Homeschool geography can be an enjoyable experience for you and your kids.
I've discovered some amazing ways to make teaching geography in your homeschool super fun. (And I personally struggle with this subject!)
Check out these tips and tricks for enjoying geography with your kids in your homeschool.
Homeschool Geography Can Be FUN!
For a long time, I thought that I didn't like geography (or teaching geography to my boys in our homeschool).
I always assumed geography was just learning the boundaries of countries and memorizing the capitals of states.
Geography is so much more than that. It’s more than understanding directions. And it's also the study of our world and the people who live in it.
In your homeschool geography, your kids will study the world and everything that makes it up, like weather, climate, and landforms.
Plus, you'll explore other cultures and study the world as a whole.
If you feel a little intimidated by teaching geography, here are some valuable tips to make this subject easier to incorporate into your homeschool day.
17 Tips for Teaching Homeschool Geography
1. Keep Maps Displayed
When teaching geography, kids should have plenty of maps available for them to view. My boys ask random questions all the time when they stop and look at the maps. It’s an easy way to get your children interested in geography.
I suggest putting a nice, framed map near your kitchen table or in your homeschool space. These maps are educational tools and works of art that can be proudly displayed in your home.
If you have a separate homeschool space, grab some other maps. Dry-erase wall maps are fantastic and let you mark places during lessons and remove those markings later.
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2. Integrate Geography as Often as Possible
You can add geography to so many different lessons. If any lesson mentions a country or an area, it’s the perfect opportunity to stop and talk about where this is in the world.
When you slow down and look for these opportunities, you'll be amazed at how many lessons or readings mention a location in the world.
3. Tie History and Geography Together
History and geography are closely tied together so connecting the lessons is natural. Use geography to show your kids where things happened as you learn about the events.
4. Get a Globe
A globe is another must-have for a homeschooling family. And kids should be encouraged to view the globe as often as they want.
We like raised globes because the kids feel the raised surfaces that show landforms like mountains, rivers, and oceans. Having a globe is another way to get children interested in the world and everything that's a part of it.
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5. Take Field Trips
Kids learn best when they can see and experience something. If your geography work studies mountains or rivers, take a field trip to see these landforms.
Now, you won’t always be able to do this type of activity. Be as creative as possible to find examples within a reasonable driving distance. Virtual field trips are the next best options 😉
6. Make Geography Models
Did you know that making models can be a part fantastic geography lessons? It’s a hands-on activity for geography that your kids will love and enjoy.
You can make landform models out of salt dough, cardboard, noodles, coffee filters, and more. Also, you can make mountains, rivers, lakes or create the shape of a specific continent.
7. Map Work Is Essential for Your Homeschool Geography
One of the essential tips for teaching geography is involving map work in your weekly lesson plans.
I love the maps from Beautiful Feet Books. These maps are excellent quality and last for years to come.
Kids can add rivers, mountains, borders, and other bodies of water to their maps.
8. Own an Atlas and Geographic Books
I used to think that an atlas was just a big book that sat on a coffee table collecting dust.
New atlases are much more than maps. I love the National Geographic atlases - world and state. These resources teach your kids all sorts of information about the world. It discusses climates, the water cycle, weather, and more.
10. Play with Map Puzzles
Playing with map puzzles is another way to practice geography with a tactile component. You can find amazing puzzles for all the continents and states.
Montessori map puzzles are awesome, even though these resources are a bit of an investment. These wooden puzzles show all of the continents, and each continent map contains all of the countries as well.
These types of resources give children a way to learn the borders of countries through hands-on activities.
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10. Use or Put Together Homeschool Geography Unit Studies
Unit studies are a great way to teach geography to your homeschool kids. You can focus on a continent for each unit study or a specific region in the world.
When you use geography unit studies, make sure you involve all information about that area. Kids should learn about the climate, region, landforms, famous cities, and culture. Spend time researching different landmarks and what makes that culture unique.
Older kids can go into deeper dives than younger kids. It’s also possible to study the famous people who lived in those regions and their contributions to the world.
11. Study Cultures and Food
Food brings everyone together.
As you study different regions in the world, cook dishes that connect with that area in the world. If you use a geography curriculum, check to see if it includes recipe suggestions as you explore the world.
Don’t be afraid to try different cultural dishes. Encourage your kids to appreciate cultural foods from around the world.
12. Use Google Earth
Google Earth came out years ago, but the updates have made this resource excellent for homeschoolers. It lets your kids see any country in real-time.
If you’re reading about Paris, you can access the street view and see the people walking around right then. How awesome is that?!?
13. Play Geography Games
Geography games are another tip for teaching geography that everyone needs to use. You might be surprised that several games are available that will help your family learn more about geography.
One of our favorite geography games is The Scrambled States of America. This simple yet fun game helps your kids learn all about the 50 different states, the capitals, and unique facts about each state.
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14. Talk about The News as Part of Your Homeschool Geography
Chat about current events with your children.
Our family tries to make sure that our boys know all the major world events. It’s also a good way for kids to understand the benefits of living in their particular country.
If you’re talking about an event that happened elsewhere, use your maps or globe to show your child where that is happening in the world. Over time, your child will be able to identify where things are happening throughout the world with his or her mind’s eye.
15. Start Geocaching
Geocaching is one way to get your kids out of the house and start living geography without realizing it. The locations of the caches are hidden, and latitudes and longitudes often are included in the description of the hiding spot.
Your kids will get to take a lot of fun walks and find new places. You can even go geocaching when you’re traveling to find new, exciting locations that you might not have found before.
16. Sponsor a Child
Sponsoring a child in third-world nations is another way to teach your children about geography while connecting them to someone who lives elsewhere.
Many sponsorship programs encourage families and sponsors to write letters back and forth. It gives your kids a way to learn about living in other places. And your family makes a tangible difference in another child’s life.
17. Travel as Often as Possible
The best tip for teaching geography is to travel as much as possible to show our children different parts of the world. If you have the opportunity to travel and show your children other countries, it’s well worth it.
Oh, and you don’t have to travel far!
While trips to Europe are amazing, trips to a lake or national park a few hours away from your house also teach kids about the water cycle and different landforms.
Teaching Homeschool Geography Can Be Amazing!
Teaching geography can be a lot of fun for kids.
I hope these tips will help your children connect geography with all other subjects they learn and see how people worldwide live. Geography is more than borders and countries - it’s truly the study of the world.