“Geography rightly understood is the study of the world, its history and its geology: in a word, all there is of interest upon the globe- the work of nature and the work of man." Parents Review 1897
Teaching geography involves two main aspects; the physical geography of the earth, its make-up and position and human geography which studies lifestyles, beliefs, governance and cultural aspects of societies etc.
In Australian Schools this subject is often called ‘Human Society and its Environment’(HISE) or ‘Studies of Society and Environment’(SOSE).
To simplify this topic I have broken the teaching of geography into four main ideas. These ideas cannot truly be divided, and they cannot always be taught sequentially but having a framework will help you with your lesson planning and curriculum choices.
First hand learning is obviously one of the most desirable and enjoyable ways to learn about the world. Make the most of your trips.
Looking at the position of continents and their relationships to other countries will help them grasp the big picture.
The Australian Traveller’s map is an excellent map for young students studying Australia..
World maps are pretty easy to find. I bought mine at Australia Post.
A good puzzle is an invaluable tool. I have three world map puzzles at various levels and they have served me very well. I picked them all up cheaply second hand.
Online quizzes can also be fun for drilling facts. Try these;
“What then, we may ask, should be the aim and end of a geography book? It should be to give children living ideas connected with the world around them, enabling them to understand by the aid of books, the scenery, climate industries, and manners and customs of lands other than their own.” Charlotte Mason's Parents Review 1897
Other Unit studies include:
For world studies we have The World Geography Picture Book List that will take you around the world. As we read through these books we would make a little map marker with the book’s and stick it on our world map.
I prefer to use a geography text book as a resource for finding out facts rather than using it as a main text. Giving them a feel for the countries is the best input I hope for--learning facts and capital cities is incidental.
Charlotte Mason wrote a reader for Physical Geography that I think is quite good, especially considering they didn’t have space travel or satellites. Here is a download for Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason.
When you're a tourist it's always much better to get information from locals. They live there and they can tell you more than just the facts. If your interested in studying Africa this is the place to go. South African Homeschool Curriculum. They have lapbooks and literature based studies.