Oct 1, 2009

Around the World in 39 Weeks

This year, my first and second graders are traveling around the world. I don't remember studying geography in school. I do know, that the countries that I read about as a child, in the various fiction books I used to devour, those are the countries that I tend to be the most interested in as an adult. This leads me to the desire to expose my kids to as many other lands, cultures, and peoples as I can.
Most of the "stuff" that I found that is labeled: "Geography for First and Second Grade" was about the United States. Or our neighbourhood. Problem is, we learned about our neighbourhood in kindergarten, and we live there, so we don't exactly want to study about it any more. And don't get me wrong, I want the kids to learn about the US, but, I don't know, it just seems so egotistical to fill their little minds with "all about ME" when they could be learning about others. (Actually, we are going to tour the US next year, but world geography is much more fun.)
So when I came across Children Around the World at a bookstore at a great discount (I think it was half off) I snatched it up. I was thrilled to get it, and I think I even wrote a post about it, but I am not going to take the time to look it up now. At any rate, it is not the wonder that I first thought it, but I most definitely do not regret buying it, because it was my "jumping off place". I pulled enough ideas from it that I could get started planning this year's lessons. I filled in the gaps with information I found all over the Internet. (The Internet is such a wonderful gift of God for homeschool moms. I don't know how homeschoolers survived before the Internet! And it's not just information, either! It's inspiration and fellowship, too. But, anyway...)
Last year, the kids learned the seven continents and the main oceans of the world. So we started in North America, (I let them chose where to start) and we are headed around the world, learning about various countries and their customs as we go. They listen to books (mostly non-fiction, because not only are they easier to find at the library, but the kids seem to get more out of them), they do some map work, (coloring, using an atlas, learning about regions, capitals and landforms) learn to recognize the flag, read about the local animals, play with paper dolls, and best of all, cook a meal from each country. So far they, are having a blast.
I am telling you all of this, because my plan is to post each countries' work in its own post. I'm already several weeks behind, so just be aware that the posts aren't necessarily recent, they are going to be a little old, but I want to keep track of what we do, because after our jaunt around the United States next year, we will go on tour again in third and fourth grade with our younger siblings in tow!


One More Equals Four said...

Wow, sounds fun, can't wait to read about your travels!

joelle said...

We`ve read that book and yes found it very useful and a great starting block, except I did not start anything. I am glad to read about your plans. I have been cogitating doing something about different countries but I am not sure how to go about it yet. BTW, Your new blog look is very nice (meant to comment on that a few weeks back, lol.

Mama Teaching 2 said...

Fun! And why do they have so much of "My Neighborhood and US" study for the littles? Good for you for getting OUT there! You better share it with us!


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