Friday, November 17, 2017

Geography by Christy Gould

My friend Christy Gould  did this amazing study with her kids on geography  I love it!  I hope you enjoy it as well.    

Last spring, a sort of perfect storm of book acquisition spiraled us into studying world geography this year. I was browsing a used curriculum sale when a world geography book (for practically free) caught my eye. As I tucked it away on a shelf for “future use,” a workbook on famous missionaries that I’d purchased a few months earlier caught my eye. (Clearly, I have a problem with buying things without a clear intention to use them.)

With both of those things in hand, I decided to splurge on a literature guide I’d heard great things about. GiveYour Child the World, by Jamie Martin, is sort of like Honeyfor a Child’s Heart with a global focus: lists of books – the best books – divided up by age and continent. I jotted down a quick plan for the year – a global overview in September, and one continent per month after that – and made a note of which missionaries we’d study for each. Then I opened up Give Your Child the World and went absolutely nuts putting books on hold at the library!

Since the beginning of September, lunch time has become our geography read-aloud time. I keep all of the related books in one place, so the kids or I can grab one or two every day and bring it to the table. We’ve had excellent discussions on food, water, poverty, disease, architecture, and more. The missionary studies are best suited for older elementary, so my oldest has done those on his own, while his next-younger brother helps with the generic geography text. Here they are, using our big wall world map to find rivers and lakes in Africa:

In order to synthesize the different information we’re taking in through fiction and nonfiction children’s books as well as the geography workbook, we’re making posters of each continent. I (well, my husband, truthfully) used the projector at church to project continent outlines onto the wall, where I taped up poster board and traced it on in pencil. Each time we read a story about a new country, I label that country in Sharpie. The boys have added mountains, big cities, rivers, lakes, and topography with markers as they learned about them.

Among the books I got from the library in September were two kids’ cookbooks. My children are not adventurous eaters, but I thought this might help broaden their palates. Sure, they all eagerly agreed that they would LOVE to try sweet raisin couscous for breakfast when we stood in the grocery store aisle and picked it out, but it was unanimously voted down the next morning. (By the children, that is. My husband and I loved it!) We’ll keep trying, anyway.

All of these pictures are of our Africa study, because that was our October focus. We’re well into North America at the time of this writing, and it continues to be a favorite subject as we read good literature and add details to our poster! We’re learning how to use the encyclopedia set to look up country facts, we’re reading chapter books set in different countries, we’re studying artwork and noticing differences between those children and ourselves. I made the decision to study geography this year on a whim, but I’m so glad I did!

Christy Gould is the wife of a pastor and a homeschooling stay-at-home mom to five boys under eight. When she’s not refereeing little-boy disputes, you can find her in the kitchen, whipping up real-food meals and toiletries in equal measure. She chronicles her adventures in homeschooling and life at

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