You know Americans have a bad rap for being terrible in geography, right? I really don’t want to perpetuate that idea, but wow, we have made some pretty big mistakes. If you’re a regular reader of Middle Way Mom, you must be thinking we fail all the time. We’ll talk about successes again in a bit, but it’s time to get a little real.
Here are some surefire ways to get your kids to have geography:
Buy your core book without looking on the inside
Sure, the Amazon reviews are great. Other people said it’s a fantastic book that gives the child a nice baseline in geography, and it has really cool projects! Well, isn’t that a homeschoolers dream! Cool projects they can tell their friends and family about, and they’ll all say, “I wish I was homeschooled, too!” Sure, the book had great content, and the projects looked cool, but did anyone look at the supply list? Cinder blocks?! A 50 gallon aquarium?! Who is going to buy these things for one school project? I’m sure as heck not going to. Goodbye, cool projects. Hello boring, rote reading assignments.
Jump in mid-curriculum
In my defense, Kira went from public school to virtual school, so the curriculum was not my choice. She had absolutely no geography in public school, and then started geography in virtual school with a curriculum that started years earlier. It assumed map reading skills she did not have, and tears were shed. Oh, the puberty tears over geography were hard to watch.
Don’t own a big map
Make sure that countries like Lichtenstein are absolutely impossible to find in your placemat-size map. Oh, tiny text on everything makes it better. Breaking routine to go from your books to your computer desk to figure out where in the heck something is for your assignment is great fun, and a fantastic way to make sure it takes twice as long to finish the assignment. For my younger kids, we may invest in a mural-size world map… kinda kidding.
Stop, start, stop
Geography one year, she didn’t really get it, so we took a break. Then, start again the following year, hoping all the info she didn’t really get two years ago is still magically in her head. Sad truth? We’re taking a break from geography again this year, and hoping for it to pop back up next year. *blush* When will I learn?
I swear, I will not allow Kira to get through life without having some sort of baseline of geography. It can not happen!
So, this reminds me to be on the search for a really great geography curriculum this summer! Any suggestions?
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