Simply Charlotte Mason - Visits to Europe

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

This year my at my local homeschool convention I had the opportunity to hear Sonya Shafer from Simply Charlotte Mason Speak. Wow! I learned so much. I had already long-followed her blog and read through much of the site. There are so many wonderful and free resources to get a grasp of ins and outs of the Charlotte Mason method. There are so many lovely products and books that are there as well. I love how affordable all of it is. I think most homeschool moms can appreciate that.

One of the things I grabbed at her store was one of the of the Visits to Geography Series books. I had planned to use Visits to the Middle East for 5th grade when we re-visit the ancients, but I liked it so much that I decided to buy the download of Visits to Europe to use this year.

I love the simplicity of these guides. There are 36 lessons - one for each week of the school year. We actually started this later on in the year. It was easy to do more than one lesson per week, so if you wanted to do a few continents you could easily. One of the books is this free Charlotte Mason reader that you can download from Google Books. I printed just the Europe portion.

The other two spines are Material World and Hungry Planet. These are wonderful books! They are slightly outdated, but you still get a really great picture of what it is like to live in these countries.

These past few weeks we have been in Germany. In Hungry Planet you read about how a family eats in the country you are studying. There is a picture of what a whole week's food looks like in that place.

Sometimes there are authentic recipes from that place. Silas was horrified by these Beef Rouladen. I actually think I'm kind of tempted to try them just for good measure. I could probably tempt Nate to eat them, but the kids not so much. These are rolled up and cooked in a cast iron skilled.

In Material World there are pictures of a family's possessions. It's really neat to see how people live all over the world. What's great about the above 2 books is that they are used with all the Visits' guides, so you use them again and again.

There is also a list of family books that goes along with the places. They are for k-3, but I think they are worth reading even for older kids. These have been excellent books! I especially loved Orani. We still have Children of the Northlights and Katje the Windmill Cat left.

I absolutely love to cook, so any inspiration to do so is a win-win for me and my family. These cookbooks aren't suggested in Visits, but we used them in MFW ECC. The recipes are simple, but give you a great picture of what the food is like in those places. I've collected a few more since I took this picture. They're usually a penny plus shipping on Amazon. I usually have Silas read the intro, so he learns a little about the culinary culture of the place we are reading about.

There are pictures in all the cook books. I usually have Silas pick out a few things that look interesting to him. I made the absolute ugliest Black Forest Cake that would have Martha Stewart cringe (normally I'm an ok cake-tress.) The Cake gods were against me that day.

A lot of the German food didn't appeal to Silas. Sauerkraut and this kid don't mix. He does love Bratwurst which he learned he loved when we studied Germany last year.

 We settled on making these Easter Manikins - Ostermannchen.

 We cheated and used frozen bread dough. Silas thought it was super fun to make these little men. We used scissors to cut their legs. Can you see I'm in planning mode with all my stacks of books?

We did alright. Sorta.

 Welll....I would say we nailed it haha! They are supposed to be holding the eggs, but this one looks like a running back.

This one looks like a pregnant person resting her arms on her belly. They did taste good however!

 Here is an example of week 1's map and then Week 30. Silas has gotten great at getting all the countries right. Each few lessons new countries are introduced. They have to fill in the blank map before seeing the map again. It's a good method of practice.

There are also map drawing exercises. You are directed to use tracing paper which we use and then tape to the right side when he's done. You could probably free hand it instead if you're brave.

The Material World and Hungry Planet discussion pages are written out as well. WE do these orally though with an older child it could be done independently if you wanted. We absolutely love SCM Visits and look forward to traveling the Middle East next year. 

Have you used SCM Visits? Do you have a geography program you love too? I would love to hear about it!

7 comments:

  1. I have had my eye on this for next year! I think you convinced me. Thanks!! :-)

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  2. I think you'd really like it. It's perfect fir big families too because there are books for younger and older kids :)

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  3. Thank you for sharing. I've been wanting to try one of these books out.

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  4. I noticed that you said you were able to download Visits to Geography series on Google Books. Were you able to do that free of cost? I have never used Google Books and I may have completely misread and or misunderstood, but thought I would ask for clarification. Thank you~

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  5. The Simply Charlotte Geography books aren't free. What I meant was that the Geographical reader that is on the right side of the first picture in this post is downloadable at Google books :)

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  6. Oops...I so appreciate your help and clarification as well as turning my interest in to this wonderful series,

    As a current HOD user, I so appreciate your blog!

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  7. Aww...Well thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you like SCM Visits!

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