Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Geography, this summer?

It's that time when hopefully you're feeling a bit rested and ready to relax into summer.  For our family that usually involves some kind of projects, crafts, reading lists etc...  When the kids were younger we ALWAYS did some kind of summer reading.  Usually I offered rewards for reading books that would be related to our science or history for the next year.  (We never can get to as many read alouds or recommendations in the back of those as I'd like and it was a great way to get more in!)

Anyway, this year I'm contemplating Geography and found a few things you might want to check out to.  We've always done our geography in conjunction with history and it has never been a major focus.  Actually, after I came home with the first book I found from a recent convention and quizzed the girls I was surprised to find how much they did really know.  Praises to Mystery of History and my feeble attempts at remembering to do the maps on that score!

I'll mention first the resource that has a freebie ending in only three days.  It's called A Child's Geography: Explore the Classical World.  This is another great resource from Knowledgequest.  Until the 30th of June they are offering the 1st three chapters free for preview.  This isn't a wimpy couple of page download, it's the actual text of the book.  These pages are loaded with history, picture, maps and notebook activities.  It was designed for middle or elementary ages and could be a great "walk" through some cultures.  In the elementary years I certainly think this could take the place of your history curriculum for one year.  For Jr. high I would probably use it in supplement with Mystery of History or you usual curriculum.  Or perhaps do it over the summer...

It's a full 224 page book for $29.95 or $19.95 for a download.  

The second geography resource I'm considering working with over the summer came in a magazine put out by Focus on the Family.  It's called Around the World in 60 days and was in the last issue of Family Thrive Magazine.  This I would say is definitely geared toward the elementary.  It's got a map to stick on the wall or fridge and track your journey but it also has a booklet with pretty much a prayer concern for each country.  It would be a great missions focus as well as geography.  A couple of the countries/areas also include a recipe or two as well.  I thought this might be a way to beef up the home economics we'd put on the side a little bit over the last two years as well.

The dates in the guidebook start in June but you could easily modify that and do it over July and August.  In fact I will significantly modify it and probably hit once a week or so and go over multiple cities.  We'll also probably do some internet surfing and add in some more recipes.

Finally, the third resource I picked up from the Indiana Historical Society booth at the convention in Indianapolis a few weeks back.  It's called, Coloryourselfsmart Geography.  It was actually written for adults and is a geography colorbook.  It has outline maps on the right side of the page to color (instructions are given) and on the left it lists information about that maps and "10 things to remember".  It's sort of like a jeopardy primer.  It covers Political maps, Physical maps, continents, world, United States, Resource maps, Technology maps, superpowers and more....  Included with the book are 8 colored pencils, an eraser and sharpener.

With this one I was considering using it on our Friday's either this year or next.  On Friday's we generally don't do our "regular" school but do our "add in" kind of things.  Over the years it's been things like Home Ec, Art of Argumentation, Art, Journaling, Economics, you know...some of that extra stuff you want to fit in but it's not really "core".  This looked like a quick, easy and somewhat fun way to remember a little geography and learn some cool facts.  

I will mention there are a couple references to the earth being "millions" of years etc... but they could be easily skipped or overlooked.  I had never seen a book quite like this so I got it even with that in it.  I prefer to buy Biblically correct books when I can but when it's this minor and such a neat resource I will work with it.

So, maybe this summer we'll do some extra geography, will you?

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