The Joy of Geography

Do you skimp on geography in your homeschooling? Kids get some geography in their history studies and it’s easy to put it on the back burner when you’ve got math, language arts and science to teach. I happen to love geography and have discovered some excellent programs this year that not only teach world geography, but encompass and reinforce history, art, math and science.


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For upper elementary through high school geography curriculum:

joy of geography  mapping the world with art
Mapping the World With Art is a fantastic geography curriculum for grades 5 and up. The program comes with 30 history lessons, 30 corresponding map drawing lessons (video and hard copy), and more than 100 pages of supplemental activities like games, crafts, recipes, internet resources, review sheets and more. You can view one of the map drawing videos here.

I’ve been using this program since September with my son and a group of kids in our homeschool co-op and it’s been a huge success. The history lessons focus on the history of geography and map-making but include lots of general history, math and science. The map drawing lessons include all kinds of great tips and tricks to help kids remember the shape of a country, and they are wonderful art lessons, too!

 For lower elementary children:


For my younger child, I’ve been using the Trail Guide to World Geography by Geography Matters (recommended for 2nd grade and up). This program includes daily drills at three different levels so you can use it for children of different ages for many years to come. Children learn the basics of reading and creating maps, along with details of every continent. The program ends with a unit study using “Around the World in 80 Days” and includes mapping, arts/crafts, spelling, vocabulary, research and writing activities for each chapter of the book. It’s really an “out of the box” program that takes very little prep for you to use.

Here are several more resources you can check out if you’re a geography buff like me!

Please add your favorite geography teaching tools in the comments! Happy Travels!

Shannon Entin has homeschooled her 12 year old son and 6 year old daughter since birth. She’s an unschooler at heart who has recently discovered a love of planning classes and teaching for the fun of it. She also enjoys personal development, scrapbooking and skiing. Shannon blogs at The Discipline Project and Mom Improvement.


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  1. Shannon, thanks for such a wonderful post! It’s always so great to have you around Hip Homeschool Moms!

  2. My kids play Geography games (world or US) on http://www..sheppardsoftware.com. There are many levels so it can be challenging for any age (including adults). And it’s free.

  3. I love all the geography resources you have shared. I love the idea of incorporating geography with a little art. My oldest loves do draw. I have just starting using The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide. It comes with a CD for the computer to expand the lessons. It has been great fun so far. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This year I started using a Map Drawing program that was laid out in a book I reviewed this summer called “The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of a Classical Education” (you can find my review here: http://www.startsateight.com/?p=2131). I did not connect with much of the book but I love the Map Drawing. We have been doing it with the kids this year and we are really enjoying it!
    This is my link to the beginning of our Map Drawing Journey.

  5. I have a 2 1/2 yr old who is obsessed with learning geography. I try to cultivate and encourage his passions so I came up with a combination of thins that incorporated songs, puzzles, maps and even an iPhone app game. Now at 2 1/2 he knows all his states and capitals and is now learning continents and oceans. Here is a video clip I recorded to try explain http://m.youtube.com/index?client=mv-google&desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US&rdm=29#/watch?xl=xl_blazer&v=w3bO9uO45Ws
    Feel free to contact me for more info or clarification.

  6. Shannon {Discipline Project} says:

    Thanks everyone – GREAT resources!

  7. I love this post! Geography is one of my favorite subjects to teach in our home.

  8. Wonderful review. TFS! I love your blog. It is always so helpful!
    I left something for you at my blog here: http://diamondgrove.blogspot.com/2011/02/new-award_26.html
    I hope you can stop by soon!

  9. This is great, especially for those that just getting their feet wet in homeschooling

  10. These are wonderful resources, thanks for sharing! I love starting kids young with geography:).

  11. I just found your site. Lovely. My 9 year old son has always loved geography and wants to study it more formally this year. We have found the 10 Days in …(North America, South America, Asia, Europe, etc) to be lots of fun and great for giving the kids (and me) a working sense of where the countries sit in relation to each other. Our other 2 less-geography-minded children also enjoy these games. Here’s an example:


  12. We just stumbled across the Learning Games for Kids web site you mentioned. Have you ever tried to put one of the maps together? My husband and I did, it was tough, but very fun! The games they offer a neat supplement to our studies, and best of all, it’s FREE!


  13. A question – now that some time has passed, did your son learn to map the world from memory with Mapping the World by Heart? And did you ever try the Trail Guide to World Geography older level material for him? I’m looking at using either of these with my children next year but I’ll be working with high school down to preschool. I would love any thoughts you have on it!

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