Sunday morning we had a discussion over geography. I asked Peter (who loves Geography) if he thought our eldest son 15yo would have a bank of knowledge that would be equal to a highschool course in geography. ds has never studied geography but he seems (to me) very knowledgeable. As we discussed what geography involves we became aware of a few little gaps but came to the conclusion that he has learnt geography while he has read broadly and studied history. He absorbs information from all sorts of sources and makes connections to other bits of knowledge.
This conversation led into ds and dh have a great conversation about South America (a gap for ds) but as they "prattled" (they were enjoying themselves) the rest of us totally tuned out! It became obvious that dh and ds have very similar learning styles but the rest of us differ!
As I sat there – bored! – I came up with a scheme that my kids rejoiced over and my dh shook his sadly over (grin!!) We are going to watch a travel show on TV (when we can but not an extreme priority) and then notebook different aspects, possibly even dig deeper each week. As I tabled this idea the kids started talking, eagerly, about Greenwich and the Incas which they had seen on this show a week prior. I must admit it is "twaddle" but it will be a fun relaxed way to cover some geography and maybe create an interest that isn’t really there in my other kids just yet. My hope would be that they would then start to see these aspects in the books that they read and notebook/journal/learn from more “whole” book perspective.
We will make a family notebook – probably divided by continents, though I can never keep a filing system so totally simple! So they will be allowed to make dividers as their studies dictate. I’m going to use this website as my reference to help me get my head around what variety there is in the subject though the discussions we have together will really dictate what they notebook about.
Last night as I started to plan our next study block I realised the Olympics will be a great opportunity to look at different nations, their country, their culture etc. Not just China but any of the countries that are competing. One thought would be that if a child was following one particular event they could study the country that either won (or lost!), or played off against our own country. A country’s values are often expressed in their anthem, their history in their flag.
This will actually open doors to recording other geography aspects of our lives too. I am particularly thinking of a camping trip we have coming up to some of the most amazing rock formations in Australia. And then we have a trip around ½ of Australia later in the year. That all comes under geography if we keep our eyes open!
I’m actually excited about this myself!