“When I say that life should be full of living, I mean that we should be in touch and able to relate with some genuine interest no matter where we are, what we hear, or what we see. This kind of interest isn’t something we give to children. In fact, we’d prefer that children never say that they’ve learned botany or chemistry or conchology or geology or astronomy, or whatever. The question isn’t how much a student knows after he’s completed his education, but how much he cares, and how many categories of things he cares about.”
Charlotte Mason, volume 3, pg 171
Our study of world geography has evolved over the last sixteen weeks. We no longer are content to study maps and dry facts. Realizing that in the past we learned all our geography in relation to our history study, much of which included a thorough knowledge of some places that no longer exist or are considerably different in the century we find ourselves in now, we have tried to adapt our study to include a more thorough knowledge of modern geography, people, and environments.
I think the above quote by Charlotte Mason sums up what we are finding in our geography study. The more we dig into our areas of interest, the more we really *care* about the country. Two things have captured the interest of us all and one of them will probably be of no great surprise to those that read my blog with any frequency. 🙂
Current events: Both of my teens love to find current events to share from the country of the week. They use online research to find an article to read. They then write about it or print the article out for their notebook. Sharing these articles on Fridays during our meeting together is always interesting and lively. Many times the article brings up questions where we need to do more research in order to understand the background of the issue. This digging around for more facts brings us closer to understanding far away peoples and cultures. (Cuba notebook page is from History Scribe-Geo Scribe: Nations of the World.)
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Nature Study topics: We choose at the beginning of the week an area for each of them to research as it pertains to animals, plants, or the geology of the country. (Gems nature notebook page is from the Trail Guide World Geography Student Notebook.)
Here are some samples of the notebook pages from our study of Canada.
This was a lot of fun to read and very interesting. Because our time is limited for geography study each week, we really have to watch how much time we spend following rabbit trails.
Researching the information takes some skill and effort. I love the way they only record information that interests them. I can feel their enthusiasm for the subject at our meetings on Fridays and like Charlotte Mason said in the above quote, “…the question isn’t how much the student knows…..but how much he cares….”.
(The notebook page is one that was offered during the Outdoor Hour Challenge series on mammals last winter.)
We still are completing a fairly traditional high school geography course but taking the geography study to a higher level of personal interest has changed the whole look and feel of our week.
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