North Star Geography – An Australian Review

North Star geography review

North Star Geography Review

I recently received a free copy of a new geography book North Star Geography.

Is It Charlotte Mason Styled Geography?

The North Star Geography book fits the Charlotte Mason idea of Panoramic Geography.

It Includes:

  • A good narrative reader with diagrams and coloured pictures. There are a few sidebars but these don’t detract from the text. Notebooking and chapter narrations would be easy to do as the chapters are broken down into sections.

And downloadable files with:

  • Map skills, activities and projects. Some of these do seem like busy work but you can pick and choose. They do not appear in the book but they are in the schedule provided.
  • Suggested note taking guide that could be used if your child isn’t keen on notebooking. Charlotte Mason used these type of review questions in her Elementary Geography series.
  • Research questions for 8 chapters. These require your child to look beyond the geography reader, however the answers are provided. There is a reference list at the back that you could use, or you could look for your own books to answer them.
  • Chapter tests and the final exam are not in the Charlotte Mason style of “tell me what you know”. They are fact regurgitation, however you could easily rewrite them and give them a more CM flavour.

Geography With A Christian World View

This book has a Christian worldview. The topography isn’t full of evolution and the environmental issues are discussed as environmental stewardship. The section on climate change is an interview with DR. Jay Wile from The Exploring Creation series.

Fitting The Australian Curriculum For Geography

North Star Geography is written as a high school geography course to be used from year 7.(My 14 year old has just started it and I think he will cope with it well). It can be completed over one to two years (a schedule is provided for both of these scenarios).

Although this is an American curriculum it has a very global outlook and uses examples from around the world. Coober Pedy and the Southern Cross even make it into the highlighted sidebar studies.

When I tried to match up the Australian Geography curriculum and North Star Geography I couldn’t neatly fit them together, but the I have given you a brief summary here.

To see my whole recommendation for High School Geography Read More

Australian Curriculum Topics (Stage 4 & 5) North Star Geography Chapters (NSG)
Geography & Enquiry Skills (Years 7 to 10)
  • NSG Lesson 1-3
Water in the World (Year 7)
  • NSG Lessons 5.2 & Lesson 7
Places & Liveability (Year 7)
  • NSG Lesson 10
Landforms & Landscapes (Year 8)
  • NSG Lesson 5-6
Changing Nations (Year 8)
  • NSG Lesson 10
Biomes & Food Security (Year 9)
  • NSG Lesson 9 & Lesson 12
Geographies & Interconnections (Year 9)
  • NSG Lesson 13
Environmental Change & Management (Year 10)
  • NSG Lesson 8 & 11
Geography of Human Well Being
  • NSG Lesson 10, 13 & 14

Where To Buy North Star Geography

Getting The Ebook

You can  buy it as an ebook from Bright Ideas Press. However it’s not economical if you want to print it. When I took my ebook to my local printer he said it would cost me $180.00 for colour printing (it’s 283 pages) – I think I could have got a cheaper quote. So I printed in black and white and bound it at home for less than $10 (I have a laser mono double-sided printer that I use all the time.)

Here is my bound version. It looks pretty good but I would prefer the colour hardback. If you want to see how I print my ebooks see here.

North Star Geography ebook

Buying The Book

There isn’t a big price difference between the ebook and the hard cover book so I would recommend the book.

If you want to buy North Star Geography (and CD) I suggest you buy it from  This was the cheapest postage (about $20) I could find to Australia.


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  1. Melissa  August 23, 2014

    Hi Michelle.
    Lat year I bought World Physical Geography by Runkle. I think you suggested it for high school geography. How does North Star Geography compare to the Runkle book?
    Thank You 🙂

    • Michelle  August 27, 2014

      Hi Melissa,

      Good question. I still think they are both good books. And since you have four years of Geography to cover in the high school years you can still use Runkle for one of them. I think North Star geography is newer (published in 2014) so it addresses some of the contemporary issues such as climate change. Runkle was written in 2000. Runkle looks at more aspects of physical aspects of geography than North Star, for example you won’t read about el nino or la nina in North Star. North Star has physical geography but not as much as Runkle. It also addresses cultural aspects of geography were as Runkle does not. I hope that helps.

      • Melissa  August 27, 2014

        Thank You Michelle. I can see how they are different now. It’s funny. I was looking at North Star last month but I wasn’t sure if I needed it as I already had the Runkle Book. Now I know I should probably have it in our booklist. I’ll get the eBook package soon. How did you know what I was thinking ?


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