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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Good Read From TOS Editor - Homeschooling & Geography

As a homeschooling family for more than 15 years, we have taken the lion's share of field trips close to home, but we have also gone places far, far away. Now, if I was a prepared homeschool mom (I wish I always was, but I am not), I would have studied the region we were going to with my kids beforehand and written about it afterward.

As you know, we homeschool moms can make anything educational, since we look at life through homeschooling-tinted glasses.

Just this weekend, a Voice of the Martyrs newsletter came in the mail. A few of the kids were there when it was opened, and we read about a church in Indonesia that was being persecuted. Right away, we jumped up and looked at the big world map in the hall and searched for the city in Indonesia and talked about Christian persecution around the world. We then talked about where the children's grandparents came from and how they immigrated to the United States.

Then dad jumped in with a geography lesson and showed us how the map on the wall was not correctly laid out. He got an orange and showed the kids how the map would really look if it were round, but opening the orange skin in such a way that it laid out flat but with many gaps, and that's why some maps show gaps at the top and bottom. He also showed them the timelines on the map and why there is an hour difference where Grandpa and Grandma live in New Mexico. Who would have known we'd do so much "school" in the hallway?

Even if you do not have the time, money, or energy to go places far away, you can still have a lot of fun learning about them right at home. As you read aloud, whether it is a classic book, history book, missionary biography, or something that comes in the mail-whenever you come across a new place, just stop for a few minutes and point it out on a map.

We spotlight the Smith family in the March digital issue as they share how they homeschool. Part of that is a postcard website that sounded really fun for the kids. Watch their short video and be inspired!

In fact, one of the themes in this issue is geography. Here are a few of those articles:

Academic Spotlight--Speaking of Geography
Geography: Traveling the World Through the Pages of a Book, by Rea Berg
Around the World With Flat Stanley, by Brandy Chandler
Google Earth in the Homeschool, by Andy Harris
Globetrotting: Classical Geography, by Leigh Bortins
Geography, World Missions, & Comparative Religion, by Mary Hood

So, even if you can't go places physically, you can really go places with the study of geography in your own home. And don't forget the most important geography lesson of all, found right in one of those many Bibles you own:

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:19, 20

TOS Senior Editor

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