It has been a sincere pleasure and privilege to review this product!
To quote the website culturalagents.com, “the objective of Mission Beijing is to spark a lasting interest in other cultures and set the stage for a lifetime of self-driven cross-cultural and linguistic exploration. Users can experience this adventure from the comfort of their own home, school or on the go.”
This sounds both daunting and boring in many ways, does it not?! No worries! The developers have, in my opinion, accomplished their mission while being relevant, engaging, fun, and challenging!
Here is how this lovely set comes:
It is colorful, organized, and immediately engaging.
I had two of my 5 boys help me review this product; and they have just recently turned 13 and 11 respectively.
You are a cultural agent, led by your new friends, Mobile Moxie and Onthego Mo: who introduce you to MaoMao, your guide through Beijing. You are trying to find Xeno and the Xenophobes and stop them from spreading cultural fear, ignorance, and arrogance throughout the world. There are also girls involved, making this appropriate for both genders. The box doubles as a briefcase in which to keep all of your things.
The centralized location of extensive and relevant information and activities, in my opinion, is a bargain, priced at only $34.00. This can be used by one or multiple children with great ease.
Each of the color packets represents a topic and corresponding online unit; providing you with videos, photos, games and interesting facts. Some examples out of the 9 offered: Live It, See It, Taste It, Play It. After opening a packet and completing some light, yet thought provoking activities involving either fill in the blanks, circling and identifying, coloring in dots, etc.; you move online, where you explore the corresponding subject. I think it appropriate to mention here, that this is not a social networking site, and no user-to-user communication is involved. There is zero additional information coming from the child, and it is the intent of the creators to keep their website free from any sort of direct advertising.
As you can see, there are downloads that correspond with screen activities. Again, everything is color-coded and easy to follow.
Here, the boys are showing you the open packet, complete with questions and invitation to activities, the screen and a downloaded print out. This made sharing and working together super simple!
Also included (see initial photo), is a set of 99 tear-resistant vocabulary cards on a great little cable with a clip that could attach to a backpack or key chain. When you enter each packet’s territory online, at the bottom of the screen are the corresponding color-coded flash cards for that section. When you click on them, you hear both the English and Chinese vocabulary word! These match the cards, also color coded, on your key chain. Chinese is a tonal language, and this feature is both appreciated and valuable for accuracy and exposure; both allowing and encouraging the children to practice what they are hearing over and over.
You also receive a pair of chopsticks and a “MaoMao” chopstick holder, in case you need some help using them; should you decide to prepare and eat a meal Chinese style! So fun!
My boys have begged to pursue this study and enjoy their time “in China” very much!
The Mom Takeaway:
For a long-term home educator, this set, along with future ones that this company intends to create, is invaluable. I am the child of missionary parents, both of whom are linguists. From birth, I have been educated in the fact that different isn’t wrong where cultural issues are concerned; different is just different, and that is okay! I appreciate the fun, thought-provoking way that kids are encouraged through this study to understand where other cultures are coming from, while learning about many of their daily activities and tasks. My mom sat in with us during multiple topics. The discussions were fabulous! Foods, work environments, and yes, even the vocabulary words brought forth questions and observations that simply wouldn’t occur without these interactive options.
I appreciate and value any curriculum that addresses multiple ages successfully. I also value the capability to work on your own or together, without the need to have an adult present for help. This curriculum also fosters the opportunity from which to expand learning and knowledge according to age and ability; and serves as a starting point for any number of activities or projects that could be self-directed.
It is a tremendous value, and with the holidays fast approaching, would be a memorable gift for a family.
Visit the Culture Agents website to learn more.
Teri is a believer in God, family, community, and lover of leadership education the Thomas Jefferson way. Teri writes and also speaks about lessons learned on her educational journey with 5 rambunctious sons, ages 22 down to 9, one hero Hubby, and celebrating day to day life with lots of humor, within the human race. You can find Teri blogging at Tommy Mom.
Mission Beijing Giveaway
We’re excite to be giving away a complete Mission Beijing set from Culture Agents to one of our readers this week! Would you like to win? Just enter below…!