The Adventurous Mailbox Homeschool Curriculum Review
The Adventurous Mailbox offers entertaining/educational adventure books (there are 8 soft bound books in Series One—Series Two will come out in mid-2015) which weave together the themes of global awareness, the environment, cultural diversity and more.
The books are not textbooks—but fun and educational stories, and quick reads (I read through a book in about 40 minutes). When they are paired with the accompanying workbooks and additional lessons, parents have an adventurous (and fun) resource to add to their homeschooling endeavors.
How does it work?
Kids receive a gift package from abroad (yes, really!), covered in foreign stamps and postmarks. After they open the package, they find a very attractive illustrated soft cover book (more on the books below), a decorative box to keep all the books in as they arrive (approximately one book a month), and an invitation and a secret code (very fun) for an online community at www.crameye.com. On this website, kids can interact with the characters of the book, follow the main characters’ blogs, play games, learn world languages, take part in contests, etc. The package is very impressive….the website is fun….and the books are great.
Regarding the books:
Their length is 40-60 pages
The reading level is 4-5th grade
Each book is written as a letter to the reader, introducing a featured country’s culture, language, mythology, and more
All books in the series are connected by overarching plots and themes (they should be read in order)
The main characters in the books are a homeschooling family, allowing your kids to relate that much more to them—and this homeschooling family does good for the world!
The books are based on the lives of Crameye Junker and the members of his mysterious family. As the first series starts, Crameye and his family are settling into Taiwan, where his father has just moved them to re-establish what he calls their “home base”. From there, they are constantly flying out on the company jet to other countries, accompanying his father as he handles matters of great importance
In each country, Crameye is able to interact with the local culture in a very special way (and share his interactions with your children)
His family’s own story plays out over the first series and into the next, as he slowly learns about his father’s mysterious company, and his own place in it
You can find out more about the individual books here.
Workbooks and Teacher’s Books have been prepared to accompany the books. They
Are inspired by 21st Century Learning, emphasizing the 7 C Skills–critical thinking and problem solving; creativity and innovation; communication and media literacy; collaboration and leadership; cross-cultural and social fluency; career, civic and learning self-direction; and computing and digital proficiency
For each book in the series, there are four workbooks–close to 250 lessons per series
The workbooks cover vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing, critical thinking, group work, and projects and presentations
The lessons have a conversational and fun tone and humor is used as an anchor throughout
The lessons also make use of the (secret….) community for the kids (mentioned above)
You may notice that the lessons are coded to the Common Core. The lessons were not developed to meet the standards. The Adventurous Mailbox found that many of the CC skills were included in the books, so they added them for their teacher audience. They understand that many homeschoolers aren’t keen on the CC—you do not have to use the CC to benefit from these books/workbooks
Here are examples of the four types of workbooks the company offers, along with the Teacher’s Book for each.
Getting Wordy: Brazil
Getting Wordy Teacher’s Book: Brazil
Got It? Taiwan
Got It? Teacher’s Book: Taiwan
Writer’s Bloc: Taiwan
Writer’s Bloc Teacher’s Book: Taiwan
Work It Out: Finland
Work it Out Teacher’s Book: Finland