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Smiles

5 th grade geography

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My son has requested to learn American history and learn all the countries of the world! How would you teach all the countries of the world? He knows more than I did at his age! He also said he would like to learn about each country! I'm just not sure how to go about this. I'm not good at coming up with my own thing, I need help and a plan. This is the second year he has requested this so I'm going to try harder to do this for him. He likes history and geography! I thought about doing geography over the summer because my plan is to do Sonlight core D in this coming fall. That could change!

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How about making it his problem? ?

He's old enough to search the library catalogue and order in whatever books and documentaries he wants.

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My favorite way of doing it is using Visualize World Geography but it is pretty expensive. It can be used across all grades and for multiple years so there is that.

We also like the Draw series (Draw Africa, Draw Europe etc). Starting continent by continent is a bit more doable. We focus on 2 to 3 countries per week, draw them and read about them. We used blank maps from.a Simply Charlotte Mason resource to practice writing the countries we knew each week. We also play 10 Days in... games to learn them as well but I believe those games are not made any more unfortunately. 

It is something that can be done. My kids love geography and have the same goal as your son. In 1.5 school years they have learned all of Africa and North America. Next year we are focusing on Europe. So we are moving at a slower pace but at 5th grade he could probably do it if motivated ?

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Trail Guide to World Geography is a 1-year program that could get you started, and give you time to figure out how to go deeper or how to DIY (Do It Yourself) to fit with your DS's goals.

For "DIY": Currently, there are 195 countries in the world. If you divide that up over 4 years (5th-8th grade), that's roughly 48 countries/year, or about 1-2 countries per week of a 36-week school year (about 4 countries every 3 weeks). That pace doesn't allow for any depth, but it IS a very attainable goal for learning location, capital, and a fact or two per country. Or, check out the 3-year plan (clickable 1-page schedule) at Let's Go Geography, a gr. K-5 program to cover most of the world -- their free downloadable/printable schedule would be a great way of keeping yourselves on track and checking off countries as your DS learns them. ?

What that might look like: for example, the year we did our Eastern Hemisphere study, DSs made an "atlas" page for 2 countries a week; each had an outline map that they added a few key landmarks/cities, a flag sticker, 5 key facts (1. capital, 2. population, 3. major language(s), 4. major religion(s), and 5. major resource(s)), and then a short (5-8 sentences) paragraph of things that stood out to them about that nation from having spent about 30 minutes reading about the nation from the Circling the Globe book (linked below) and the World Book Encyclopedia CD. (We also were going deeper on specific countries throughout the year, spending about 2-6 weeks on a nation of high-interest.)

A variation would be to choose an area of the world, and choose just a few countries to spend more weeks for going deeper with, and then use the last week for quickly learning the location / capital / a fact for the remaining countries of that area. For example, the Middle East contains 16 countries, which works out to about 12-13 weeks of time. That allows you to choose some focus nations and spend 3 weeks on each of 4 nations, or 2 weeks on each on 6 nations (example: Israel, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Egypt) and then 1 week memorizing locations and capitals of the remaining nations (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Lebanon, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain).

And if going Do-It-Yourself, be sure to check out the big list of resources compiled by WTMer Brandy at her Half-A-Hundred Acre Wood blog.

If you continue with Sonlight, you're actually in a great position right now for somewhat matching up an additional Geography study with your History Study for all but one year:

  • 5th grade = SL-D = (U.S. History pt. 1) + your Geography study of countries of North America + Latin America (Central & South Amer.)
  • 6th grade = SL-E (U.S. History pt. 2) + (unrelated) Geography study of countries of Caribbean nations + Oceania nations
  • 7th grade = SL-F (Eastern Hemisphere) + your Geography study of countries of Asia + Africa
  • 8th grade = SL-G (Ancient & Medieval History) + your Geography study of countries of Middle East + Europe

Some starting resources for DS to enjoy exploring on his own:

One last resource you might look for in your area: your DS might enjoy joining a public/private/charter school or homeschool team and participate in the annual National Geographic Bee next spring.

 

 

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Aaannnnd because I can't help myself (lol), and so you can see what the OOP book Circling the Globe looks like (since Amazon has no "See Inside" pages for it), I managed to upload some images. They are out of order of how I meant to do it, but #2,3,4 are the three 2-page spreads that start each new continent (overview info on the geography, political, and plants/animals of the continent). Then photos #1 & 5 give you a feel for the content on individual nations. There is always the nation's flag at the top of the page over the nation name, and a map of the nation next to an image of where on the globe it is; plus there is always a "Facts & Figures" box, at least 1 photo, and several illustrations, and a short overview paragraph. Some countries even have a few words of the language (like Somalia below). About half of the nations are 2-page spreads like Somalia; many small nations are 1-page (like Burundi in photo #5), and large nations are 6, 8, or even 10-pages (India is 10 pages; China + Taiwan is 8 pages). 

We found Circling the Globe to be a great resource for the many of the nations for which we only had time for a quick glance, but also a nice starter-springboard for nations we were able to spend more time on.

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Oh my goodness thank you all so much for taking the time to answer me! I truly appreciate it! I'm so excited to get started! 

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We're using Legends and Leagues and a premade Anki deck with all the nations, capitals, flags and common languages.

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If he simply wants to know each country's name, their locations and neighboring countries then Seterra is a free geography drill website that my kids love.

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Lori D I wanted to come back and tell you that I have Circling the Globe from the library and I love it! I will be buying this book. Thank you for recommending it! 

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56 minutes ago, Smiles said:

Lori D I wanted to come back and tell you that I have Circling the Globe from the library and I love it! I will be buying this book. Thank you for recommending it! 

Yea! So glad it's working well for you! I do love that book -- a combo of a picture atlas with just the right amount of mix of cultural, religious, historical, political text about the each country.

I just SOOOO wish they would update it with a new edition, since it is over 20 years old. I wouldn't think it would be THAT hard to swap out a few photos, update the population and/or other key statistics, and revise the last paragraph of some of the countries that have experienced recent upheavals...

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