How to Teach Geography When You Don’t Love ItBetsy Strauss
Parents often struggle teaching geography because they either didn’t learn it when they were in school, or they hated how they were taught the information. The good news is that we don’t have to repeat the past. There are ways to embrace those subjects that you don’t love in creative ways that will bless everyone involved.
Approach Geography From Your Favorite Subject
The simplest approach to teaching geography is to integrate your studies into whatever subject you love.
- Are you a reader? Use read alouds to introduce geography to your students. Jamie Martin has an awesome book, (affiliate) Give Your Child the World, where she lists books to read when introducing countries and cultures.
- Do you love math? Calculate distances between two countries. Compare travel times for two different routes to a location. Approach geography with numbers and see if it woos your interest which will in turn encourage the interest of your students.
- Does history fascinate you? Map wars, changes of power, and explorer’s journeys. Look at the impact of geographical features in the events you study.
- Would you rather be doing science? Find where historical scientific discoveries were made. Investigate how their geographical location impacted their scientific breakthrough. What other scientists lived nearby at the time? What resources were available to them in that location?
- Do you have a heart for missions? Map the geographical locations of the missionaries you support. Study the natural features of the lands where they serve.
Geography won’t be a chore to teach when you wrap it in your favorite field of study.
Engage With Maps
If you don’t love geography, start playing with maps and see if your interest starts to grow. When you begin to engage with maps, the importance of studying geography becomes apparent.
- Go exploring on Google maps. There are so many fascinating features to the maps of the world. You can switch the view from simple maps to a satellite view. In the lower right hand corner, there are options for exploring your area of interest. You can zoom through a 3D rendering of the area or browse pictures people have taken when visiting. It’s really pretty fascinating.
- Get interactive with WonderMaps. With over 300 maps, these editable maps are fascinating to play with. You can compare historical maps, customize regional maps, and discover biblical maps. WonderMaps makes the study of geography engaging and fun.
Add Geography to Your Morning Time
Morning time is a simple way to integrate a little study of geography into your day. The beauty of this approach is that you don’t have to give it much time. Spend a couple of minutes a day integrating geography into your studies and then be done with it. If you add it in a unique and creative way, it won’t be that same boring study that you grew up enduring.
Don’t cheat your kids out of a rich geography experience in their homeschool. Find the places where you have a natural interest in the topic, and start from there.