How to Tackle Geography

I'm very new to Geography, and I do love that with a Charlotte Mason education, subjects are not fragmented, and the need to cover all the classic subjects since your child is 3 is obviously absurd, not even when they are four, or five, or six... but then I saw families saying they are learning Latin, geography, languages, etc, and I thought that it wasn't for us until I realized that when things are in a flow, in a continuum, learned through songs, or by listening to living books, the sky is the limit. One caution, do not overdo it. You can do many things and do them meaningfully, but you can start to stretch the rubber too thin, and that is not a meaningful education but a busy check mark superficial schedule of covering things.

I also believe that to learn history, geography, poetry, art, drawing, singing and a big etc, there is no need to buy specific curriculum for it. Mainly experiencing something, doing it and becoming it as much as you can, and the living books (and lots are free), will be what you need. And a bit, not excessive, planning, and TIME for your learning to mature. Time to assimilate things, versus nibbling and wandering like a bee from flower to flower.

What about GEOGRAPHY?

When my girls were younger, we fiddle a bit with Five in a Row, we used to find some places in the map. That's something that occasionally still comes from their own interest, or that you can suggest too if a reading, a new person you've met, or something that makes you think of locating a place in the map or knowing something about the place. At times when we have missionaries talking about their work, they usually come with some pictures and most of the times a map, and the children look with interest to those in the screen and it gives us the opportunity to do a small geography learning. It's good to have a world map on a wall at home. We used to have one, and I recently put it back in their hallway. This would be the informal, not to be minimized, learning of geography.

On the memory department, these books and CD's are popular among many: Geography Songs, and States and Capitals Songs, there are more in the series. Early on we also bought this World Puzzle that we enjoy from time to time. I also like that our Bible program we use (only because they bought it at our church), and which simplifies our teachings because it's Bible oriented, with some old time memorization, includes map work, and it's nice to learn some Biblical landmarks with them. You can find free Biblical maps like in this site, and some Bibles have maps you can use too.

This year we are on Ambleside Year 1. The only geography book is PADDLE TO THE SEA. In this blog you have some maps for paddle to the sea. And that is enough for us, through the years there will be more books and geography will be learned. We take trips like this year, and we'll learn specific geography things by the same interest the trips spike, and to me geography involves the food, costumes, folklore, etc, of different places that sometimes we learn through books, etc, without having to force this topic with curriculum or busy type activities.

Lindafay in her Charlotte Mason Help curriculum, proposes Paddle to the Sea, and Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography, that you can read and print from the ambleside site, it's not very long.  And in Year 0.5, there are delightful free books too, The Seven Little Sisters Who Live on the Round Ball that Floats in the Air. At Amazon, at the bottom of the page, you'll see lots of other related books for free too, in case you are looking for a different age group. Last year we read the Japanese Twins, and we'll enjoy more of the twin series.

We also found this book, Highroads of Geography Introductory Book: Round the World with Father and we are only on the third chapter, but I read aloud while they color a map I printed for free from the site that you can find in my GEOGRAPHY TAB AT MY RESOURCES WEBSITE.

I can't tell you again how nice it is to divide the week like we do. We have a day for Geography/Biography, that is for the AO readings, and some map work if we like it.Having this week partition helps me focus on the different type of readings and it will soon be internalized by all of us.

MONDAY: Science and Natural History. (Our nature walk a week)
TUESDAY: Literature and Poetry
WEDNESDAY: Geography and Biography
FRIDAY: Leftovers
EVERY DAY: Bible Study, Math, Recorder practice
EVERY WEEK: Art Study, Music, Hymns, Folk Songs, Foreign Language

2 opinion(s):

Grace'n'Chaos said...

Thanks for sharing Silvia. I've enjoyed looking through some of your resources. My 7 yr old read thru most of CM's Elementary Geography last year. We loved the poems included as lessons. I'm intriqued by the Highroads to Geography.

Silvia said...

Wow, good for your now 7 year old!

Jenny let me know what you think. It has 12 chapters or so, not too long, and it's definitely a living book, we've just started, but my girls seem to like geography, who'd have known?

Yes, the CM book is nice. To me using one of her own written books with the girls has a charm.


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