Friday, 1 May 2015

Geography Review--Crameye

Right before Christmas I contacted this company and asked if they would consider letting me review their new geography story books.  We love traveling and learning about new countries, customs, and cultures that I thought this might be a good additional resource to use.  This program is in two parts: the first part is the actual story.  The story tell an entertaining tale about a young homeschooled boy, named Crameye, his family and his friends learning about a country including many unique customs relating to a country.  The books are very entertaining to children and not written dryly with a bunch of dates, instead they are filled with jokes and wry humor that kids will LOVE.  The book on Finland included a mystery that the kids in the story solved.   My kids and I were nearly 3/4 of the way through the book when we realized we missed a very important clue and that made the kids laugh. The second book was about living in Taiwan and the adventures that Crameye took around town.  The second part of the program is in the teachers lounge and computer lounge here the kids can discover more information about the country in a fun and entertaining way.  I included many of the activities we did below!

 It has taken me a little bit to write up this review as I was waiting on the Teacher lounge to open up so I could use their teacher books that went with the story books.  The program is still being built and the teacher workbooks are still being written and added to the site at this time.  I have had the pleasure of dealing with one of the founders, Andrew,  of this program via email and customer service has been quick, helpful and always friendly.
The program is call Adventurous Mailbox and contains eight books, they arrived in a neat sturdy box!

along with some top secret forms

Each child receive a letter along with a card to access their computer lounge where additional resources can be found while using the books

The kids were so excited after reading their letter that we drove in to read the first book on Finland  together!

Currently the countries in the series include  Finland, Taiwan, Brazil, Thailand, Greece, Tanzania,  two books on Peru.
I am told more books will be added over time!
The books are written in a very fun way and the kids have enjoyed the many adventures taken in each country.  Since the teacher lounge was not open when we read the Finland book we used other resources to help make our country study complete! However once the teacher lounge opened up, I did not need to do that which helps a busy homeschool Mom.

The computer site is full of interesting blogs, written by Crameye and his friends,  facts, forums, food, games and resources that relate to the countries

My kids explored the site and loved it, kids can communicate with other children, attach their own work the site to share with others and even ask questions!  In the teachers lounge educators can even add their own unique lesson plans to help make countries studies come alive.  I contacted Andrew and informed him of our Finland and Taiwan country crafts that the children completed and he said he will be adding them to the site:)

Once the teacher lounge opened up I downloaded 4 packets of activities to complete for the second book on the country Taiwan.  The teacher lounge is continually being updated and according to Andrew  "The vision is to continually enhance and refine each country's lessons, covering all possible types of lessons. Eventually, each country's lesson page will host not just the company's lessons and links to what we find online, but also user-tested lessons submitted by members of the Teacher's Lounge."

In one packet included information on how to understand the tonal Chinese language and kids got to practice writing 'I Love You" in Chinese using step by step instructions 

MarioFan's attempt at writing Chinese

Firedrake's version

Even I had to give it a try!
After reading the book there are comprehensive questions the kids answered, according to the website this section is aimed at 4th to 5th grade level.

Vocabulary lessons -- which I loved since I am lacking that in my homeschooling this year!
The website explains this section as follows "The 30 words per adventure book are split into two lists of 15. Each list has four exercises. The two lists are then combined in the end for an additional three exercises. Counting the exercise of finding each vocabulary word in the text on each list, we offer a total of 13 vocabulary exercises per adventure book (104 in all, 240 vocabulary words per eight-book series)."

these were great fun worksheets to learn vocabulary!

The information was given in so many ways to help solidify the vocabulary words!

There was a writing packet to encourage kids to write factual or fictional writing about the country.  I had my kids write a short report on Dragon races since that was one of the main story lines in the book.  We had fun learning together about this custom.

there is a writing checklist for kids to refer too that is common core aligned if  you are interested in that as well

As well as other idea to get children's brain thinking regarding their writing assignments!

Another activity that the kids and I enjoyed was researching on the web to find answers regarding the country.  I really like that the information was not spoon fed to the children, they needed to look for the information and that helps with retention!

I really like these books and loved the teacher lounge books for the first time I didn't need to run to the library to gather up countless books on a country! It was all right there.  Every geography program I have tried in the past has not measured up.  The only thing I added on my own was flag and map work,  a country craft and a country meal.  My kids enjoyed the books and all the assignments! The books are geared for elementary and lower middle school.  My fifth and and seventh grader had no problems completing the many assignments and it was easy for me to adjust the assignments to meet the kids individual skills and needs!

Right now the company is running a special discount just for homeschoolers.  Use the coupon code HSadventure at checkout and you will receive access to the Teacher's lounge for free!  This is usually a $20 fee.  You will also receive a $10 off the Adventurer Package.  The total cost of the program is just $69 and you will receive series one (which includes 8 books), lifetime access to Crameye's World and gain access to 100's of lessons in their Teacher's Lounge!  This code is good until the end of June!

I receive these books for free in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and comments are honestly given and are based on how my children and I felt and managed the program during the trial period.


  1. This is a very well written and thorough review!

  2. This is a very well written and thorough review!

  3. Thank you for such a thorough review! It means a lot coming from such a dedicated educator and adventurer.

  4. I loved this one; as I do them all. I enjoyed reading the review and all that they did. Just amazing! Hugs for all~