Geography at Rivendell Academy


Deciding on a History/Geography curriculum was a huge struggle for me. Many of our friends start with ancient history and work their way in to America/US History. And that was our original plan as well. And then I spoke with a few friends who worked their way ‘out’, starting with US Geography and history. I thought about the subject matter/concepts we’d be reviewing and thought that talking about the time span would be a lot to grasp at such a young age. Since NC doesn’t have a requirement about which is taught first, we decided to take our chances and start with US Geography/history.


So then, I had to decide what to use. A few friends directed me to Road Trip written by the blogger at Confessions of a Homeschooler. I snagged it on a Cyber Monday (or Black Friday?) special for half price (a whopping $9.) We finally got it printed a few weeks back and so far so good.

We’ve only discussed the first section that covers The White House, The Pledge of Allegiance, The Statue of Liberty and the American Flag. We’ll start with the Northeast and Connecticut on Monday.

The boys are enjoying it (not loving it, but not hating it), and my feelings are about the same. I’m hoping that once we get into the activities for each state that we’ll all get into it a little bit more. It’s really hard to say after just 2 weeks.

So far, some initial thoughts:

The Cons

  • There’s a lot of writing, especially for my Benjamin (5 years). Maybe other 5 year olds love writing. Benjamin, not so much. Confession: I ended up writing his ‘lapbook’ portion for the first part. Otherwise, we’d still be sitting there waiting.
  • While there is a TON of info in the teacher guide, it’s not laid out in a perfect “say this” (and I am not gifted in teaching, so this is very uncomfortable to me.) To many this may be very freeing.
  • It cost a LOT to print. Way more than we were anticipating. In retrospect, I probably could have saved money by not printing the entire teacher manual, and just using our tablet or laptop to read from (there are many game cards in the back, so some of it will need to be printed.) However, I’m such a paper person, I think this would drive me crazy very quickly.

The Pros

  • There are a TON of activities & crafts in Road Trip. I’m not a ‘craft’ mom, and when I mentioned this to the boys they were so excited.
  • There is a TON of info to cover. I am learning things along the way (and I loved geography growing up!)
  • She also has a world geography curriculum that looks just as great, and I hope we end up loving Road Trip so we can move on to the world geography curriculum in a couple of years.
  • Speaking of a couple of years, she did mention that this should take about 2 years to complete (we shall see!) 🙂

I’ll have to come back in a few months and update on how this is going for us!

Up next, Handwriting…

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