Tuesday, April 9

Subscription Boxes for Teens - Adventurous Mailbox


We may not be able to travel overseas, but teaching world cultures and geography is high on our list of 'important things to teach.' Short of globe-trekking, we can now experience the people, geography, languages, and culture of eight countries with this creative curriculum called "The Adventurous Mailbox." This program is unlike any other educational product we have tried, and there have been quite a few!

Adventurous Mailbox is most closely related to Little Passports, but is more like an extension of that program. Little Passports is designed for children as young as three (up to about ten), and gets them excited about world geography. Once the boys had outgrown Little Passports, I floundered through several programs, trying to re-create the excitement that they had with that program. FINALLY, I found it with Adventurous Mailbox.

Four Reasons You'll Appreciate the Adventurous Mailbox
First off, the kids receive mail addressed to them. I don’t know about your house, but it’s kind of a big deal around here…. They each had a letter addressed to them, with an introduction and challenges inside.

Second, The books are written at a 4th-5th grade level , and are humorous enough to remind you of the novels that pre-teens are loving these days. They don’t even realize they’re learning world geography as they read through them.

The print is small in the books, which made it difficult for my youngest to read, but the oldest read through them all very quickly. (Read them in order!) Being cliffhangers, you’ll find yourself forcing the kids to turn out the lights if you decide to go with the ‘independent reading’ route. I let the big one read alone, but we also did these as out-loud reading time (he just had to be quiet and not spoil anything!).

Third, the Teacher’s Lounge and Crameye’s World bring this program to a whole new level. More on that below…

Finally, put it all together and you have the makings of a fantastic semester (or year, if you want to stretch it) for a cross-curricular unit study. Language arts and geography are covered, and you can easily toss in history. Coupled with the “mystery” aspect, it’s like a Where is Carmen Sandiego curriculum!

Just the Facts, Ma’am
The Adventurous Mailbox comes in three options: Trekker ($59), Adventurer ($89), and Explorer ($99). Every level includes eight books (you may select physical copies or save a little green with e-book copies) :
  • Finland
  • Taiwan
  • Brazil
  • Thailand
  • Greece
  • Tanzania
  • Peru
  • Peru, Too
At the end of each book are Crameye’s notes about the featured country, including :
  • geographical location + size
  • population + ethnicity
  • flag
  • language
  • politics
  • history
  • religion
  • culture
  • food
  • animals
  •  …and lots of other interesting facts like architecture, mythology, and natural wonders.
Note from the company:
On May 1st, The Adventurous Mailbox will be re-launching with a new website, new packages, and new products. The focus will be on selling complete educational packages, with all parts of the packages connected through theme and character. They are especially excited about their new computer coding manual, neva<>codes, which will teach kids the basics of computer coding through fun programming missions based on the adventure books.

Personally, we've had a chance to peek into the sample file for Finland - the first book in the series - and it is A-MAZ-ING!  I'm so excited to do this coding portion alongside my kiddos, too!

Teacher's Lounge (Language Arts)
The premium membership level includes lifetime access to the Teacher's Lounge, where you'll find tons of downloadable homeschool lessons (contextual vocab that coordinates with the books, for example, writing prompts, and research projects). While we've all seen some cases where the upgrade was a bust, this is ENTIRELY worth the extra money to have access to all of these fantastic materials for this program.

Workbooks are available in both Word and PDF format, and include teacher guides and answer keys. These books are written in Crameye's voice, making them just as humorous and engaging as the books themselves. There are four workbooks for each country, and they cover :
  • Vocabulary– For the first book alone the vocabulary section is 36 pages and covers 30 words. Exercises include word usage skills such as finding definitions and examples, filling in the blanks, best word choice, various vocabulary nuances and usage, choosing responses, rewriting sentences using vocabulary, synonyms and antonyms, crosswords and more.
  • Reading Comprehension– multiple choice questions, identifying true and false statements and then finding supportive evidence to back up the answer, using contextual information to understand meaning, answering questions in own words, and verbalizing summaries, and explaining events and ideas from text.
  • Writing Exercises– Offers step by step writing guidance for three to four types of essay style writing including opinion (persuasive), informative, narrative, and creative.
  • Critical Thinking– Exercises for verbal discussion, foreign language connections, various web research activities, and tons more!
  • Extra Activities- Cooking, crafts, foreign language, virtual tours, and more for each country!
Crameye's World (Online Games)
  • If you order the Adventurer or Explorer package, you'll also get access to "Crameye's World," a fun online community where your kids will learn even more from each character's blog, hear common greetings in foreign languages, play games, chat with other kids in the forums (moderated by a talking pig), learn silly jokes, and watch cultural videos.
  • In addition to everything that's already available, Crameye's World will soon be expanding! They have just added e-books for download, and will soon be adding new quizzes and games, cultural content, and a more active and roust forum. Now, kids can take on a writing mission and have their work published across the characters' blogs.
Check out our other Subscription Boxes for Teens posts :  STEAMWorld & Mail Order Mystery & Craftsman Crate

GIVEAWAY!!!   
Adventurous Mailbox is offering one lucky reader one of their digital explorers packages, which includes:  Eight adventure e-books (in choice of formats), neva<>codes, Teacher’s Lounge access, and Lifetime membership to Crameye’s World  

They are also offering ALL OF OUR READERS a coupon for 20% off the total of any purchase.  Use coupon code HSRange

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