The Geography Lesson

detour thru MI on way home from IN

Adeline posted this video of A Guy Walks Across America on her Facebook page. After watching it she watched a bunch of videos related to the making of it which included google maps of where they went. She did it all because she was interested. She told me about it afterward. You schooley types can call it her “Geography Lesson” and maybe her “Language Arts Lesson” as well since she verbally reported to me what she watched.

The internet has helped us homeschoolers so much. Its brought a wealth of information into the home. Its broadened our view of the world. Of course it could never replace actual travel and exposure to tangible places but its an excellent starting point. Its especially useful on these frigid winter days when leaving the house is not an option for us. Google Earth and the Birds Eye View on other internet maps make exploring the earth from your home a fun and interesting pass time.

Adeline has traveled quit a bit. She also spends several weeks a year in Indiana and crosses several states to get there and back. She makes stops along the way to rest, to take  a few pics, and to have some Chicago style pizza. Sometimes we/or her dad make a mini vacation out of it. She’s familiar with a map because she uses one to find silly names of towns along the way. She’s getting exposure to different landmarks, geographical features, the people, and the varying degrees of weather within on day if not one hour.

After an ice storm in Iowa on the way to Indiana.

When she vacationed with her Dad’s family at Mexico Beach Florida we looked it up on the map. We pulled up some facts and figures of the weather and the population on the internet. We joked about writing to the mayor and asking him for things to do in his town. We explored the town with Google Earth. We checked out the surrounding towns and what they had to offer. All of that could be considered primer to actually being there. She didn’t have to memorize facts or color a map. I didn’t demand she know the capitol even though we talked about it.  She didn’t have to commit anything to memorization because she didn’t need to. She was just enjoying our time together and their time together. But she was learning. Again, maybe not memorizing things but she was learning about them and she was learning how to learn about something. This is what will come in handy for her now and for the rest of her life. Whether its a family vacation, a road trip, or even in our own backyard there is a geography lesson. There’s even some math, science, history, political science, art. and language arts in there too because we learn through living, experiencing, and communicating.

All three of us are reflected in this display at the Louisville, KY children's museum


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