As global homeschoolers, we are always searching for innovative and interactive ways to learn about other cultures and world geography. That is why we were thrilled to hear about a new global education program called The Adventurous Mailbox. The program features an ongoing book series and related website.
The mission of the program is stated as follows:
Our primary goal in this endeavor is to help children learn different ways of thinking and being at an early age, while inspiring them to learn other languages, travel the world, and lead well-examined lives.
Sounds like a noble mission to us! The Adventurous Mailbox team sent us the first series of eight books to review which feature a narrative about a boy’s global travel adventures. The author cleverly weaves world culture facts into the storyline which takes place in several different countries. By the way, The Adventure Mailbox is not just a series of books, it is an immersive global education experience!
Here’s how it works:
Kids receive a package in the mail from Taiwan which is donned in artfully-designed foreign stamps, and postmarks. Kids generally love receiving mail, and this mailing is spectacular!
The package contains the first of a series of well-illustrated soft cover books and a sturdy storage box in which to keep the books as they arrive each month. The books range in length from 40 to 60 pages and are designed for readers at the 4th-5th level. Some subject matter is a bit more mature so be sure to pre-screen the books to determine whether the material is appropriate for your particular child.
The plot revolves around a 12-year-old homeschooler named, Crameye Junker and his super interesting family. Crameye’s dad has a mysterious job that requires the family to embark on a series of fascinating and educational global adventures. The books are written in the form of a letter to the reader. Each book focuses on a specific country’s culture, traditions and language. The books are numbered and are designed to be read in order.
As the first series begins, Crameye and his family have just settled into their new “home base” located in Taiwan. From there, the family embarks on continual trips to other countries where they accompany Crameye’s father as he handles very important matters for his company. In each country, Crameye interacts with locals and learns about the their culture. He then shares these experiences through his letters. As the story unfolds, he begins to learn about his father’s mysterious job, and his own role in the adventures.
To browse the content of each book in the series, click here.
Notably, each book concludes with interesting facts about the country Crameye visited in that particular book. Included is useful information about the country’s history, politics, culture, people, animals and more.
Kids also receive an invitation and a secret code to access the “secret” online community at www.crameye.com. Once registered, kids will be able to explore the website and learn about world cultures and languages through activities and games. They can even participate in contests to win prizes. Kids will also be able to interact with the characters of the book, read character blog posts, and chat with other kids online. The website also features many online links to encourage further research on topics in the books.
Internet safety is always a concern, but it may put your mind at ease to know that this company has taken children’s safety and privacy very seriously. They assert that they have developed a safe and secure environment that also maintains standards in friendliness and respect of others according to guidelines set out by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). COPPA is a United States federal law that regulates the online collection, use and disclosure of personal information from children under the age of 13.
The price of the Adventurer Packages is $79.00. It contains the eight books of Series One as well as the invitation to the “top secret” online community. You can alternatively choose the monthly option for $20. Upgrades include a teacher’s lounge site ($20.00) that gives you access to all related lesson plans and materials.
The accompanying lessons are useful to continue and expand the learning process. The materials are country-specific and feature reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing, and critical thinking projects. There are also teacher forums to share ideas. Another useful upgrade is the Write Away Mission ($15). Kids can never get enough writing practice! With this interactive activity, kids will receive a separate envelope with instructions (and guidance) in completing a writing assignment which will be posted on the characters’ blogs.
I highly recommend The Adventurous Mailbox. My son truly enjoyed reading the unique story as it unfolded in the books, and he is having fun exploring the website. I know of no other single global education resource that introduces children to so much geography and information about world cultures — and does it in way that makes learning about the world a fun, memorable and interactive experience!
Disclaimer: I received the materials reviewed for free in exchange for a sponsored review. I am being compensated for my time in writing this post, but my opinions derived from the review of the program are my own.