We hear statistics all the time about how people on the street are asked simple geography questions and aren’t able to answer them correctly. We certainly don’t want our home school children to be part of those statistics. With the right tools, any child can learn a great deal about the world around them and how it functions. Here are the tools you need to teach home school Geography:
1. When you hear of countries or places that you haven’t heard of before when listening to the news, reading stories or just hearing others talk, get out a good map and find that place with your children. There is no reason to be ignorant of other places in the world when we have some of the best maps available in our country.
2. When going on a trip allow your child to plan the route and find interesting places along the way. Have them keep track of how many miles you travel. You can even do this for shorter trips in your area. This helps your child be more aware of the world around them.
3. Talk about geography terms. When you or your child encounter new words like plateau, delta, or reservoir, find out what they mean. You might even be able to find a picture of this geography term to better understand the definition. Geography is not only about locating places. You can also explore statistics for a certain area, photographs, and type of land in your study of geography.
4. Use the Internet, computer software games, and even board games to teach geography. Games teach a tremendous amount of knowledge, sometimes without the child even knowing it. When competition is involved, many children will do or learn anything to win. Games make learning fun. Use them once a week or so to spark a love for geography.
5. Get maps and geography tools like atlases and almanacs. Children always want to know where they are on a map. You can start there and point out where other family members live in relation to them. When you are reading a story about a far away country, look it up on the map so your children can see where it is in relation to where they live. If you go on a long trip, when you get back show them how far you traveled on the globe. This will give them a good understanding of how big our country is.
Take advantage of the many great resources and ideas and enjoy your exploration of geography. When you are interested in the world around you, your children will catch that interest.