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Giving Our Children the World: Education Through Geography

by Heidi on February 24, 2010

in methods & philosophies

globe in hands

As a child, I would sit in a chair and look at my grandfather’s world globe for what seemed like hours at a time. Feeling the bumps of mountains. Reading the names of each country. Plotting a course across the ocean.

What is it like to live there? How does it feel to swim in those waters? Would the sky look the same if I lay on my back and looked up from another continent? How long would it take to get from here to there?

As soon as I had children of my own, I knew that I wanted to impart to them this same curiosity about the wide world around us. Architecture, food, folktales and stories, history, art, music, languages, and scenery–it is all fascinating to me.

I want my children to be world travelers, even when we don’t have the ability to go far from home.

There are many simple ways to incorporate geography into daily life and education.

1.  Give your children access to a globe, children’s atlas, or maps.

When a geographical location comes up in a book or a conversation, head to the globe and search for it or add a colored push-pin to the spot on a wall map.

Snuggle up on the couch and take turns pointing out countries you would like to visit.

Photo by Heidi Scovel

2.  Read books about far-away places.

We love the book Children Just Like Me by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley for learning about the daily life of children in many countries. M. Sasek wrote a fabulous series of picture books about several cities and countries–such as Ireland, Israel, Hong Kong, and Venice.

Check your library for books sharing folk tales and fairy tales from other countries. Look for titles about the art or history of various regions.

Photo by Heidi Scovel

3.  Enjoy pictures of famous cities, landmarks, or scenery.

Purchase calendars featuring beautiful photography from around the world. At the end of the year, save the calendar and use the photos for projects or bulletin boards.

4.  Listen to new music.

Putamayo has recorded a wonderful series of international music. Acquaint yourselves with sounds from Denmark, Cuba, South Africa, or Germany.

5. Play geography games.

Do you have a family game night? Add Where in the World? or Ten Days in Europe to your game repertoire. Or put together a geography puzzle.

6.  Taste new foods.

Planning your dinner menu? Let your kids browse through a colorful children’s cookbook with international recipes. My boys are more receptive to new foods if they have a part in choosing or cooking a meal.

Grocery shopping? Head to the exotic produce section and grab one new fruit to sample.

Going to a restaurant for dinner? Change up your usual routine and seek out new flavors. Are Chinese, Mexican, and Italian already on your menu? Try Hungarian, French, or Mongolian.

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Photo by Heidi Scovel


Do you and your children enjoy learning about other countries and cultures? What are some ways you have nurtured that curiosity within your homeschool or family life?

by on Jul. 19, 2012 at 6:22 PM
Replies (31-32):
bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Jul. 23, 2012 at 2:21 PM

 

Quoting kirbymom:

 

 We talk about our ancestors too. My family is into finding out about their family line. My husband is quite an authority on how to research family even as far back as biblical times.  So while doing this, we also learn about the times of that era.  Its so much fun, I think. 

ME TOO!  lol 

 We've gone back to "the old world" but going back that far would be very interesting!  How does he do it?

 Well, it isn't easy. He has to look through lots of information and some of that could even be pictures and then he has to trace down all the details because some of it is either not matching or not in enough detail.  Then more tracing and let me tell you, it is so facinating despite the tediousness of the searching.  You get to even meet people through these searches. Some even turn out to be relatives. If you'd like, I can ask him to give you some help in getting started.   Just let me know.  :) 

 Maybe it's something we'll look into when the boys get a bit older.  Right now, i try to avoid tedium.  Everything needs to be fun, they're just too young to understand those little intrinsic aha moments that occur after hours of quiet study.  They are fascinated when I'll spend hours reading a book with NO pictures!  HA

kirbymom
by Sonja on Jul. 23, 2012 at 2:59 PM
1 mom liked this

 

 We've gone back to "the old world" but going back that far would be very interesting!  How does he do it?

 Well, it isn't easy. He has to look through lots of information and some of that could even be pictures and then he has to trace down all the details because some of it is either not matching or not in enough detail.  Then more tracing and let me tell you, it is so facinating despite the tediousness of the searching.  You get to even meet people through these searches. Some even turn out to be relatives. If you'd like, I can ask him to give you some help in getting started.   Just let me know.  :) 

 Maybe it's something we'll look into when the boys get a bit older.  Right now, i try to avoid tedium.  Everything needs to be fun, they're just too young to understand those little intrinsic aha moments that occur after hours of quiet study.  They are fascinated when I'll spend hours reading a book with NO pictures!  HA

 LOL ~   I know what you mean.   : )

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