I have a 2 part question:
I'm looking primarily for my 13yo DD although anything in the geography department my little ones (especially DD2) will tag along. DD1 is an unmotivated kid. We've pretty much just focused on the bare essentials because in the past, getting them done was enough to pull my hair out. But that leaves gaping holes in other areas which I am looking to patch up. She has never really had US geography or World Geography. She doesn't know her states/capitals and besides "major" countries (Africa, US, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom), she couldn't name any countries on the map. I want to spend the next couple of years going over geography. (We have Geography map reading skills covered using Discovering the World of Geography.)
1) Which should I do first? US or World? Does it even matter?
2) What curriculum would work well with my unmotivated, hands-on, hates-too-much-writing learner? I want something fairly simple that she will learn from yet not be too "dumbed down" for her age. I've printed out samples from tons of different curriculum and notebooking pages, yet I can't seem to decide on anything.
For US Geography these have caught my eye:
- Trail to US Geography - not many samples to see just what all is included... is it hands-on or primarily writing oriented?
- Roadtrip USA - for grades K-4th grade but looks like it has enough neat tidbits on each state and hands-on projects... maybe boost this up with some add-on things to make this better for an older student?? If so, then what would give it enough oomph to make it simple yet challenging for her age? (Or maybe I *should* just keep it simple since I always have to fight her on school work anyway?? )
- Beautiful Feet Geography - both DH and I love the looks of this BUT DH thinks it would add on too much reading for DD and not enough hands-on. She already will be having reading from History and Literature. I don't know. Maybe we are under-estimating her interest/abilities. Then again maybe I'm over-ambitious?
- pull something together myself using blackline maps, library books on each state, notebooking pages to complete, and books like Cooking around the USA.
For World Geography:
- make my own using an Atlas, black outline maps, and Window on the World
- Runkle Geography - but this is more physical geography than political and perhaps better suited for when DD gets older (9th-10th grade?)
- Bob Jones Geography - really really like this one but again it is more geared for High School use (especially 9th grade which BJ has it scheduled)
- Trail Guide to World Geography - Same concern... not enough samples; not really open and go
For both US and World geography I do plan to incorporate games like "Stack the Countries", "Scrambled States", and sheppardsoftware.com into whatever we end up doing.
We will be following a history cycle, starting with the Ancients next. I intend on including mapping ala MOH. But I am mostly concerned that DD gets the basics down. Geography does not have to line up with history.
Thank you in advance for any thoughts.