Saturday, June 26, 2010

Geography the Easy Way!

Back in the spring, I had a chance to join some sweet friends for a Charlotte Mason retreat. We had a great time, and I learned several ways to enrich our school.

One of the tips I learned was a low-pressure, minimal time-consuming way to stay on top of mapping skills.
I couldn't wait to apply the tip and incorporate it into our school day.

I began by giving my children a blank map outline of the United States and a pencil. I gave them 5 minutes to label as many states as they could. After the 5 minutes, I gave them a labeled map and told them to check and correct what they had just completed and then pick 5 new states to add to their own map. I praised whatever they had done, and we then moved on to the next subject(s ;-).

The next day I gave them another blank map and asked them to label it again and try to remember the 5 new ones they had added the previous day. I was so pleased with the results!

For example, one child could only label 23 on the first day but could label 32 on the second day. Every child improved under this low-pressure approach, and 2 could label all 50 by the 5th day! Great success with no painful memorizing or time-wasting busywork.

It was almost as easy as when they learned the capitals by listening to a cd in the van.

Gotta love it!

In the Heart of our Home,

P.S. I am using U.S. and World Map Outlines, a handy book from Creative Teaching Press, to copy all my maps, but if you don't have such a book yet, I hear they sell these things on CD ROM now (maybe Uncle Josh's?). Then a lucky mama could just click a button and print all she needed!


Bryan and Cantina Camp said...

Thanks for the idea! I would love to know all that you gleaned from that retreat. Sounds like you came away with some awesome things.

The Ferrill's said...

Oh I love this idea!
And litt-le brother is ONE? Nuh-uh. It cannot be. He will always be a baby! He has to be! ;)
What a DOLL he is!
Can't wait until his new "big" brother meets him!
I got your message today (not sure when you left it! I'm sorry! I forget to check my answering machine!) I'll call you later!
Love you,

Mama Hen said...

love this idea!!!!!! I will be doing this as soon as I go and buy some ink and paper. And then remember to print out the maps. And find some maps of the US with the states on them. I'm thinking around December. :)

Seriously, what a great idea!

Sara said...

This is a great idea. As a homeschooling mom, I am always looking for new tried and tested results.

Delighted to meet you today. I hope you don't mind if I splash around a bit. This looks like a nice spot to take of my shoes and dip tootsies into refreshing goodness.


Christel, Jerry, Alex and Anthony said...

Hi Rebekah! I am so glad you stopped by my blog! I will be following along on yours now, too... since our new munchkins are from the same city!!! Plus... I am going to be a homeschooling momma, too!! :)This is so exciting! I love finding other deeply Christian women to bloggy-follow, its always so inspiring.

I know that we have just "met", but i was wondering if i could ask you to pray for me tomorrow... long story short... my hubby and i feel STRONGLY led by God that we have another Child in China, right now... I have been praying that God would take this from my wants if it is not His will... so far the impression only is getting stronger. So tomorrow i am preparing to talk with our agency about advocating for us to adopt 2 children from China at once... both SN of course. My agency has already told me 3 times that it can't be done, but i know it can and see it happening for other families right now. Today i fasted and prayed all day for wisdom, guidance and the right words for tomorrow,as well as for those that will be making the decisions regarding these two PRECIOUS children and i am not worried about my part any longer... but i am very nervous about the agency and the CCAA's decisions... eeks! its that excited nervousness, like when you are ready for your referral! Oh my!

Thanks in advance... i desperately want these two girls to have us as a family, i want them to know Jesus Christ. And go to Heaven with us someday.


Christy said...

I love this idea!! When we start back to school in August this is def. something we'll have to incorportate! Thanks for coming by my blog too and commenting!

Michelle said...

It was good to see you last Sunday. I enjoyed the music most of all.
I use the same mapping strategy in my classroom of 8-28 children. No one feels bored or left behind! I use maps from PerformanceEducation to teach about Ancient World History - Biblical Times (in the public school)!
Send me an email if you could use some these. I have several samples in PDF format with keys.