Guest Author - Alissa Moy
Little Passports is a unique and informative teaching tool. Monthly adventure kits via mail, partnered with an online pass code for games, corresponding with varied countries are offered. The initial kit contains a travel suitcase with an introductory letter from Sofia and Sam, the two main characters who lead children on a geographical journey. The first kit also comes with a world wall map, a travel passport, stickers, and an activity sheet. Subsequent mailings include additional fun stickers for your child to decorate his or her suitcase with, an activity sheet, and a new code for online games. The countries featured in the program are Brazil, Japan, France, Egypt, Australia, Mexico, South Africa, India, England, China and Argentina. There are several options for a monthly subscription package, ranging from $10.95 per month to $13.95 per month. The neat thing about this monthly cost is that a portion of the proceeds actually go to charity. Little Passports donates to both SOS Children’s Villages and the Ubuntu Education Fund, as they have partnered with both charities to help improve the lives of children around the world.
So the questions remains, is Little Passports a product worth a monthly subscription cost for your homeschooler? As a certified teacher, and homeschool mom, I say definitely yes! This program is geared for ages six to ten, but some children younger then age six will enjoy this online adventure, especially if he or she is a skilled reader. My son is ten, and he enjoyed visiting the countries, especially China and Japan. Little Passports is perfect, however, for a homeschool parent of a child in second or third grade, who wants a fun geography program. Children will get excited about their "suitcase" they receive via mail, along with monthly geography goodies.
The online games are educational and several of them are based on memory activities and trivia quizzes. Each country offers an online map tour, which is a succinct summary of major geographical key points in that country. My son particularly enjoyed the game in Japan called "What's Your Japanese Food Type?" I now have a list of menu ideas for our next family excursion at a Japanese restaurant! Other games include a photography game in which children take snapshots online of animals in an African Safari, and learn about these animals after they have completed the task. Egypt offers a cool Heiroglyphics Translator, in which children can type their name, or other words, to be translated into Heiroglyphics. The result can also be printed.
The main characters, Sam and Sofia, are delightful tour guides for globetrotting homeschoolers. Their wholesome and friendly appearance is appropriate for all children. Having both a boy and girl as traveling buddies makes this program appeal to a wide range of children.
As a stand alone product to teach Geography I would recommend this for grade one. For older children, in grades two through five I would consider this an appropriate addition to a World Geography study, or I would supplement Little Passports with additional study. For example, if your child seems very interested in their virtual trip to Australia, you can complete a lapbook on Australia, or an animal report on one of their indigenous animals. Little Passports will spark your child's imagination, curiousity and excitment for learning. Bon Voyage!