Some questions are literally frequently asked. Others, however, are what I call, “Anticipated Questions”. A few are just good questions that have been asked by one person, but the quality of the question was so incredible that we really had no choice but to include the question among the FAQs and AQs. Some questions I call QFMOAs (Questions For My Own Amusement). These questions are simply here to stave off boredom while I’m sitting at my computer. And some are questions derived from various criticisms of the books (QFCs). Any questions?
When I taught classes with homeschoolers I had ages 5-11 all together in each class and I drew the map on a whiteboard and they followed me on their own paper. All ages seemed to be able to manage quite well using that method.
That said, some will always be faster than others. I have heard from another homeschooling mom who cut the pages out of each geography book and put them in plastic page protectors and lined her kids up at the table — the ones who were the oldest/fastest at the front and the slower/younger ones at the end. The oldest one would take the first page, draw it, and pass it to the next student and then take the second page and draw it, pass it on etc . . . This seemed to work well since the younger students could take their time and no one complained about being held up, and they could each look at the original instructions. My classes were too large to do this, but if I had a smaller number of children, this is the method I would use.
I definitely would review older material each day at the beginning.
Yes, these books do work well in groups. In fact, they began as curriculum that I developed for art/art history classes that I taught for many years to homeschoolers in San Diego. A friend of mine, Lucy, now teaches my classes and is using this curriculum.
The map books are quite easy to use in a group setting. The teacher uses the book to draw the map on the whiteboard and the students follow. Lucy does this every week with classes of about 12 students and it works really well. If the students want to practice the map at home, they will have to buy a copy of their own book. The copyright does not allow teachers to copy/scan the books. However, if you are going to spend an entire year drawing the US then each week’s lesson would be a small enough chunk of the map that the students would most likely be able to remember it well enough to practice at home without the book. Lucy’s students learn small chunks each week in class and practice at home (maybe LOL) and still manage to memorize the map by the end of a semester.
Also see the question above: What is the best way to use the map books with 2 or more students?
The art history books are also easy to use in a group setting. In class we use one book per two students, so you would only need 6 sets of books for a class of twelve. Plus you would only need one Bingo book for the entire class.
The 3rd-8th grade age recommendation is just a suggestion. In reality it is completely appropriate for high schoolers as well. They may find the text a little corny (my attempts at keeping the younger students’ attention through humor), but the content of what they will learn will definitely challenge them unless they can already draw all of the countries of the world by heart.
That said, after they master drawing all the books I would have them go back and add the country/state capitals and major rivers, deserts and mountain ranges for each book. I do not include this information in this series simply because the maps would become too confusing/complex for younger students to manage, but high schoolers could easily research and add this info.
All our books are printed on demand by Createspace, an Amazon Company. On demand printing is more expensive, particularly full color, than traditional printing. There are several managerial advantages for us doing it this way (we run ARTK12 from home, just the 3 of us), but it does make the books more expensive than they would be printed traditionally.
We do offer discounts on books purchased through our website if you buy sets or multiple copies which can bring the price down quite a bit on a per book basis. Also, there are times when Amazon drops the price considerably. I haven’t been able to figure out why or when they do this. Is it to drive sales or is it because sales volume is high already? I don’t know. But I remember for a couple of days the USA book was $12.53. One of the great mysteries of life!
My guess would be that was only for Prime Members. But if you really want a good deal on one book, check Amazon periodically. I only saw the price that low once in April of 2017, so I don’t know if it will ever happen again or if it has happened since.
Kristin sees this criticism a fair amount. The short answer is: because there is not supposed to be. There are plenty of books out there that will give you capitols and rivers and cities and whatever else you want. These geography books grew out of Kristin not being able to find something like this for our son.
The focus is intentionally narrow: With easy step-by-step instructions the books introduce children to geography by giving them a primer in the borders and locations of states, provinces and countries. That’s it. With some practice your students will be able to draw the subject matter from memory.
Yes! Yes! And Yes! Unfortunately, our printer (Createspace, an Amazon.com company) does not offer that. Many people take the books apart and spiral bound them or put the pages in slip covers, three hole punch them and add them to notebooks. Just what you need as a homeschooler, right? More work! Sorry!
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Asia is big. Really, really big. It worked better for both the books and for drawing the countries to split Asia into two volumes. Volume II does include a template for Volume I, but it would be best to start with Asia Volume I and then move on to II.
We typically drop ship any books ordered on ARTK12 through our printer (Createspace, an Amazon Company). In rare cases we may ship books from our Arizona Warehouse (that would be my home office, only a few steps from the laundry room and a little farther to the fridge) if we have any on hand.