Affiliate links below.
This year we're using North Star Geography in our homeschool with the 6th and 3rd graders, which may seem odd since the curriculum is written at a jr high/high school level. Still, it's easy to modify and my kids - a girl and a boy, respectively - are really enjoying it.
The Number One Way to Rock Your Homeschool
We're talking about geography here but do you want to know the number one way to rock your homeschool? Modify curriculum to suit your needs.
That's it! And while a lot of us want to have a checklist and tight guidelines and a script, those three things will dissolve your students into puddles of boredom and disdain.
How are we modifying North Star Geography? We're majoring on the majors (basics of geography, map reading, terminology, cultural highlights) and not worrying about the rest. The rest will come in high school and college.
I bought a dry erase map and attached it to the wall with velcro tape. That particular map is peel and stick, but our home is on the market and I want to be able to take it with us without damaging the wall.
In the photo above, they're labeling the continents, oceans, and major geographical points: Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, the Equator, etc.
Rock Your Homeschool Even More: Plan Hands-On Projects
As an often overwhelmed mom of 8, I'll be the first to tell you to ditch the projects if this isn't a good year for you. No guilt!
This is a good year for us to add some fun hands-on projects, so here's the plan for our Northstar Geography year:
Hands-On Projects for Northstar Geography
Lesson 1: No project
Lesson 2: Determine latitude and longitude
Eat Your Way Around the World Europe - English tea (cucumber sandwiches, scones, lemon curd, cream)
Lesson 3: Make a map from scratch
Lesson 4: Geocaching
Eat Your Way Around the World North America - Canadian dinner (pp 65-67)
Lesson 5: Sugar cookie map
Lesson 6: Eat Your Way Around the World South America - Peruvian dinner (pp 85-87)
Lesson 7: Sail with trade winds - Make a sailboat to float
Lesson 8: YouTube: Fire Whirl, Fire Tube, Dust Devil, Water Spout
Eat Your Way Around the World Africa - Moroccan dinner (pp 14-16)
Lesson 9: Field Trip to Nature Museum
Lesson 10: Build a city. Could also build a shelter in the backyard.
Eat Your Way Around the World does not cover Mediterranean. Order in from Gyros!
Lesson 11: Field Trip to garbage management company
Lesson 12: Eat Your Way Around the World Japanese lunch (just the 3 of us) - sushi
Lesson 13: Create a family tree
Lesson 14: Hungarian, Italian, and English dinners (these are our family heritage countries)
Lesson 15: Eat Your Way Around the World Australia - shrimp skewers, Anzac biscuits
This is Eat Your Way Around the World. I don't know about you but I find that food makes a great connection for kids when we're studying cultures. These two kids are old enough to prep the meals with me, too, which makes it extra great.
In my next post, I'll do a round-up of resources and ideas to make geography a subject you look forward to!