Incorporating Geography and Cartography into YOUR Homeschool
How and why you SHOULD incorporate the weekly geography in YOUR homeschool!
Have you ever wondered why in the world CC encourages you to incorporate Geography and map drawing in your homeschool? Well, there are several reasons for this!
One reason we’re trying to start our children early on learning to blob, trace, and plot maps, is this benefits them during their challenge years. If you aren't aware, one of the tasks that Challenge A students complete is actually drawing the entire world. But, there are several other ways that absolutely benefit our children, like:
- Sitting Still
- Holding a pencil correctly
- Drawing straight lines with or without rulers (especially when blobbing the world)
- Folding paper
You will be amazed at how quickly your children will pick up on locating geographical locations and features. You, too, will benefit from so many aspects of Classical Conversations! We veteran moms can attest to “reclaiming our education” thru simple activities such as focusing on geography in our homeschools. I can’t tell you how many times during a church sermon or Sunday School class I’ve been able to locate where events during biblical times occurred and what part of the world things are now located in. I honestly didn't grasp just how large the Roman Empire was until I started teaching geography in my homeschool.
To encourage everyone to draw maps at home, I have a map of the US that we will be coloring in. For every 50 maps turned in, we will color in 1 state. After 5 states are colored in, I will be rewarding the kids with a prize.
Some of the prizes we will have are:
- Treat during opening assembly (I will be checking with everyone on this;))
- Double Bubble & a Bubble Blowing Contest During Lunch
- Pajama Day
- Grand Finale will be to bust a Piñata
I know some of you may feel a little overwhelmed, but please take a deep breath!!! YOU are your child’s TEACHER and you best decide what you want to drill during your days at home. I am just providing you with some great resources that you can use, but ARE NOT REQUIRED TO DO SO. Set an attainable goal for your house! This isn't anything to stress over. Have your children learn to do blob maps first. Once you practice this a few times, have your children simply trace the current week's geography a couple of times per day and drill the states and capitals. You will be amazed at how well they will remember the locations and features. If your children can trace fairly easily, encourage them to attempt to free hand the geography for the week. If they're good writers, encourage them to draw lines with a pencil and write the Capital and State names (even for those that only trace). For our Masters students, encourage them to not only practice the US, but go ahead and encourage them to work on other maps as well.
To get familiar with map blobbing (this is good for any age- preschool thru upper elementary), I like this blog post:
Here is another great resource:
Important reminder: CC Maps found in the foundations guide may differ from different Atlases. The reason for this, is we learn maps from the different time periods in which we are studying. Always remember to drill CC Memory work with the Map your tutor uses from the Foundations Guide, especially if your child is going to go for Memory Master!!
If you’d like to know more about where I got my idea for the map challenge, or even a way to set goals for your family, this is where my idea came from:
I hope that all of these links help you in your homeschool. Please remember, if this completely overwhelms you, scale back to what helps your family most! Don’t over do it your first year! I don’t want to set you up for burn out! I love the phrase: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” This is so true and a great way to look at CC. I’m thankful for each of you and will be praying for you this year!