How to Teach Geography with Books

Geography can be a difficult subject to teach if a child isn't interest in maps. Learning how to teach geography with books, as it is taught in the Charlotte Mason way, can really open up the interest of a child and give them excitement about the dry facts of cities, states and countries. Starting your children with learning about geography with books is a sure way to get them interested in geography and building on their knowledge for all future learning.

How to Teach Geography with Books - Learn how to turn dry maps into interesting subjects with books! |

How to Teach Geography with Books

To teach geography with books, you need to start with the right books. The right books will be the kind of books that include adventure and can hold a child's attention. I have always used a series of books to introduce geography with my children and it has always been successful, as these have become cherished books in our home library.

I seem to use these books from Holling C. Hollings in the same system each time I use them to teach my children. I will share the books in the order that I read them aloud to my children. (These are also perfect books to teach narration as well). Each chapter is only one page, with the exception of Minn of the Mississippi. The illustrations are captivating and aid the younger children in developing narrations skills while keep their attention as parts of geography unfolds.

The trick to adding geography is to always find the place on a map after the reading. A great way to do that is to mark it on a printable map that the child can color on their own.

Paddle-to-the-Sea is a story of a little carved canoe with an Indian that travels through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic ocean and the adventures he experiences along the way.

Tree in the Trail is a story of a tree in the middle of the Santa Fe trail during the western expansion.

Seabird is a story of an ivory carved seabird that travels with a boy through his life as a sailor in America during the early sailing history.

Minn of the Mississippi is a story of a turtle that travels the mississippi. I purposely hold this book off until later years because of its references of evolution and the longer chapters.

Other books by Holling C. Hollings that you may enjoy:


Binder Books: The Ultimate Learning Tool

Binder Books: The Ultimate Learning Tool

At the beginning of our homeschooling journey, I began to implement Notebooking and Lapbooks into our Charlotte Mason homeschool. It didn't take me long to discover that Notebooking was awesome, but ‘choppy' in the way it was displayed within the notebook when you were doing more of a ‘unit study' approach and wanting more knowledge displayed within the notebook. We then moved to Lapbooking, which was an awesome way to get the full information together, displaying the results of a great ‘unit study'. The problem that I quickly identified was that Lapbooks were not easy to store within a Notebook, where I had desire to store them.

That is when the Binder Book was born, the ultimate learning tool.

There are so many ways you can use a Binder Book within your homeschooling, or just for fun.  Our favorite ways are in history, geography and nature.  Here are some suggestions from our own experience, to get you started on using this ultimate learning tool for any age:

  • World History – divide each Binder Book into a time period and fill it with the individual learning from each, World Wars
  • American History – divide each Binder Book into the 13 colonies, one for each President, during a time period of interest, American Wars
  • Geography – divide each Binder Book into the 7 continents, one for a place of interest, perhaps Egypt, Japan, Canada, Italy or break up the United States into the sections used in weather reporting and do one on each.
  • Nature – divide each Binder Book into studies of animals, perhaps on of birds, mammals, water creatures, dinosaurs, insects, etc. You could also divide earth science into sections and cover them in their own binder.

Get more ideas in the 10 Days of Journaling Ideas.

What you need to make the Binder Book: the Ultimate Learning Tool

  • 3 pieces of card stock for each binder book you desire to make
  • a 3-ring hole puncher
  • a paper cutter
  • clear tape – avoid dollar store tape because it rips very easy in this construction

See how I organize our Binder Book supplies.

Here is how you make the Binder Book: The Ultimate Learning Tool

Directions for making a Binder Book

Directions for binder books

  1. Using a three ringed hole puncher – punch holes on the left side of ONE of the card stock
  2. Using a paper cutter – cut ONE INCH off the left side of ONE of the card stock (7 1/2 by 11 inch)
  3. Using a paper cutter – cut ONE and a FOURTH INCH off the left side of ONE of the card stock (7 1/4  by 11 inch)
  4. Lay the card stock in this order, from left to right: hole punched, 7 1/2 by 11 inch, 7 1/4 by 11 inch
  5. Place them next to each other, and tape down the edges that are lined up together, be sure to leave a small gap to allow the Binder Book to fold up on itself
  6. Flip the three pieces of card stock over and apply tape down the edges on this side
  7. Flip it back over and fold it up, being sure to crease the edges well

We use a lot of Binder Books in our homeschooling, so I make a large stack of them during the summer. For some great ideas, follow my Binder Books Pinterest Board.