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I am having the hardest time finding a geography course I like! I would like DD to start learning about the basic geography of the world and the US next year, and I just can't find anything. I am looking for a simple, all-in-one program that teaches through the continents systematically without needing 20 other resources or a bunch of 'projects' to go with it. I guess that doesn't exist. :glare:

 

So far I've purchased or looked at these programs (and rejected them):

 

Spectrum Geography: Very scattered, and mostly just US geography unless you get the 5th or 6th grade book.

A Child's Geography: Okay, I guess, but it was exactly the same text (almost) as the earth science text we'll be using, so no go.

Legends and Leagues: $50 a set?! :ohmy:

Galloping the Globe/Cantering the Country: basically just a booklist. I don't want a booklist.

Evan-Moor Geography: just like Spectrum.

 

Should teaching elementary geography be this difficult? :laugh:

 

Any suggestions? I would really appreciate it!

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We are using Road Trip USA (http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/u-s-geography). We don't do all of the activities, but they are learning from and enjoying it. The author also has a world geography curriculum on her site (that we have not used). I'm not sure if they're what you're looking for, but you can check out the samples.

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I get so frustrated with modern curricula that I sometimes piece together my own thing by using bits of vintage books and wprksheets and living books. The vintage books are out of date, and sometimes racist, but not all of every book is unusable to use directly with students, and often the entire book can be used as a scope and sequence.

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I get so frustrated with modern curricula that I sometimes piece together my own thing by using bits of vintage books and wprksheets and living books .

I'm with you! And geography seems to be one of those subjects that I'm just not pleased with anything I see.

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I don't look at geography as a one-time deal. We started with EM Beginning Geography and will be doing Daily Geography, Grade 2 soon (at a pace of a week per day). Geography books are something we do during the summer (or after we finish other subjects for the year). DD loves them...thinks they're fun. We completed Beginning Geography two summers ago before we started our study of Ancients. She has retained the vast majority of it and uses the knowledge during history and other studies. Our history has map work built into it.

 

Have you seen Montessori continents boxes? Thinking about making up some of these for DD. Also, Geopuzzles are good.

 

http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=continent%20boxes 

 

 

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I don't look at geography as a one-time deal. We started with EM Beginning Geography and will be doing Daily Geography, Grade 2 soon (at a pace of a week per day). Geography books are something we do during the summer (or after we finish other subjects for the year). DD loves them...thinks they're fun. We completed Beginning Geography two summers ago before we started our study of Ancients. She has retained the vast majority of it and uses the knowledge during history and other studies. Our history has map work built into it.

 

Have you seen Montessori continents boxes? Thinking about making up some of these for DD. Also, Geopuzzles are good.

 

http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=continent%20boxes 

 

I want to make these too! I just don't wanna spend a fortune

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I want to make these too! I just don't wanna spend a fortune

 

 

We do Montessori continent boxes and it really doesn't cost much. You can certainly spend a fortune...but not necessary.

 

The basic idea is to have 7 boxes (could be anything really). I saved Amazon boxes when I first started to put them together. I'm going to switch to sturdier photo boxes. 

 

The idea is to introduce one at a time. North America is a good start. You don't really need to spend a lot of money or time filling them up and then teach lessons from them. That's not a true Montessori way. The idea is one at a time, with a few items that a child can revisit again and again and then add more.

 

I get a lot of printables from Montessori Print Shophttp://www.montessoriprintshop.com/Montessori_Geography.html  to add to them. Maps, flags for pin maps, little booklets and three part cards. A load of stuff is available free as well online (a Pinterest search brings up lots of free printables.)

 

You would also want to have a book or two for each continent (non-fiction, folktales etc), and then you add interesting things or activities in each box. Could be anything. Little animal toys, an Asian fan, arrowheads, nesting dolls. You could even add crafts, recipes and so on. It's not a one time thing. They are more like workboxes that are ongoing. That's why you'll see so many variations on those Pinterest boards. It's really just what you want to do. There's literally hundreds and hundreds of continent box ideas out there. 

 

I'm a fan of pin maps. You print the flags, fix them onto toothpicks, and then you fix the map you're working with onto some craft foam or styrofoam craft block and the child sticks in the "pins" again and again. 

 

 

 

 

http://www.infomontessori.com/language/cultural-work-geography.htm I find this an excellent run down of the geography activities. And here's a Montessori scope and sequence for geography. 

http://montessoricompass.com/geography

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Thought of you today when I came across this geography study. It does require reading books, but no projects, etc., unless you want to add them.

