meant that younger siblings were always involved, wanting to learn with the bigger kids. The Tiny Traveler series was written to let them feel like they were part of the group while addressing their own learning outcomes - learning letters and number sense, practicing their writing, art and baking!
We find that this is most effective for our children that are in kindergarten and Grade 1.
The creation of the Great Canadian Adventure started in September of 2017. The series went through many changes until we finally settled on what we thought would work. In fact, it started as one booklet that included both geography and history.
With the generous financial support of a grandfather, tremendous patience from our spouses and constant guidance from our children we started the illustration process in March 2018.
We launched officially on July 1st and we are eternally grateful for the families that have been willing to join us on this new adventure.
Our hope is to publish a French translation of the history and geography series' by May 2019 and from there start writing a world geography and history series.
Completing the Canadian series provides an excellent foundation for international studies in both geography and history.
We decided to use the learning outcomes as set out by the Royal Canadian Geography Society as standard for the series instead of meeting a provincial program of studies.
That gave us a lot of flexibility, but also provided us with a framework to lead learning in.
We believe that geographically literate children can help create a better society because they will: