Jan 21, 2014

Geography - Simplified

Using the big Geography Binder worked really well for us during the first semester of CC; however, we've reached a place where the extra stuff isn't necessary right now. I'd like to share with you how I teach Geography to my kindergartner - the simplified way.

Here's what we use:

  • cake decorating sprinkles (leftover from Christmas)
  • a map (we use the Cycle 2 Europe map in color from C3 or the Trivium Table)
  • a list of countries to learn (also on the Trivium Table)

First, I show Mary the new countries to learn, and we go over them a couple of times. Then I pull out the big guns - sprinkles! Yes, I know there's a very strong argument for not rewarding our kids with food, but, ya gotta do what works sometimes. ;)

I put one sprinkle on each new location, then I tell her she can eat the sprinkle on Turkey, or Cyprus, or wherever. She learns pretty quickly when she knows she'll get to eat a treat. After we learn the new places, I'll put sprinkles on everything that we've learned already - review time! Then I'll start calling out places, and she'll start picking up sprinkles. If she's correct, she eats it, if not, we try again. We do Geography like this almost every day, and this is the only thing time that Mary gets to eat sprinkles, so I think that helps to make Geography a little more fun.

Easy, cheesy!

A map, sprinkles, a list. Done.

Kind of like a stick in the sand, with sprinkles!

Occasionally, I'll get out the landmarks and ask her to tell me the name, location, and have her locate that place on the map for an additional sprinkle, but not always. And sometimes I'll get out our bag of Geography Cards (available on C3 under username: melodystroud) and have her randomly pull a card from the bag to locate. But, again, not always.

That's it! That's how we're learning our countries, and the whole process takes about 10 minutes a day. We do about four or five locations a week (either mountain ranges, seas, or countries), and it's totally working for us (we're almost finished with Europe!). I think the key is consistency. A little bit, everyday, just a little, just the basics, and she's picking it up. So, if you're having trouble fitting Geography into your daily routine, maybe some sprinkles will help! ;)

Success is the sum of small efforts -
repeated day in and day out.

~ Robert Collier (author)

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  1. I love your note about consistency - that is the key to this foundational stage of learning! (It's also the key to organization and cleaning and cooking dinner, but… I'm still working on it!) Thank you for sharing your simple idea for Geography practice on the CC Blog Carnival!

  2. I love this idea. Just saw this and need a way to review! Thanks for sharing. Leesa C


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