We focused a lot on Geography this homeschool year. We did this in many different ways. My favorite way was talking about "Current Events" every day and making the boys browse the main news on the internet daily for Top Stories. They had to brief me on what's happening and where, who was involved, leaders, peoples, countries etc... It was a great way for me to stay on top of the news happening all over the world. We got out the globe and our world map to find the countries involved.
I know and understand the argument of too much news and exposure to the bad stuff...but we are more and more, living in a global society with Smart Phones and the news at our finger tips. We have to realize that we have to live in this world and must also be aware of what's happening in it. I feel very strongly about training my boys to become leaders in whatever field that they go into as their vocation. To be an effective leader you can't walk around with blinders to what's going on in the outside world. We also have the added benefit of learning from other's mistakes.
I want my children to grow up knowing the the world is large and made up of all sorts of different people and ideas. I want them to be grounded in their own solid faith and belief system but also be able to relate and engage folks from all different walks of life. Studying Geography gives us a glimpse of that. I know that when I start throwing people into the mix we are talking more about Anthropolgy than Geography but I want them to be able to locate the country before we get to the people.
And for the record, I own "Geography Songs" but can't get over the not so great music to really enjoy the lyrics.
This year I had each of the boys do a Geography report on a country.
First they had to make their country flag out of card stock or construction paper. We laminated the flags with our handy dandy laminator. I love that thing! It's an addiction.
Then, using Ed Helper, I printed out pages of questions that they had to anwer about their country. They had to "Google" and research them and write them out. In the end, we studied Sweden, Austria, Bulgaria, and Portugal. It was a fantastic way to explore a few countries. If I had been a little more ambitious, I would have made foods from each country but that just didn't happen this school year. Perhaps next year.
We also studied World War 1 the first half of the year and did a study on Germany. I checked out a bunch of books on Germany from the Library for them to look through and we also made a flag and used Ed Helper's pages on Germany.
We did a Unit Study on Egypt and studied a bit of Japan when they were hit with the Tsunami.
There are so many ways to incorporate Geography into the school year!
I'm a World Traveler (In My Mind)
The Lunch Lady