Travel the World in a Basket

Geography is a pretty natural subject for us to study while we roadschool, in fact making sure we had room for our globe was a must when choosing our home. But I’m still so often tempted to try and eek out some stand alone geography time because I remember having that in school.

Want to know what I don’t remember from school…geography! To quote Cloe (any Pitch Perfect Fans here?) “I failed maps.” I don’t want that to be my kids but I don’t want to just drill them all the time to make sure they know were places are. I want them us to have a real connection with the world around us.

Five In A Row first helped me see the easy of teaching geography to my children. I’ve since applied that “read about it and find it” on the map to EVERY STORY WE READ! Its been wonderful and easy and such a quick way to make meaningful connections with the world. After all PEOPLE are the most important part of the world. (But don’t forgo animal stories when teaching the world as well, they work really well for my youngest to make geographical connections.)

However, I still like to have some “geography” reference books handy. You never know when we might become fully engrossed in a new country because one of the kids found some food they wanted to try in The Usborne Round The World Cookbook. (Scones anyone? My oldest is ready to take us on a culinary tour of the world with baked goods.)

This post does contain some affiliate links, but as always only to things we love.

A common theme in the world of fun-schooling is “baskets”. We don’t have a lot of room for them in our traveling abode but I still like the idea of them. I have a few Dollar Tree baskets left over from our house day, so I’ve re- purposed them in our RV. And since space is small I rotate the subjects they hold. I made up our Geography basket  past week.

In our basket:

I also have my eyes on these for when we need to spark some more interest.

FYI our globe isn’t as fancy as the one above, but it’s on our wish list because its totally drool worthy. But fancy isn’t needed! This globe is just as good…and if you don’t have one in your home I strongly suggest you get one. Its amazing how familiar even the youngest two are with the world just from “finding where we read”.

 

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First Virtues: a book review

Generally I find toddler books that are to inspire “virtues” into children well…LAME. So when one of my fellow Charlotte Mason loving mama friend suggested First Virtues by Dr. Mary Manz Simon I appreciated her suggestion but I wasn’t in a hurry to go out and buy it. However, I did check my local library and they had a copy of Kitty Shows Kindness. Well, before our first reading was over my 4 and 2 year old were putting into practice what they were hearing. And now a week later a simple reminder of “be kind like kitty” speaks volumes for all my children.

Now before you think older brother (7) is not going to get anything out if this book, or that it will be too baby for him (and if it were just him it would be), he is getting the message too. Plus the ability to be the one who gets to READ the story to little sister and brother himself. Something big brother really enjoys is being the one to “teach” the little two.

Our full set of First Virtues arrived today, and I’m excited to choose our next virtue to focus on for the week. We purchased the hard cover compilation book and at the end of each story is some encouragement and suggestions for mom and dad too. By the way, I think this book would be a stellar addition to Before FIAR!

Here are the books that are included in my volume of First Virtues:

  • Kitty Shows Kindness
  • Piglet Tells the Truth
  • Bunny Loves Others
  • Duckling Is Patient
  • Tiger Forgives
  • Puppy Makes Friends
  • Squire Says Thank You
  • Bear Obeys
  • Lamb Is Joyful
  • Lion Can Share
  • Panda Is Polite
  • Koala Does His Best

***This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links I may receive financial compensation. That means more books for me to review for you!***

Almost Charlotte Mason

I started homeschooling my Pumpkin when he was 5, after he had two very fun years at a play based preschool we knew with the arrival of kindergarten homeschooling would start for our family. At that time our Cupcake was a little under 2 years old and Macaroon had just arrived and while I had been a preschool teacher in a life pre marriage, now I was navigating a whole new world of curriculum choices and styles.

Two years and much trial and error later (Pumpkin has been the BEST guinea pig ) I’ve learned more about creating a love of learning for my kids this summer then I had in the entire two years prior before it was too late. (Just kidding, it’s never too late.)

Enter my new friend Charlotte Mason. If you have never met her let me suggest 3 of my favorite websites. These folks can provide you more information then I would even want to attempt to share: Charlotte Mason Help, Simply Charlotte Mason, Ambleside Online. Then there is the good old Pinterest search, type in the name “Charlotte Mason” and prepare for your own crash course in all things her.

Here is the catch, I am not at all a purist. There is much of Charlotte Mason that we are embracing BUT I like to do some things my way. Enter the lovely folks who created Wee Folk Art and Five In A Row (FIAR). Both are literature rich living book based but instead of just text uses picture books. I LOVE PICTURE BOOKS! And so do my very visual children. And while the age gap is a bit wide between my oldest (7) and my youngest (2) these curriculum choices have become a great choice for our afternoon story time. Especially while my children are still so young.

If your homeschooling or not I suggest checking out the folks above, summers, holidays and after school are a great time to visit with them and build a love of learning right along side your kids.