It really is.
The school curriculum (and therefore textbooks etc) focuses very heavily on human geography, how we influence the environment and very little on establishing a sense of the actual layout of the world. Home educators tend to go the other way, looking at individual countries as projects. We tend to, if not forget to look at our own backyard, struggle to find the resources from which to do so (most being American).
So as so often I find myself constructing a ‘syllabus’ for myself. Have a small group of friends (children 61/2 to 8yo) joining us to work on the the project which is nice and will hopefully keep us both motivated. My aim is simply by the time we’ve worked through it that they have a general idea of where some of the landmarks and major towns/cities are and little mental ‘hooks’ to give them a little context to places and that they have had fun, very hands on approach.
This book forms my basic guide. It is a story told in the form of a poem about a pair of children flying around England in a dream, it takes them to visit lots of places and gives little nuggets of information. I have to say it is not quality literature but the idea is nice and it gives us a start every week and a route to follow.
This week we started off by reading the introduction and finding the (global) places mentioned on a world map.
Then moving on from looking at the UK last week we looked at the Union Jack and how it was broken down. As a group they made an England flag (very good teamwork skills).
Followed on to talking about St George (turns out to be a bit of a specialist subject of Sam’s patron saints – who knew?!). They then designed their own shield.