Geography - Parents Page

Why Include Geography in Home Schooling

The Top 10 Reasons for learning Geography

  1. To understand basic physical systems that affect everyday life and how they work together; the earth-sun relationships, water cycles, wind and ocean currents.

  2. To learn the location of places, the physical and cultural characteristics of those places in order to function more effectively in our increasingly interdependent world.

  3. To understand the geography of past times and how geography has played important roles in the evolution of people, their ideas, the movement of people, places and environments.

  4. To develop a mental map of your community, province or territory, country and the world so that you can understand the “where” of places and events.

  5. To explain how the processes of human and physical systems have arranged and sometimes changed the surface of the Earth.

  6. To understand the spatial organization of society and see order in what often appears to be random scattering of people and places.

  7. To recognize spatial distributions at all scales — local and worldwide — in order to understand the complex connectivity of people and places.

  8. To be able to make sensible judgements about matters involving relationships between the physical environment and society.

  9. To appreciate Earth as the homeland of humankind and provide insight for wise management decisions about how the planet’s resources should be used.

  10. To understand global interdependence and to become a better global citizen.

How To Record The Learning

For our dyslexic learners, writing reams of information about a geography phenomenon - is not helpful. Record their responses and thoughts in an audio/visual method, like using your phone, is sufficient evidence. Mind mapping is a great way to record information. Here are the basics: 

  1. Start in the centre with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colours.

  2. Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your mind map.

  3. Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters.

  4. Each word/image is best alone and sitting on its own line.

  5. The lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The lines become thinner as they radiate out from the centre.

  6. Make the lines the same length as the word/image they support.

  7. Use multiple colours throughout the mind map, for visual stimulation and also for encoding or grouping.

  8. Develop your own personal style of mind mapping.

  9. Use emphasis and show associations in your mind map.

  10. Keep the mind map clear by using radial hierarchy or outlines to embrace your branches.

Including Information, Communication and Technology in to the Learning Routine

Here, at Orchard Training we try to embed design and technology into our projects, where it sits naturally and can be enjoyed. . 

 

You don’t need any fancy, expensive equipment to teach history.  each project will list the resources you will need and suggestions of where to visit. They are written with the home-schooler’s budget in mind. The biggest expense will be getting the raw materials and some of this can be recycled and using recycled materials can be made part of the project where ever possible. 

 

Below is a project of Rocking Boxers. Made from a wire coat hanger for the rocking mechanism, plasticine as the counter weight, card for the body, kitchen paper for the head. Hours of fun was had working out how to make this work and then having matches to find out who was the best boxer! 

Following A Set Geography Programme of Learning

As our learners are home-schooled, we don’t have to follow the National Curriculum. Therefore, we can look at subjects like the routes of travellers in Britain and the contribution they played to the financial life of this country. We can examine traditions of the Fair grounds. We can spend time looking at more than one local place of interest. We can explore the country of origin of a learner’s grandparents, just because they are their grandparents. If the learner is more interested in the rocks and less interested in the boards of countries, then that is what we can study. 

 

For our learners on the Autistic Spectrum, some aspects of the geography may not be for them as individuals. The "what would have happened if . . ." questions would be tricky because life is seen as very black and white. What happened - happened, what's the point of talking about anything else? Being able to see both sides of an controversial issue (for example a dam in a National Park) will need some skilful handling.  Balancing two conflicting views of the same event equally may not be possible - but we should try. Teaching a Geographical time line is probably a good start here, keeping it factual. In the beginning there was . . . After that came the . . . The next event was known as . . ..

Should any topic be of interest do allow it to be followed to the end.

Including Geography In To The Learning Routine

Here, at Orchard Training we try to embed geography into our projects, where it sits naturally and can be enjoyed. For example, in our project on Rivers, we look at the River Thames, the River Borne and the Wey Navigation system because we live between them. The history of all three is covered along with their Geography, because the way they were used is just as import as to where they are. We explore how over time place and culture effects the design of the playing pieces in our project on Chess.  For many of our learners, where we are on the map is important.

 

Therefore, we look at maps in our projects a lot, so we can locate where in the world we are talking about and how far away that is from us. I am very keen to promote this knowledge, after a visit to a USA school, when only 2 of the 30 pupils, I was talking to, could place France in Europe. I am convinced that they only knew where the UK was because before I arrived - the teacher had told them.  

 

You don’t need any fancy; expensive equipment to teach Geography.  Each project will list the resources you will need and suggestions of where to visit. They are written with the home-schooler’s budget in mind. The biggest expense will be visiting places of interest. Whilst some don’t charge - others do. The main cost is the travel and ticket price: plan ahead, combine the visit with other activities, take a packed lunch – just like a real educational trip!

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