Living Books Geography

Homeschool geography Maps

Living Books Geography

Well it isn’t hard to imagine that Charlotte Mason wanted us to use books for geography. Ideas are food for the mind and Charlotte wanted children to have their imagination captured as they heard about the world through books and talk and exposure to nature. She called this pictorial geography through the pleasant talk of places.

One way to give your children pleasant talk of places is through living books.

Living Books Geography with Picture Books

Picture books will give you a great opportunity for pleasant talk of places. When we selected a book we would then make a map markers and place it on a map. This was a great way to cover our world geography.

Here is a list of World geography picture books. We also have an Australian picture book list.

You may also enjoy Pleasant Talk of Places

Continent geography resource


Living Books Geography – My Failures

A few years ago it was recommended I read aloud a 450 page book called A Traveller in Rome whilst I was studying the New Testament and Acts with my children. This book was supposed to be a living book. At page 100 we stopped. I was bored (and falling asleep or slurring as I read). The kids felt tortured and we all agreed we couldn’t go on. (I hope it had nothing to do with my reading style!). We certainly were pottering in Rome but we were very lost. We really couldn’t follow the story, the place names, or the streets.

Another book that we used for geography was Around the World in Eighty Days. This book was for independent reading and it was my intention that the child would map out the travels on a map  as they read. Again this was a big failure. Why? because my children got lost in the names and places. I tried this book with three out of my four children and they all disliked the book, even though they were good readers. Two of them never finished it.

The reason I’m telling you this is that living books geography needs a good book and a map. In hindsight we should have used a map of Rome and a decent world map so that we understood where we were with each chapter.

Choose wisely! If you plan on reading about geography in a book make sure you want to stay their for a while and go slowly to get the most benefit.

Living Books Geography and History

We usually find that combining historical fiction with living book geography to be the best combination. You get the geography facts clothed in the story.

” The  geographical aspects of history …is valued by young people as affording a knowledge of the past that that bears upon and illuminates the present.” Charlotte Mason

Here is a list of geography living books:

Discover Downunder  an Australian Geography Book.

Australian Geography For Kids

Hopscotch 5 Days Sharing On Homeschool Topics

This is part of my five day series Around the World in 5 Days – homeschool geography. Check out the schedule and follow along.

Visit the ihomeschool Hopscotch page for a list of more interesting topics by homeschool blogging mums,

hopscotch blog hop

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  1. Maria Layfield  September 13, 2018

    Hi! Could any one recommend a living fictional book based in Australia for ages 6 – 12? my husband and I are doing a project on Australia this term with our 7 home-schooled grandchildren but we are struggling to find a good story book which we can centre our mornings around. We are based in the UK.

  2. Kayla  May 5, 2018

    Thanks for this list. Do you have one for Asia?

  3. Jess  July 24, 2014

    Awesome Michelle! Thanks 🙂

  4. Jess  July 23, 2014

    Michelle, was there meant to be a link for Australian geography books? Or is that somewhere else on this site? Thanks. 🙂

    • Michelle  July 24, 2014

      Good point Jess! I’ve added them in.


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