I have never really cared about geography growing up, but when I became a Charlotte Mason educator that all changed. I fell in LOVE with maps and geography. If a book had a map in the pages, I was drawn to it. When I was reading and a location was mentioned, I instantly attempted to locate it in my mind. When meeting people with accents, I would ask where they were from and see if I could use my mind's map to pin point where they lived.
Yes, I guess you can say that I enjoy geography!
How to Study Geography
- Talk about Directions Often – From the time my younger children were two or three, I started reciting the first four lines of the poem by William Blake called Night. In the poem it says ‘the sun descending in the west', as we sit and watch the sun set together. In the mornings, I point and say that the sun is rising in the east. It is just part of my talking with them. Around four and five, I start introducing the north and south and see if they can recall the west and east on their own. They usually do!
- Teach Right and Left Early – My children have learned the right and left early on and I would always tell them which direction to go while walking on our nature walks, in the grocery store or while driving. I love when I quiz them for our directions from their memory and they tell me which direction to turn. Often times, I allow them to navigate with maps from parks or places that give you maps to find where you are going. Early map reading is really important for learning geography!
- Puzzles – Geography puzzles are a fun and easy way for your children to learn parts of geography, without a map. We have had so much fun seeing who can put a puzzle together fastest or even blind folded.
- Map Quizzes – During a few years of our homeschooling, I had place a large world map on the table and put a clear plastic over it. During our meal times, we would take turn calling out a location on the map and the rest of the family raced to see who could find it first. The person who found it was the next one to call out the location.
- Map Drawing – My children have always done map drawing and map work in their homeschooling. What treasures they have made, even in high school, when studying a location, a continent or even a person's geography.
- As it is Mentioned – We use living books in almost all of our lessons. When we read of a location in a reading, we will be sure to find it on a map, so we know what part of the world the story is taking place. Some of our favorite books based on geography is the missionary series from YWAM.