Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Lazy Mom Teaches Geography

Homeschooling five children is not for the faint of heart!  For me, one of the most difficult parts is balancing everyone's individual needs and dividing my attention among them.  When I can find a way to fulfill an educational need by doing the kinds of things we would be doing anyway, it's a win for all of us.

That's why this year, Ben (2nd grade) and Alaine (kindergarten) are learning geography through a series of library books that I'm reading aloud to them.

We began with the Bella and Harry seriesby Lisa Manzione.  These are aimed toward younger children (maybe ages 3 through 7), but my older kids have been known to peek over my shoulder...or even sit by my side while we read.  The books follow two Chihuahuas around the world as they travel with their human unnamed family.  The dogs sample local cuisine and stop at major landmarks in cities such as Athens, Jerusalem, and Venice.  My favorite part is the short glossary of foreign words in the back of each book. We have fun trying to pronounce the words and figure out what they mean before we peek at the translations.  There are close to twenty books in this series and they do not need to be read in order.

In February, we switched to the Dodsworth seriesby Tim Egan.  These books are a little longer, short enough to be read in one sitting, but comprised of short chapters.  Dodsworth is a mouse who reluctantly travels with an annoying duck (?!) to visits five major cities. (It's a short series.)  These books follow a basic storyline so they may make more sense read in order.  The first book, Dodsworth in New York, is light on geography.  It mentions various NYC tourist destinations, but its primary role is to set up the rest of the series.

Do you find lazy ways to teach your children?  Share your secrets.

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