Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Paddington Bear: A Branch Out World Review

Branch Out World
My son (age 7) always gets extra chatty at bedtime.  So much so that I had to limit him to 2 or 3 questions so good night didn't last 30 minutes.  Lately, his questions have been a lot of 'How is this made?' or "What makes that work?' and honestly I don't know the answers without googling it or asking their dad.  The result is we both learn a lot together.  As they state on their website, my latest review, Paddington Bear from Branch Out World is designed For Families That Love Learning Together.  It is so easy to get caught up in the typical school paradigm where a teacher teaches the information they have already learned, but sooner or later real homeschooling involves learning with each other and from each other.  Curiosity breeds new questions and new questions bring new perspectives to consider and before you know it your adventure is quite different than you expected.  I am not an expert in all subjects that my children will learn so some days we will all learn who invented baseball or what a hydrapult is together. 

Picture Book Explorers - Paddington

Branch Out World is a company based in the UK that was started by a homeschool family looking to share great literature with other families.  Not having any experience with a UK company, this curriculum was enjoyable and educational.  There were a few differences in the language that I had to explain, but nothing hindered us in any way.  Paddington Bear is a literature-based unit study from the Picture Book Explorers series that Branch Out World puts out.   It comes in digital format and includes instructions for over 30 activities, with 45 pages of printables like notebook pages, flags, maps, and minibooks.   There are also extra resources listed that could complement the study like various books on Peru and Paddington videos.  With so many possible activities, the study includes a lot of different subjects, including:

  • History & Geography
  • Creative Writing
  • Art
  • Science (Migration!)
  • Grammar & Vocabulary
  • Architecture & Design
  • Math

The significant thing about reading stories together is that often there are multiple layers and several details that go unnoticed at first.  Upon the first reading of Paddington, no one remembered that the country of Peru was even mentioned!  This was a great opportunity to dive into places (England & Peru) we weren't very familiar with.  The study is divided into 5 sections:

  • Day 1 – Exploring the Setting (History and Geography)
  • Day 2 – Exploring the Words (Grammar & Writing) 
  • Day 3 – Exploring the Pictures 
  • Day 4 – Exploring Science (Animals & Experiments)
  • Day 5 – Exploring Maths, Crafts and More

All activities are left open to exploring further if you choose and also stand alone for when you want to pick and choose certain ones and not others.  You are encouraged to record notes on your adventure in some way, like making a lap book or keeping a journal. It's a very flexible plan with multiple variations possible.  The intended age for this study is 5-10 years old.

When everything a child is learning reinforces or connects back together in some way, it really does stick with them much longer.  Branch Out World has done for us what many of us dream about doing, but don't get around to - beautifully weave subjects and lessons together where everyone is learning.  One of my favorite topics brought out in this study was migration and push/pull factors.  It was a subject we hadn't discussed together yet and taught me a few things I had never considered before.

Branch Out World did a great job with this study and we found it to be a perfect change of pace that proved to be very fruitful!  Check out all they have to offer by following them on social media.
Follow Branch Out World: 

Facebook:    @BranchOutWorld
Pinterest:   @belzibow
Instagram:   @belzibow
Twitter:  @belzibow

Paddington Bear {Branch Out World Reviews}
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