Have you ever heard of Global Village School? I had only heard mentioned of it in the past. But when afforded the opportunity to take a look at their complete curriculum guide for 2nd grade, I was intrigued. Their motto – Whole Child Healthy Planet made me wonder what this curriculum was all about. I was pleasantly surprised!
Founded in 1999, Global Village School offers an
“international, accredited, customizable K-12 homeschool diploma program via online and text-based curriculum alongside individualized teacher services.”
Sounds impressive, huh? So what makes Global Village School different? They believe that what sets them apart is that their curriculum has a
“creative flexible approach and an emphasis on peace, justice, diversity, and sustainability.”
All good things to be teaching our children.
As I began reading the Curriculum Guide, I was first impressed with how thorough the guide is. The guide includes homeschooling advice, history of the Global Village School and their teachers, and explains their philosophy. There is extensive discussion about setting up your learning environment. I liked their reference to the freedom of homeschooling being that we can create the learning environment at home in any manner, as simple or as extravagant as we wish, even in a tote bag to make our learning environment portable. I thought that was so true.
The guide goes through the subjects that should be included – Social Studies/Diversity/Literature, Whole Child/Literature, Language Arts, Science/Eco-Integrity, Math, Art, P.E. The guide highly suggests planning the year and provides a chapter on planning, including pages, sampling scheduling templates, a weekly schedule template, and daily schedule template. The book also includes a discussion of the assessment and documentation including sample record-keeping blanks.
I thought it was particularly good to see that the Global Village education philosophy included a note about allowing time for the healing process (after taking a child out of a traditional school), understanding learning styles, and some of the common questions that come up with homeschoolers. Questions addressed included “how do you know if you are doing enough,” and “how do I know if my child is at grade level?” I thought it was great that these were addressed outright in detail, explaining common issues that many homeschoolers have.
The guide includes an extensive reading list. A great list for anyone really. I was very impressed with it, which includes the appropriate grade level as well as a brief description. Though I do not agree with all the books listed, which is intended to help a parent plan the years curriculum, there is certainly enough to choose from to let a few go in case you don’t approve or have already read them. The reading list is divided into Kindergarten, First through Fourth Grade, and Ages 8 and above. We definitely found some good books to include this year.
There is also an excellent break down on “classic” books and cultural literacy, including books in the following categories: Religion, Mythology, Folk and Fairy Tales, Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Humor, Biographies, and Special Circumstances (Emotions, Body Changes, Etc). There is also a list of “great music for kids” and health and development books as well.
There is a section on Addressing Sexual Orientation, which I found a little surprising, but it is in the guide and not prominent so if it is not something that you are interested in, you can skip over it and, if you do need it, they list books and a website that addresses the topic.
The curriculum guide is very explicit regarding “drawing out the learning.” I found this section very interesting and helpful. They suggest that you can do many things with the books listed (or of your own choice) that you use in your school. Some of the things that they explain, in good detail, are book projects, retell or re-create, make your own workbook, and immersion projects. I liked how they detailed using these approaches in your homeschool. They even provide a detailed example of their Immersion Project with regard to using Magic Tree House books, which is a principle book in their second grade curriculum.
I really liked some of their social studies/diversity/literature choices for their curriculum. Books, like Wake Up, World! A Day in the Life of Children Around the World by Beatrice Hollyer which talks about a typical day in the life of eight children from eight very different cultures and Roses for Isabella by Diana Kohn about a young Ecuadoran girl who loves to write and her family’s changes as they start working at a Fair Trade farm. I look forward to including some of these cultural books in our curriculum this year.
History in the Global Village 2nd grade curriculum is explored through Magic Tree House books, Sunset of the Sabertooth (the Ice Age), Hour of the Olympics (Ancient Greece), and Mummies in the Morning (Ancient Egypt). The research guides are the primary addition to these books, though the curriculum guide does include some suggested additional resources and projects.
The Magic Tree House series is also used as the primary texts for Science/Eco-Integrity. I think this is an interesting way to work through science and probably a really great way to keep the kids interested as opposed to a textbook.
Math is up to you, though they do give a list of books and recommendations should you need them, and the book also includes several math games to use.
Art includes books studying several well-known artists. The guide also lists several books they refer to as “kits” which are books and tools that are used for more than one year when utilizing their curriculum. Art supplies and parental resources are also included.
The curriculum emphasizes establishing a child’s connection with the Earth. Therefore, getting them outside for play, sketching, nature walks, and active science are important.
Overall, the curriculum guide is very easy to read, extremely thorough, and user friendly. (You can see a sample here.) It would not be difficult to plan a year with the resources and references provided and the books are easily obtainable. In addition to being able to get many at your library, some of the references in the book include ISBN numbers and the Global Village Amazon link is provided to order books. This complete curriculum guide can have you working through the curriculum quickly, providing you with a list of great books to begin your journey. Though I reviewed the second grade curriculum, it was stated on the website that all the curriculum guides are set up in the same manner and, as noted regarding the books lists, they are very thorough and likely similar in many of their curriculum guides.
If you are looking for an easy-to-use curriculum that will educate your child about their world, including an understanding of diversity, culture, and nature, this is a good curriculum to consider. There are sample pages on their website that you can view that will help you determine if this is the curriculum for you. It is a very economic curriculum guide that can give you a wonderful, well-rounded school-year for your kids. Understanding the philosophy of Global Village is important when making your choice but you will find the curriculum to be flexible and easy to mold to the whole education you wish for your children.
DenSchool has also had the opportunity to review their 5th Grade Curriculum Guide. Stop by Global Village School Whole Child Healthy Planet Curriculum Guide to take a look.
Please visit Global Village School for more information on other grade levels offered and additional information.
*Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary of Global Village Curriculum Guide, Grade 2 for the purpose of facilitating my review. No monetary compensation was given. All opinions expressed herein are unbiased and not influenced by the developing company or its affiliates in any way.*