Wednesday, June 30, 2010



I was inspired by Natalie at Mouse Grows Mouse Learns to sit back and write this post. We were talking about how easy it is to find ourselves caught up in the competitive edge of keeping up with what everyone else is doing in the blog world. I often after reading blogs question what we are doing and wonder if we should be doing more. Should we be participating in more blog carnivals, doing more art, math, fine motor skill activities, or whatever else I might read about? My mind quickly turned to all the things we are learning and in our own way that just seems to be working for us. This inspired me to share with all of you just what I see Selena learning, and what I desire for her to be learning at her age through our geography/history lessons.



Organization skills: Selena is learning a great sense of what it means to be organized through her lessons. As we continue to add onto her geography/history scrapbook, she is gaining the desire to put all her work together, and when she takes it out to look at it she is so very careful to put it back the way it belongs. I see this as being a huge skill she needs to be learning as our homeschool moves forward I desire that she keeps her things organized. I would like to think that when the day comes for her to go to work, that she is able to organize her thoughts, work space and if needed her presentations. I see this evolving beyond her geography/history lessons and developing into her daily living. At the end of the day, before she begins her evening bedtime routine, everything goes where it belongs.

100_3082 She puts her toys away in her bins in an orderly fashion that sometimes only she understands, but each bin tends to have it’s own theme.

100_3083 Her bedroom is picked up and again she has an area for every type of toy she has in there.

100_3085 All her books get placed in her little basket, known as her reading basket. This basket includes her library books and her personal books that she is enjoying through the week. As you can see even her dress up clothes have their own place, under my sewing machine…ummm a reminder to myself we need to find a box or container for her to put these in.

100_3084 She puts away all her school work, and art work in it’s place. The only thing left out is her box of crayons and coloring books that she keeps right at the dining room table where she always colors.

Which brings me to my next very important life lesson she is learning out of these lessons, self pride or pride in her abilities and accomplishments. Rather it be a page she has colored in her color book, a new word she has learned to read, or something she has discovered in her world or a new ability she has discovered, she approaches the new concept with such a great view of accomplishment. For me this means she is learning to love herself with a lot of self confidence.


Other things she is learning from our geography/history lessons: Coloring skills, she is working real hard through these lessons to stay within the lines as she colors. She is learning to slow down how to use just the right pressure with the crayon to achieve the look she wants. This has been revealing itself in her color books, drawings, and even in her workbook pages.

We also work on important skills such as comparisons, by answering questions of how are the States different in size, shape, compared to Washington. How are the flags different, color and design. She also compares the different post cards, the pictures that are on them, how they differ from the post cards from other States and also how they might be the same. I feel this is a skill that will help her with study skills, math, reasoning, and through out life to become more observant and give her a desire to learn.

Reading, yes, that is right Selena is using her geography/history lessons to build upon her reading skills. She takes time to break each State name down to learn it’s pronunciation. We have incorporated as much reading as we can sometimes from the Internet and sometimes through books I have found in the library about the State or aspects of the State. She is always encouraged to read the State facts that we put in her scrapbook, and she even loves to read the postcards, or as she calls them State cards.

A sense of belonging, and a love for where she lives: Selena may not remember the name of every State she visits in our journey of building this scrap book, but she can with 100% accuracy tell you where the State of Washington is. She can tell you that the State of Washington is in the United States of America, and that She lives on the continent of North America although the other night she did pose a good question, “Why don’t we live in South America?”  These are many of the skills she is going to need to know when we get move involved with the study of countries, and continents.

I have said it before and I say it again, there is so much that can be taught through Geography/History, besides just where places are and the history. I know that in our home Geography/History will always be a huge foundation for everything we are learning, from math (through time lines, moving on to distance in miles number of cities, population etc…), reading, science, art, and life in general. Who knows maybe someday when Selena grows up, instead of relying on books, the Internet, and other means of media to see the world, she will decide to get right out into the world and see it for herself!

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  1. Ooooohhhhhhhh, great post! This gets me thinking to some things I need to work on with my kids. It's amazing how much we can find to work on, it's a never ending list.

  2. What a great post! It's so true that by teaching them one lesson, they're actually learning so much more. I'm finding that in addition to all the skills you've mentioned, my kids are also learning about different topics through our geography lessons. For example, we've found several things in different states that relate to science and art. Geography lessons are a great stepping stone to so many other things.

  3. I'd never really thought about much about it - but you're right, geography does interconnect nicely with all the other subjects.

  4. I love this post - and I am glad that our email conversation inspired you to write it. Selena seems to learn so much from you and from your studies, and I am sure that she will grow up to be a very special young woman.

  5. And now I'm actually remembering to link up last weeks post. Sigh, sometimes I think I'd lose my head if it weren't attached. Now to attack packing with a vengeance.

  6. This is such a good post, Debbie. I love how you are teaching her to compare and look for similarities. So many skills can be taught in a greater context.