Oh, The Places We'll Go!
With only three children to homeschool this year our life is very different. But so are their ages and abilities. World Geography is a subject that we can all enjoy together. Looking towards our school year I began planning our world geography unit study. First, I had to pick a curriculum that would enable us to learn together, yet at very different levels. We chose to use Around the World in 180 Days by the Apologia Educational Ministries. With that as our base, I simply decided to follow along as we traveled and learned about each continent. So let the fun begin!
We began our travels in the big, beautiful continent of Africa!
Our theme/character trait- Making Wise Choices. We took the month of September, as we traveled through Africa, to learn what the bible says about choices. Caleb began his study of World Religions and Cultures. With that in mind, we began our travels.
We read the story of Jacob and Esau. We talked about how our choices affect our future. We had fun as we worked together making our own African soup for dinner.
We began with our World Geography puzzles and coloring a map of Africa while listening to African music. We looked at our Atlas and talked about all the waterways.
Using the YWAM Heroes for Young Readers we read aloud about David Livingstone’s missionary adventure. Victoria began reading the biography of Betty Greene, by YWAM Christian Heroes, Then & Now Series.
He is using Switched on Schoolhouse World Geography. He began his unit on Africa.
We all went to see the new movie-The Lion King. It was great!
Victoria is using Masterbooks General Science I. It’s a wonderful curriculum that I love! During September she studied about weather. I had her compare our climate and the climate of Africa. She watched weather reports, compared temperatures and calculated the average rainfall.
Peyton is studying Ecosytems by God’s Design Science. We all began our study of African’s three major ecosystems-this would last throughout the month.
Through Compassion Ministries we sponsor Hishimu, a young man in Africa. We love that we can communicate with our “son” over the internet. We began writing to him as we learned about his life.
We were off to a good start! Oh, the places we will go…..
Choosing to trust God during the storms of life. (keeping with our theme of wise choices) Since Victoria was learning about storms in science we decided to read about storms in the bible.
Of course, we read the stories while listening to thunderstorms on YouTube!
Geography: Northern and Southern Africa
We read books on Egypt and various areas of Africa while studying the land forms, the animals and even the customs of each region. We traveled down the Nile River while reading the story of Moses and learning the difference between alligators and crocodiles.
Peyton made a Lego map of Africa while listening to Arabic. Victoria continued reading her biography while Caleb began his study on World Religions.
We listened to CD of the biography of Lillian Trasher, missionary to Egypt.
We ate goat cheese, jam, flat bread with olive oil and drank coffee (yes!!).
The Prince of Egypt
We continued our study of the ecosystems of Africa and Weather. Each day Victoria would get on the internet and give us the weather of an area in Africa while comparing it to our local weather.
“I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” - Albert Einstein
Choosing to follow Jesus…even in the storm. We read the story of Peter and his great adventure of walking on the water! Keep your eyes on Jesus-even when clouds try to blur your vision and the winds are so loud you cannot hear the voice of God. Just walk!
Eastern Africa and the Serengeti
We read aloud the story of Mary Slessor.
We totally embraced the unit of storms and dove into hurricanes and twisters. We even watched the movie Twister! We learned about the many animals in Kenya and the Great Rift Valley.
Twister was great for our weather unit! We also began a five part series on Netflix called Africa. It’s a nature series that chronicles the fascinating stories of survival on the African continent, home to some of the most diverse animals on the planet. The kids loved it! (even my older boys)
We read about Esther, who chose to do the right thing…even if it meant giving her very life.
We watched one of my favorite movies: One Night With the King
We traveled to Western Africa while eating plantains, listening to music, and reading African Folklore. Our favorite book was “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears”. It is a West African Tale from 1975 by Verna Aardema. In this story, the mosquito lies to a lizard, who puts sticks in his ears and ends up frightening another animal, which down a long line causes a panic. In the end, an owlet is killed and the owl is too sad to wake the sun until the animals hold court and find out who is responsible. The mosquito is eventually found out, but it hides in order to escape punishment. So now it constantly buzzes in people's ears to find out if everyone is still angry at it.
We read about various missionaries from the book: Missionaries Stories with the Millers.
We reviewed the 3 main ecosystems of Africa-the Savannah, the Desert and the Rain-forest. We watched various YouTube videos of each.
We continued with our hands on activities of puzzles, mapping, and trying African foods.
We are going Baltimore to see the African Drummers-live on stage!
Caleb is taking a speech class at our homeschool co-op. His assignment was to speak on a hero-he choose David Livingston. He highlighted the fact that Mr. Livingstone, CHOSE to persevere under difficult situations.
Throughout our study we prayed for Africa, tasted various foods, and talked about making wise choices. As we read about our missionaries we talked about making the choice to follow after the call of God in our own lives. We have enjoyed our communication with our African “son,” Hishimu as we corresponded over the internet.
We listened to African drums while working on our math, had thunderstorms playing in the background during our bible reading, and traveled down the Nile with Moses. We learned about various diseases, such as malaria and even learned the history of vaccinations while drinking mint tea. We ended our unit by starting the series: Dr. Quinn-Medicine Woman. It’s a great family series that highlights how Dr. Mike must make some difficult choices. Life if full of them!
Now we are boarding a boat, heading to Australia. Great things are ahead as we explore the coral reefs, watch Swiss Family Robinson, read Treasure Island, and study the character trait of resourcefulness.
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Are you studying World Geography with your kids this semester? What are some things that you are doing to make it fun? Let me know in the comments below!
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