He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands (Geography and Charlotte Mason)

He’s got the whole world in his hands
He’s got the whole world in his hands…

It is going round and round and round in my head!

Geography is one of those subject areas where home ed resources are thin on the ground and what is available is very American.  Of course it is easy to cobble together projects on countries and landforms but I have been looking for a more cohesive, flowing approach.

I came across this – based on the original work of Charlotte Mason

20130926_46Well it definitely won’t be to everyone’s taste!  Not surprising for a resource written by Charlotte Mason it has a Christian bias.  I am not Christian but am very open minded about religion, suppose my religious views are best described as agnostic.

Anyway the book is a mix of poems/readings designed to spark discussion and non-fiction texts with questions to follow up.  Definitely not a full ‘curriculum’ more of a discussion starter to be followed up by reading around, watching videos etc.  With a groaning bookshelves all over the house this approach works really well for us.

Having skim read through it the only sticking point from the religious aspect looked to be the first lesson

How All Things Praise the Lord
by Lord MontgomerySun, moon and stars, by day and night,
At God’s commandment give us light;
As when we wake, and while we sleep,
Their watch, like guardian angels, keep.The bright blue sky above our head,
The soft green earth on which we tread,
The ocean rolling round the land,
We were made by God’s almighty hand.

Sweet flowers that hill and dale adorn,
Fair fruit trees, fields of grass and corn,
The clouds that rise, the showers that fall,
The winds that blow – God sent them all.

The beasts that graze with downward eye,
The birds that perch, and sing and fly,
The fishes swimming in the sea,
God’s creatures are as well as we.

But as He formed for better things,
As servants of the King of kings,
With lifted hands and open face,
And thankful heart to seek His grace.

 

Considered skipping it, while I am open-minded, I do (and if you ask Sam he does to) firmly believe in the ‘big bang’ and evolution.  But decided that was definitely over thinking it and a form of censorship, where there is obvious bias my approach is to read and then discuss why it might be told a certain way and what we believe (not always the same thing – I am keen the boys make up their own minds in matters of religion).  We discussed how Sam believed the Earth was formed and then read three variations on the Christian story of creation.

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We then read the Barefoot Book “Whole World” which takes the Christian hymn “He’s got the whole world in his hands” and by alternating between between he and she turns it into a message about ecology and how everyone on the planet holds the world in their hands and has a duty to protect it.

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We finished off with a piece of artwork.  We cut a circle from 12by12 scrapbook card and decorated it with pictures of animals/landforms etc cut from magazines, then added brightly coloured cut out handprints.

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