Geography in the study of History
We study geography when we study history or culture. Geography should not be separated from the studies of the people and stories of that region. To do so is to make the study of geography dry and boring. This past year with Rachel in the Waldorf class 5 curriculum we had plenty of opportunities to study geography. Here’s how we did it.
I would draw the map of the country on the chalkboard. Usually, the night before we began our studies in an ancient culture. Rachel would spend some time in the next day’s main lesson copying the map into her main lesson book. She did not trace it or color in a preprepared outline of the map. She copied it from scratch into her main lesson book. This is key because it helps the child to really focus on the shapes and features of the land. If your child has had some art training up to this point this shouldn’t be too difficult. If your child finds this really difficult have him/her draw their map on a separate piece of drawing paper which can be pasted into the main lesson book when completed. They can finish the map over several days if they need too.
**Remember we are not looking for perfection here just the best effort your child can give.
When the map was finished Rachel would proceed to copy summaries of the different geographic regions into her main lesson. The summaries we used came from the Christopherus curriculum. It would be easy however for your child to do a little research on the different regions of the country, take notes and come up with their own summaries. Talk about what the weather would be like in each of these regions. India for example, has weather extremes from the Himalayan mountains to the Indus valley to the very southern tip of India. These Regions can be illustrated in the main lesson book alongside the summaries.
Make salt dough maps:
This is a great activity if you have a very hands on learner and you want to deepen the study of geography. Salt dough map making gives you the opportunity to see and form some of the topography of a region. You can make a mountainous region or a valley really stand out!
After forming and shaping the salt dough map we let it dry for about a week. When dry Rachel painted it with craft store non-toxic acrylic paints.
The green strip close to the Nile River indicates the very narrow strip of fertile land next to the Nile. If you stray too far from the Nile you will find yourself in the desert!
Notice how the Red Sea is a little too close to the Nile which doesn’t leave much room for the desert in between. I just wanted to point that out to show you that perfection is not we are going for here. So much learning is going on as your child forms and shapes the rivers mountains, deserts or pyramids. These shapes and forms are going to stick in their minds far better than simply studying for a quiz they will forget all the answers too in a week or two.
We do not study geography as a separate subject. We study geography as part of our Ancient Cultures blocks. Once again this fits in with our holistic homeschooling approach. An approach which blends subjects into beautiful holistic Lesson Blocks. This way of studying grounds your subject. Geography, for example, is related to culture and history which I believe makes geography and history come alive and is more relatable to the child.
Join the newsletter
Subscribe to get Inspiration and encouragement delivered to your inbox!