 

For labeling, you could get some of those teeny Avery address labels and write the names of the states and countries on them and then have your DD stick them where they go on the maps. This is what I do for DD's history mapwork when there is a bunch of long names. A 6-year-old can copy "Mediterranean Sea" only so many times... Also, she could narrate the answers to the questions.

 

http://simplycharlottemason.com/store/visits-to-geography-series/

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Have you seen the geography songs? We enjoyed those, and the jingles hang out in your head forever, lol.

We had a great time the year we did these.  Paired it with Galloping the Globe done my way with Zoobooks,  Draw Write Now, and interesting library books.  

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I thought I'd let you know I spoke with Memoria Press to ask if they plan on a Review book for the Geography II. It should be ready by late summer. I am only using the review books because I wanted the kids to work on memorizing location, names, and capitals more than learn about the cultural aspects. They've had cultural classes in co-op as well as dd used a high school geography book for her geography credit. 

 

 

 

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I do my own geography.  It takes me about 15-20 minutes to get it all set each week, but my kids love it and are learning a lot.  At first, you can discuss the continents and overall geography and then move into each particular continent in detail.  Here is an example of a lesson for us.  I print out maps for free on this site.  I print out a map with all the country names, etc, but I take off all the extraneous things to make the map simpler for my children.  Then I print off a blank map without all the names, etc.  I also print out two maps of the particular country we are working on.  Here is the list of what I say to my children:

 

Asia Lesson 7: Japan

Get out the Asia map.

1.               Color China red.

2.               Color Mongolia orange.

3.               Color Russia yellow.

4.               Color North Korea blue.

5.               Color South Korea green.

6.               Write a capital P on the Pacific Ocean.

Get out the map of Japan.

1.   Find Tokyo.  Write a capital letter T.

2.   Find the Yellow Sea and write a capital letter Y.

3.   Find the Sea of Japan and write a capital letter J.

4.   Find the island of Hokkaido and mark it with a capital letter H.

5.   Which island is Tokyo on? 

6.   How many large islands make up Japan?

7.   Find Hiroshima.  Mark it with a lowercase h.

 

 

When we do geography, it takes about 15 minutes (sometimes longer because my son likes to color very carefully).  I do this with my 2nd grader and kindergartener.  My kindergartener needs a little assistance, but they seriously can remember where these countries are when they color the next week.  I will sometimes get a picture book to read that goes along with the country, but that isn't necessary.  For Japan, we did this book.

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We do geography map work along with history, so they get it in context, but this year, we have had a lot of fun with The Great Global Puzzle with Google Earth book, and it would be easy to add some supplemental books about specific continents to that.

 

We are doing earth science next year, and I did opt to get A Child's Geography to use as well; there IS some overlap, and I may still add some picture books about the continents, but I think it will complement the earth science nicely. Our earth science book doesn't talk about latitude and longitude for instance, but ACG does.

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This has been so helpful.

 

We are using Trail Guide to World Geography and I am just not in love. My kids are 1st and 2nd grade.  Mostly we do marking up of maps. I have tried the Uncle Josh's maps, and didn't like them. Now we are using some Scholastic maps I got from the $1 sale, and generally they work except for when Trail Guide asks us to map something that I can't even find in my 300 page Usborne Encyclopedia of Geography---sigh.  I think perhaps I will like this book more when my boys are older.  I do like the Scholastic Maps because they have all the countries and capitals labeled as well as rivers. My kids are too young to spend the time it takes to label all the Asian countries for example. So I can say "find Nepal" and they find it. It's crazy how much easier this makes my life than the blank Uncle Josh's I had to write on every single time.

 

kristinannie--what you are doing is exactly what I would like to do with my kids.  Last year we just did CC geography--at times it seemed random but I would gladly go back to it at this point for some simplicity. We all three of us hate geography at this point. I need something very simple.  

 

Can anyone give me a brief description of Memoria Press' geography? What ages is it for and how long/week? I am looking for no more than 30 minutes per week. ETA: I am seeing it is for grades 4 and up. So, I guess I need something like kristinannie's plan, if such exists.

 

I do like the "10 days in" geography games. We have "10 Days in Africa", "10 Days in the Americas" and "10 Days in Europe."  My kids like playing games, and these do help with learning countries.  I also bought a DVD of the old Carmen Sandiego series hoping that would peak some interest. Alas, it has not.  

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