“Geography is, to my mind, a subject of high educational value; though not because it affords the means of scientific training. Geography does present its problems, and these of the most interesting, and does afford materials for classification; but it is physical geography only which falls within the definition of a science, and even that is rather a compendium of the results of several sciences than a science itself. But the peculiar value of geography lies in its fitness to nourish the mind with ideas, and to furnish the imagination with pictures. Herein lies the educational value of geography.” (Home Education, p. 271-72)
HOW TO TEACH
Nature hikes (“geo-trots”) are an afternoon occupation. Here are some things to visit and point out to children as you walk:
- Natural landmarks and formations (rivers, lakes, mountains, valleys)
- Weather: including clouds, rain, hail, snow, wind.
- Directions: north, south, east, and west (and where the sun rises and sets)
- Position of sun during different times of the day and seasons.
Read the geography reader for your child’s level and ask for narration afterwards. In addition to a geography reader, the family may want to watch documentaries together, Netflix, Disney +, Discovery, and BBC are great sources. Some of our favorites are: Dangerous Ways to School, Human Planet, Planet Earth, North America, America’s National Parks, Europe From Above (also Asia and Latin America).
Charlotte Mason had a unique way of presenting a map to the children. She asked map questions to the child before each lesson in their Geography Reader. By asking questions about a region they’ll encounter in the lesson that day, your child directs his gaze and intentionally takes in the features of the land, both its physical and political properties. Simply place the map before your child and ask six questions, one at a time, while your child finds the answer on the map.
Study the resources below to learn more about teaching geography.