Geography Planning

geography kitWe are so looking forward to taking another look at our world this coming year!  We’re still enjoying Ann Voskamp’s great book A Child’s Geography.  But I think Geography this past year was a little consequential rather than intentional. We’re still going to mark the countries that we come across in our read-alouds and history resources.  But I felt we needed to do a little more if we’re to stick to our goal of building that value in our children of reaching out to a needy world with God’s love.  They have to actually know about that world first don’t they? 🙂

So I’ve purchased some extra resources from Winter Promise, plus put together a few bits and pieces from our craft cupboard to make geography kits.  Hopefully we can make a more purposeful attempt at learning about our world in a way that connects with where our children are at and can comprehend at their young age.  I love the idea of taking the approach of seeing how children in other countries live, and not shielding them completely from the challenges people face.

This last year we read Children Just Like Me to learn more about children of the world.  This coming year we’ll build on this goal of exposing our kids to different ways that children live, and with my 7 year old (turning 8) looking at the less glossy side and what we can do to be involved in reaching that world with God’s love.

Here’s what I have so far:

  • Children of the World – Lessons on 30 countries covering housing, family, food, land, and history.  I don’t imagine we’ll do them all in the space of one year. 🙂 But we’ll pick the ones that interest us the most.
  • Working Children – a book on what working children do and why.
  • Material World – a photographic record depicting what families in 30 countries own, how they work, what their children do, and so forth.
  • Geography songs kit – audio of 33 songs teach the names and locations of the continents, oceans, planets, 225 countries, (and the states and provinces of Canada and the U.S which we’ll skip this time around :)).  Also a workbook, 23 maps and a world map are included.
  • Maps and Globes – A brief history of map-making, a simple explanation of how to read maps and globes, and an introduction to the many different kinds of maps there are.

Contents of our geography kit (made from a manila folder with handles glued on):

  • Travel Journal (see my printables) – consists of laminated cover and cardboard backing, journal pages, and, eventually, we’ll put country maps in as we go.  I’ve assembled this with a clip so we can add pages and maps in.  The journal pages will be single-sided so we can use the opposite side of the page to glue in pictures.
  • Postcards – a fun activity to do where my daughter can pretend she is in the country and writing home about it.  A travel broker friend has kindly given me some old brochures that we can cut up for these and the journal pages.
  • Passport – great little template from FIAR.
  • Stickers and visa stamps – from Sticker and Charts website. The FIAR template also has a MS Word page where you can customise visa stamps.  I also printed a page of extra stickers for them to decorate their ‘suitcase’.
  • Boarding pass – we’re using a boarding pass for every country we study and posting up on the fridge as a visual reminder of what country we’re up to (see my printables)
  • Tickets – ‘Admit One’ tickets for shows, dining, and entertainment on our travels.  I plan to make culturally-inspired meals that we make a bit special and the kids might like to dress up.  We’re also going to have mini cultural performances… and watch the odd movie and YouTube clip. 🙂

geography 3 with website

So I think we should find ourselves with plenty to discover on our adventures, and lots to make it all fun!  Of course, we’ll also mark up the countries we come across in our Read-alouds for the year (see 2013 Curriculum for more detail).  We have a large markable map to draw on.

One more thing: I did come across this little gem while I was looking for passport templates: Little Passports.  It’s a subscription-based geography kit where things arrive each month for your child to add to their neat little suitcase.  It might be something that your family can use.

5 thoughts on “Geography Planning

  1. Alicia S.

    This is just what I’ve been looking for! I read a blog a long time ago (before I was homeschooling) about a parent who did the weekly/monthly passport thing with their preschooler. Now that I’m hs-ing my middle school daughter and preschool son, I’ve been wanting to find the template for a printable version. Such a great idea for any age. 🙂

    1. homemakingwithheart

      Hi Alicia, I’ve also done a passport for my preschooler so she feels included too. On her one, I did photos of the books we’re reading aloud with her this year (mostly from Sonlight P3/4 book list) and she will get a stamp when we finish each one. If you e-mail me, I’d be happy to send you the Word doc so you can customise it for you. blessings.

  2. monstauffer

    I also recently discovered the book: “A Life Like Mine: How Children Live Around the World” by DK Publishing. It’s a neat view of the commonalities of the basic needs (water, etc) in the varied cultures and the scarcity of some of the resources. It can be found on amazon for $13 at the following link: Just wanted to share. =)


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