I purchased A Child’s Geography by Ann Voskamp last summer with the intent of using it during the school year. I knew we were going to be covering geography with our local co-op and thought this would fit right in. As often happens, plans change and I just didn’t have time to do both. Now that our local co-op has ended for the year, I recently pulled Ann’s book from our shelf and started reading it with all my children (ages 2-12).
How can one book fit such a large age-span?
Ann Voskamp has a special way with words. A Child’s Geography is written as a story. This is not a textbook filled with dry facts. Instead it begs to be read aloud. As children listen, they are encouraged to use their imagination as they view the world God made. This book is written in a Charlotte Mason-style with narration prompts plus notebooking activities included. In addition there are fun hands-on activities and a special “Reaching Out to His World” portion that shares practical ideas to be the hands of Christ to a hurting world.
First I read aloud the chapter to all the kids (or my 12yr. old reads if I have to take care of a fussy baby). Then the older kids (12yr. 11yr. and 9yr. old) are in charge of doing the project. Even the 2yr. old and 4yr. old join in when they can. One of the first crafts in the book had the kids making paper mache globes. Ours took 3 days to dry.
When we finally got around to painting them, only 2 out of 5 globes survived. The others were MIA or used as balls around the house. Do these kind of things only happen in my family? LOL! My 12yr. old did the globe in the picture. It turned out great.
Another activity they did was to create a visual example of the layers of the atmosphere. We had to improvise as we did not have the exact materials that were needed (aka Mom did not plan ahead).
Once again, my older kids were able to do this activity without my help. That is one of the nice things about the projects in this book—they are very doable.
I think our jar was a little too wide, but it still worked and got the point across.
Our visual example of the layers of the earth!
A Child’s Geography has been a refreshing change in our school routine. I planned it for earlier in the year, but God knew we’d need it now. If you are looking for a living- book style geography curriculum written from a Christian perspective, then add this book to your “must check-out” list.
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