Monday, May 23, 2011

TOS Crew Review: Pearson Education - Grade 1 Social Studies

Pearson Education is an educational publishing company that offers materials in all subjects for grades K-12. These include books by some of the bigger names in textbooks on the market including Scott Foresman and Prentice Hall to name just a couple. The majority of their products are geared towards brick and mortar schools and are traditional textbooks.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was recently given the chance to review a Scott Foresman Grade 1 Social Studies textbook entitled "All Together."


The book is designed to explore the United States by digging in to the history, economics, science and technology, geography, culture, citizenship, government, and national symbols of the US. It accomplishes that within the six units covering:

  • Time for School
  • In My Community
  • Work! Work! Work!
  • Our Earth, Our Resources
  • This is Our Country
  • Our Country, Our World

Each unit includes a song or poem, vocabulary words, chart/graph skills, biographies, and several lessons that focus on the theme of the unit. There is also a picture glossary and atlas included in the back of the book.

The pages are brightly colored and engaging. Colonial Williamsburg, Discovery Channel School, Dorling Kindersley (DK), and Mapquest have teamed up with Scott Foresman to enhance the learning contained in the book.

My thoughts:

When I first discovered I was receiving this book I was thrilled. I hadn't had a chance to delve in to social studies with my youngest son (age 7) and I thought this was a great way to do it. However, when I first opened the box and saw a textbook my heart dropped. We are not a textbook family. In fact, I find them extemely difficult to use. Considering we were only given the student textbook and not the teacher manual, I found it even harder to use this particular textbook. Added to that, the entire first unit is all about school.

I ended up skipping the entire first unit as it simply did to pertain to us at all. We attempted to use the book beginning in Unit 2: In My Community. This unit was all about where people live, reading maps, learning about neighborhoods, laws & leaders, and a bit about the world in general. Again, this one was a bit difficult as we live in such a rural area that teaching about city neighborhoods really doesn't apply. I did find the map reading skills beneficial.

Overall I have to give kudos to Pearson for attempting to have a homeschool family review this textbook. In general most homeschooling families would find it hard to implement this book into their everyday learning. Given the price of the student book ($43.47) and adding in the cost of a teacher manual ($150.47 which comes with card packages but I'm not sure what those entail) and perhaps a student workbook ($3.47), I simply do not see this as a cost effective method of teaching at home. You can see the prices and what else is available for this product by clicking here.

Be sure to check out the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to see what other members had to say about this and other Pearson education products. Some Crew members were given the enVisionMATH (Grade 1)  product while others were given the Reading Street (Grade 2)  program.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review.  All opinions shared are my own. TOS Crew Members are given the product free of charge in exchange for our unbiased opinion of the product.

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