By definition, geography is a discipline that aims to understand humans and their complexities. It studies the land, its features, and its inhabitants.
However, to a grade schooler, the idea of memorizing maps, locations, and states does not spell fun. Teaching geography is a challenge in itself. But once you learn how to teach geography from home, it will come to you more naturally.
- What Is Homeschooling?
- 5 Challenges of Homeschooling
- Why Is It Important To Learn Concepts of Geography?
- 6 Interesting Ways To Teach Geography at Home
- More Fun Ways to Teach Geography
- How To Teach Geography From Home Effectively?
What Is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling is also known as home education. It is the education received by children who are already of schooling age in a place other than a formal school.
The practice can be conducted by a tutor or a parent or done through online learning. Teaching techniques may vary from traditional to more free forms.
Even before the pandemic hit, there was already a small but growing number of American children who were home-schooled. This means that homeschooling was not caused by the pandemic but was encouraged by it.
5 Challenges of Homeschooling
Just like traditional teaching, homeschooling comes with its challenges. One has to deal with a restriction of space and time as well as a limited list of options to do in a non-traditional classroom setup. To explain that better, here are the five challenges of homeschooling:
This is very common for parents of homeschooled children. Homeschooling parents can’t help but feel responsible for their child’s learning. They might start to question if they are capable of imparting knowledge and if they are doing the right things.
To beat this, set goals and put a plan into place. If you think you aren’t capable of teaching a specific topic, find somebody to help you.
There is a high possibility of isolation for kids that are homeschooled. Children might lack the opportunity to interact with other kids, and this can make it difficult for them to develop their social skills.
However, you can find volunteer activities in your community or have your child join a youth organization to give them a chance to mingle with other students.
There are times when your concerns are not easily addressed, as in the case of online learning. Most professors will just give students a module to study. In such cases, students usually research on their own to understand a topic.
Yes, this may teach them independence. But lessons taught in person allow discussions to be more interactive and spur more intelligent additions to a topic.
Choosing the right curriculum for your child might just be one of the biggest challenges of homeschooling. Aside from having many options to choose from, it can be brain-cracking to determine which one is best.
To guide you better, you can ask the parents of other homeschooled children how they went about it. There is no better teacher than experience, after all.
Lack of Engagement
Different people have different ways of learning in general. This challenge is even more heightened with homeschooling.
There is a lack of social interaction, traditional classroom setup, necessary resources, and even enough time to do the teaching. Remote learning has even led to burnout in some cases.
Our list of interesting ideas on how to teach geography from home will hopefully help make your learning activities fun and enjoyable for your children.
Why Is It Important To Learn Concepts of Geography?
Geography is a discipline that explores both the human societies that exist on Earth and the physical properties of its surface.
By studying local and global issues, the land, differences in cultures, and religious beliefs, awareness is brought to a student’s mind. This knowledge will then aid them in making decisions in the future when they become leaders, government pillars, and businessmen.
Learning geography teaches students how to behave when they travel to other places. They are able to respect other people’s practices, such as bowing and praying at certain times of the day.
6 Interesting Ways To Teach Geography at Home
In psychology, interest is a powerful motivational force that is vital to academic success. Interest puts one in a state of attention toward a particular subject or object. This attention also causes them to re-engage over a period of time.
This means that as long as you find ways to keep your students interested, then they are well on their way to learning.
Since we only have limited space and a limited set of hands and participants, we have listed six interesting ways on how you can teach geography at home while keeping your students motivated and engaged:
When you listen to or sing a song, you activate the areas of the brain that are associated with memory, emotion, speech, and reward.
In fact, there are two recent studies done in Japan and the United States that show how music helps humans retrieve stored memories and make new ones.
Incorporating songs for learning can help with memorization. At the same time, the experience becomes more enjoyable for students.
The lyrics of a song stick to their head, and before they know it, they have already memorized the 50 states just by singing the “50 Nifty United States” song. You can also visit YouTube to find more songs that are great for teaching geography.
Puzzles encourage a skill called visual perception. Visual perception is essential in helping children understand why two pieces should go together.
When kids figure out a puzzle, important information on the pieces and forms is sent to the brain to help interpret it. One aspect of visual perception is visual memory, or the ability to remember what is seen.
The student will need to refer to the completed puzzle sample, then back to the puzzle pieces, think about how these are going to fall together, and, in the process, retain a mental picture of the information in their heads.
Puzzles are an engaging way to let your student study a picture of something for a long time. This is a great alternative to letting them stare at educational photos or maps alone.
Maps and Globes
Make it a habit to put maps around your child’s environment, such as their room. Constantly seeing something can help students retain information.
You can also invest in a blow-up globe to make learning more fun, especially for younger students. They can carry it around and handle it as they please, and you don’t have to worry about it breaking.
You can play games such as Pass the Globe. It is a pretty fun and straightforward game to play; wherever the student’s left hand lands, they have to say something about that country or name its capital.
This is a hands-on activity that is, again, great for memory. Be creative and use readily available materials such as excess noodles, coffee filters, and dough in forming rock models or shapes of countries.
You can also explain phenomena such as earthquakes and how tectonic plates move beneath the earth’s surface by building models to stand as representations.
Children’s Book From Different Countries
Books are a great way to travel without leaving the house. There are several children’s books that are set in different countries.
By following the daily life of the main character, the student can gain insight into that country’s culture, architecture, and history. Take Aladdin,for example, whose story contains several aspects of Middle Eastern and Asian cultures.
Plan an Online Field Trip
Kids these days are lucky to travel even in the comforts of their own homes. Because homeschooling has restrictions on how far you can go, try using technology to your advantage.
Google Maps is a great way to let students experience a place without actually going there. Through this, you can make geography come alive and cover different areas at a time to spark their interest.
Nothing is impossible these days. You can take them to a zoo on Monday, a farm on Tuesday, and a museum on Wednesday. The possibilities are endless!
More Fun Ways to Teach Geography
Without a restriction on location, here are some more ways on how one can teach the subject in a fun way:
- Go on field trips.
- Hold a geography bee contest.
- Create your own map.
- Put up a wall of clocks following different time zones.
- Figure out where a story is taking place through clues in the story.
How To Teach Geography From Home Effectively?
There are many ways to teach geography at home. The key is to always find what sparks the interest of your students so that the experience can be as memorable as it is fun.
Homeschooling has its share of challenges. But once you get past that stage, you will realize that it is also one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things to do.
Remember that learning does not always have to be rigid and strict. Allow your children to be creative in this process by incorporating tools and other materials in your explanations. Most importantly, take breaks and give rewards when they deserve them.