Do your children know where India is? Or what the capital of Wisconsin is? Do they know where they could see Ayers Rock and what language is spoken in Egypt? As computers and the internet and air travel turn our world into a global village, it is more and more important that we teach kids Geography. Whether your children are homeschooled or attend public or private schools, the chances are you wish they knew more than they do about countries and people and cultures.
An earthquake and tsunami in Japan, unrest in Egypt or even uncle Joe going on vacation to Barbados – all these events give you the opportunity to teach Geography. Grab a globe or an atlas and get your children to look for the places in the news. Children love a challenge, and each time they do it, they will get a little faster. Of course, this does mean you need a good atlas or globe in your home! Or even a wall map. These items are easy to find at places like Target and Office Depot and don’t need to cost a lot.
Most kids love games. And there are many great games available that are geography based. Your children will be having so much fun playing that they won’t even realize they are learning at the same time. Some of kids’ favorite computer games are Geography-related – not because they are about geography, but just because they are so much fun. All the ones I am listing were / are played over and over again by my own children. These are all really fun – your kids won’t think about them as ‘educational’ – yet they are. If your family likes jigsaw puzzles, they are a fun way to learn about different states, countries, continents and the world. And working on jigsaw puzzles are also great bonding times as a family.
Movies are a great way to experience Geography – you get to ‘see’ the places and people. There are great documentaries that are very entertaining to watch, or you could watch a movie set in a foreign country.
There is no better way to learn geography than to see it yourself. And also a great way to learn about other countries is to communicate with the people living there. You could look for pen pals for your children. This will give them an in depth knowledge about a specific country.