Tuesday, May 23, 2017

2016-2017 Year in Review - Geography....

Riley finished her geography a couple of weeks ago so I thought I'd do a review because I did something a little unconventional this year. I purchased an older edition of the Classical Conversations Challenge A Guide online, then I rewrote some of lessons to suit our needs. When Riley and I observed the CC Challenge A last year, one of the things we both really liked was the geography portion. The map work is actually in line with how I understand Charlotte Mason taught map drill, although we did move a bit quicker than Charlotte most likely would have.

At the beginning of the year, I gave Riley a week-by-week overview of my expectations. It included a schedule for drawing each continent with some details, such as rivers, lakes, oceans, countries, capitals, mountain ranges, etc. It also included a list of geographic terms that I wanted her to learn. Riley was free to choose atlases and online maps to guide her study.

From there, each week, she drew or traced and labeled different parts of the world. Here's how I scheduled the drawings:

Weeks 1-3 Canada
Weeks 4-6 North America
Weeks 7-9 Central America
Weeks 10-12 South America
Weeks 13-18 Europe
Week 19 Western Hemisphere (review)
Weeks 20-15 Asia
Weeks 26-31 Africa
Weeks 32-33 Austrailia
Weeks 34-35 Oceania
Week 36 Review

So, each week for three weeks, Riley started with a blank piece of copy paper and drew or traced a map of Canada with provinces, capitals, assigned bodies of water and certain geographic features. She started out the year drawing all the maps, but eventually switched to tracing the map outlines from Uncle Josh's Outline Map Book in order to get the maps proportional without spending hours upon hours on each map. I was more interested in her acquiring geographic placement knowledge, than the art of map design.  Then she repeated this method for North America and so on and so forth throughout the year. She also kept a list of geographic terms. At the end of the year, she bound her maps with vocabulary in the back to create a beautiful Geography notebook, of which, I'm including photos below.

Her maps are lovely and she really has a good grasp on various locations around the world. Our Year 7 Geography was a success!


  1. Hi Melissa and RileyAnn! Wow, I love what you've done here, and it gives me joy to think how the lessons you've learned in doing these maps, will stick with you forever! Bravo! I loved meeting you both and thank you for sharing my joy with new the surprise baby boy!

  2. Thanks so much for your kind words and inspiration Rea...it was our pleasure :)

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Melissa. I was very thorough with my older ones when it came to geography but I haven't been as methodical with my youngest. I like how you have a plan - I get my dd to look up places in an atlas but I need to be more consistent with her actually drawing & labelling maps. It's a great skill to work on.

  4. You're welcome Carol. Looking back, I'm really thankful we added this to her studies. She learned a great deal from it. I'm now looking at ways to modify it slightly for my dyslexic son as it's a skill I'd like him to gain as well, but most likely some adjustments will need to be made to the plan, maybe spreading it out over a longer period? I'm still thinking on this...

  5. My kids really enjoy drawing and tracing maps, so I'm gleaning ideas here! Thanks for sharing, Melissa!

  6. You're welcome Celeste. I think map work is an excellent study to add. We were playing a word game last night and this daughter was smoking everyone because she knew her geography...fun times :)

  7. This looks exactly like what I'd love my 7th grader to do. So did the CC guide have all the terminology/names in it that she labeled? and the vocabulary as well? what do you think a good price for a guide is? Thx again for your help!

    1. Yes, the CC guide had all the info. This was a few years ago, so I'm not sure on a price for the guide now. Sorry... I no longer have mine.