Roadschooler, worldschooler, homeschooler, parent, traveller, learner… do any of these titles describe you?
There are so many ways to educate our children these days and so many different tools, philosophies, ideals, and systems to lean to in order to push our children into the learning we feel they should have.
We’re one such family that believes strongly in the power of travel as an education tool. And, I’m also a parent that is easily wooed by the unique and fun homeschooling curriculums available these days.
So, when I stumbled across the Great Canadian Adventure subscription box I was very excited! My plan was to try to combine both travel and this program together for one great month of Canadian adventure learning!
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What is the Great Canadian Adventure?
Basically, the Great Canadian Adventure is a curriculum broken down by Canadian province or territory that is sent out on a monthly basis. But, that description just doesn’t give it justice. It’s so much more.
This program contains history, geography, experiential learning, science, cooking, crafting, games, and more… all focused around themes both directly and loosely related to that month’s location.
The creators of this program describe it as this:
The Great Canadian Adventure is a unique curriculum that applies the essential elements for geographic literacy and historical thinking to Canada.
High context learning employs a variety of techniques including map work, science experiments, research assignment and discussions to promote active engagement for learning. Each topic covered acts as a springboard for deeper discussion while maintaining the framework that allows learners to see the interconnectedness of the systems at work in a country like Canada.The Great Canadian Adventure Website
How does the Great Canadian Adventure Work?
You have a few options for purchasing these programs. You can purchase either a subscription which is mailed out on a monthly basis (a different province / territory per month). Or, you can make a one-time purchase of one province’s program.
The whole curriculum is then broken down into different categories and age recommendations:
- Tiny Travelers: ages 5-7
- Canadian Geography: ages 7-12
- Canadian History: ages 10+
Taking the Great Canadian Adventure on the road:
I’ll admit that when I opened ours we were all very impressed by the level of quality and substance included in these packages! The pages were thick, the images bright and colorful. The entire program was way more professional and polished than I was expecting.
Also, we were lucky enough to receive all three of the Saskatchewan sets: the georgraphy kit, the history book, and the little traveler one. And, we received them just before setting out on our month long road trip through Saskatchewan.
So, we brought it all along with us so we could directly connect the learnings in the programs / books to what we were seeing and experiencing as we toured the province.
This was our version of roadschooling and it worked amazingly!
What did the kids like about it?
The kids loved the pictures. The history book has characters that run through the story and all the images are themed and similar. They loved that they could cut these images out and add them to their own journals of the trip to incorporate the learning from the road and day’s adventures to what we were reading about through the history and geography books.
In the geography set my 7 year old really loved the birding journal. We found that while the book did contain many of the common birds, she used it in combination with her well-loved Kaufman bird guide. After spotting a new and unique bird, she was very eager to get into the tent at night and fill out the birding journal with that day’s sightings. She’s also continued to use this bird journal well after our trip has ended.
My 4 year old really enjoyed cutting out the figures, coloring them in, and playing with the animals that we were actually seeing as we traveled the province. She also enjoyed cutting out images to add to her own travel journal.
My 10 year old enjoyed reading to us from the history book while we were driving.
A parent’s review:
I’ll preface with saying we only reviewed the Saskatchewan program and over all, I was very impressed. I was blown away by the product’s quality as well as the content. I did not expect it to be so comprehensive and printed in such high quality paper and inks.
Plus, it was the perfect accompaniment to our travels. For example, as we drove through Saskatchewan the kids noticed the grid-like road system… which lead us to reading in the ‘Explore Saskatchewan’ book about latitudes and longitudes and how the province is surveyed and divided…
Then, we’d read in the Saskatchewan History booklet about the historical happenings and political ramifications of the land division systems and that history reading fit perfectly into our visits of the museums and historical sites that we’d stop to explore.
Or, there was the time we were driving and the kids started talking about the clouds and the sky. So, that night at the picnic table we opened up the book to the pages on clouds, did some reading, the suggested activity and crafts associated with the cloud learning in the booklet.
Then there was the day that my son noted the varying geography as we traveled north to south through the province and how the vegetation and landscape kept changing along certain lines on the map. The next day as we were looking at the Saskatchewan book we found the pages on exactly that! … which lead to more learning and deeper discussion than if they had just read about the geography before actually experiencing it themselves.
Which, I think, is the true beauty of worldschooling…. getting to experience the world and incorporating those experiences into the deeper learning, however that deeper learning happens.
That’s not a formal definition of worldschooling, just how I think about it for my family. And, the Great Canadian Adventure definitely helped in bringing a lot of our experiences from our travels to a deeper level of understanding.
Using this program with homeschooling:
I don’t homeschool. My kids attend the public school system here in our town.
That being said, homeschooling or not, there are a lot of great things to be gained from this program. Even I learned a lot! And, what we didn’t learn, we were motivated to dig deeper in our own investigations.
Since I don’t homeschool, I don’t fully understand how families choose their curriculums and such. But, I would think this would be a huge asset to have to work through as you homeschooled your kids when learning about Canadian history, georgraphy, and sociology.
I’ll definitely be looking to purchase more province’s programs as we plan our Canadian travels for next summer.
How to purchase the Great Canadian Adventure for your own family:
You can purchase a monthly subscription through CrateJoy, an on-line store for hundreds of subscription programs. And, if you follow Cratejoy’s newsletter, you’ll find they frequently have discounts on boxes throughout the year. (And, tip, new Cratejoy subscribers are usually given a coupon code right away!)
Homeschooler, worldschooler, roadtripper, or just curious learner… I hope that you consider the Great Canadian Adventure learning program for your family!