5 Easy Ways to Add a Splash of Geography to your Homeschool
by Terri Johnson
Let’s face it… Geography is one of the most overlooked subjects in traditional public schooling and in
homeschooling. Why? It is probably because it doesn’t seem very important to our everyday, busy lives. Do my
students really need to know where Liberia is located? How about Chile? Is this relevant information or should
we just spend a little more time with math, history and writing?
Geography is very important to learn and will help your children immensely as they grow into compassionate
adults who care not only for themselves, but for the people around them, both locally and globally.
So, how can we add in some geography to our school week in a fun and yet easy way? Here are 5 very easy and
even enjoyable ways to learn more about our globe without compromising your other studies or losing your kids
to utter boredom. In fact, learning geography will enhance nearly every other subject area that your students
1. Mark It on the Map
When you study a place, a person or an event, mark in on your wall map. If you do not have a wall map of the
world, pick one up inexpensively at Cosco, Borders or Walmart. Thumb tack it to your wall. Let’s say that you
are studying Louis Pasteur in science. Using a colored marker, place a dot on Dole, France (where he was born)
or Paris, France (where he lived and died) and mark the location with his name. You can do this with almost any
location information that you read about during your normal course of studies.
2. Color an Outline Map
Perhaps you would like to take this one step further and actually see what the map looked like at a particular
period in time. Purchase or search online for a set of historical outline
maps. As you study various events in history, print out an appropriate map for your students to label and
color while you read their history text to them. Here’s an example, using a map of the Napoleonic Wars. When
studying the life of Napoleon, print out the maps at the link below. Have your students label the important
cities and islands on the map - Corsica, where Napoleon was born; Paris, where he established himself as First
Consul and then later Emperor; Elba, where he was first exiled; etc. Also, have them label the important
battles of Napoleon’s campaign. When they are finished labeling their maps, they can color them and then add to
a history binder, the refrigerator or bulletin board.
Maybe your students are burned out on the regular schedule and it is time for a change. Why not mix things up
by doing a unit study? A great way to throw in a splash of geography into your studies would be to study one country for a week. Learn about their customs, their religion, their
architecture and their values. Read some great books, look at beautiful pictures, cook up some authentic
cuisine, create a craft.
4. Take a Map on your Trip
Will you be taking a road trip at any time in the near future? Print off a map of the area you will be driving
(or flying through) and have your kids mark places of interest as you pass by them on your journey.
5. Dig in Deeper
Perhaps you and your students are ready for a deeper
study of a particular geographic region. It is perfectly acceptable to set aside another subject for a
time, such as history or science, and dig deeper into geography. You won’t cause your students any educational
damage by laying aside one subject for a time to pick up another. In fact, they will retain more if they can
study more deeply in one subject, rather than spreading themselves too thinly across a multitude of
In conclusion, geography does not need to be hard or intimidating. We can learn more about our world right
alongside our kids. Don’t worry if your children are not connecting the dots right away and still seem
disorientated with the globe. Over time and with continued reinforcement, your children will become familiar
with the layout of our planet and the people that God has placed upon it. As home educators, we can feel
confident that we are producing well-rounded, well-educated and compassionate kids when we add a splash of
geography to our studies at least once a week.
Looking for some fun and easy geography resources to spice up your homeschooling adventures? Find
historical outline maps, unit studies and more at www.kqpublishing.org. Get a free 1 year
geography program when you sign up for our newsletter.