Monday, March 8, 2010

Geography Accidental Style

For some reason when I was in school, I never remember having an actual geography class. I only remember having to fill in a map of the U.S. and name the capitols once in a social studies class. I have not made a big deal about geography in our homeschooling. I have covered it in a very relaxed way. After the decision to home school was made, we did the next important step. Gman went to our local Staples and bought a globe. Not just any globe. This is the kind that comes with a toll-free phone number to call if the countries get taken over by a dictatorship or become freed by some liberating country with money to burn, Oh wait, excuse me this is not a political blog. Back to the globe. If you remember where you put the phone number, which I don't, they will send you stickers of the newly formed country or dissolved unions. And show you where to put them. Globe updates cool! Wait, Gman, my star proofreader has corrected this information. He has found the manila file labeled globe. More on his manila folders later. I now have the phone number in my hands. Well since it has been 8 years since we began homeschooling, perhaps there may have been some political geographical movements that I have missed while birthing a child, reading Pioneer Woman or blogging. I just gave the company a call. The good news is that they are still in business. The bad new is the person I need to speak with is at lunch. A long lunch. My story must go on. In the beginning of this home school adventure, we used Sonlight curriculum, which included a few map activities each week. I wasn't crazy about the mark it maps, and ditched them pretty early, because my boys were only 5 and 7. I had other geographic priorities, like teaching them to find their shoes and socks. So this is how it worked in our home. Each day, I just picked a boy to be 'Map Boy' for the day. They got the honor of climbing up to the piano to get the globe down. This honor was almost as important as the 'Prayer Warrior'. Then together we found the spot on the globe that was mentioned in our reading. This overlapped our science, history and our literature read alouds. I never tested or quizzed them. We also made a point to find our state and Pops and Grandma's house each time. I think these were the only places on the globe ever mattered. How far away is it from our house? A few other geography things that worked for us were:
  • Where in the World is Carmen Sandiago? The cassettes and Dvd's were loved.
  • We Sing America and the State Capital Songs
  • Geography songs by Kathy Troxel
  • Weather maps from our local paper
  • Bravenet recent visitor map, sort of
  • This map skills book covered the basics, but I considered it dry. I will have to check and see if they retained any of their skills from this thorough workbook.
Another way to teach geography is this neat link below where you check off the boxes to each place you have visited. I admit, we have cheated a little. Our eternal layover at Chicago O'hare Airport counted as a visit to the state. We have been blessed to visit most of these states as a family. But those were some expensive field trips. I suspect Google earth will be the closest thing to travel for us in the near future. Note, Hawaii was without the kids. create your own personalized map of the USA The other day, I was coveting admiring my friend Lori's map on her blog. I was amazed at the visitors from so many different countries. I have a simple free Bravenet one on my site. I was showing BennyG the counter map. It shows a little red circle around the last 10 locations of the people who visit my blog. I don't have the fancy one that covers all of the hits because I am too cheap thrifty. We were guessing the places, suspecting family members in some locations. I was shocked to see a circle in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. He dazzled me with his 'mad skills'. "Mom, I know where that is." I am about to pat myself on the back and tell myself what a wonderful teacher I am. " "That's right where the letter A is in Atlantic Ocean." I had to ask him where that information came from, please don't let him mean that. It's from the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, phew. Maybe I need to get a little more uptight about geography. Thanks for stopping by. ~TerriG

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Want to borrow our GeoSafari?