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The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Se7en Do Geography… Heaps of resources…

July 9th, 2009 · 11 Comments

Every school year we spend a couple of weeks doing some virtual traveling. I wish it was the real thing but this is as close as it gets and we sure have a lot of fun. This week we have been preparing: getting maps in order and passports and so on – but that will be the next post in the series. I thought to get us going and warm up our blog followers I would publish a list of some of the resources we use.

A lot of our virtual traveling happens around copious pots of tea while we read books, plot maps, try out language snippets, taste recipes and make crafts from around the world…

So here we go: Se7en of our best “Round the World Resources.”

  1. Atlases And Maps:
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    • This is our school Atlas and is being worn to the bone! Ours lives out on the school dresser and anytime someone asks “Where is … ?” They get redirected towards the Atlas.
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    • This book is part of a series from DK and is a real “Gotta pour over it” kind of book. My kids can’t get enough of it – there are big fold out pages absolutely packed with minute details.
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    • This is a younger version of the previous book. I love this book and I am happy to rediscover it with each of the hoods as they go through their first taste of maps and mapping.
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    • And since we are in Africa this is one of our favorites… it is packed with pages of excellent travel information, National Park Maps, Adventure Tourism, it is just hours of fun!
  2. Books:
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    • This is a very clever world tour using beautiful aerial photographs, love it!!! You can have a look at the photographer, Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s website to discover some of his stunning photographs.
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    • You cannot miss anything by Peter Mentzel, his photography is superb. In the first book here he travels the world and chooses an “average-income family” from a number of countries around the world. They empty the contents of their home outside and photograph it. Really it is simply amazing to see what families own around the world! The second book does the same thing but instead of looking at house contents they look at the food a family eats over a period of one week.
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    • You have to love this DK series they are simply the best! Photographs and snippets from the lives of kids that live around the world.
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    • Stories from around the world are a great source of travel inspiration. And you know how we love cooking, one of the best things about traveling is trying out new foods. Virtual travel is a great opportunity to add new and exotic recipes to your menu.
  3. Puzzles:

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    • You can’t beat Usborne’s Round the World puzzles. They are fun and easy enough to do but not so hard as to cause despair! They also have a great flags of the world puzzle.
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    • I love this puzzle book with easy continent puzzles for younger kids.
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    • And the Usborne Puzzle Books are brilliant for scavenging and just generally hunting and searching round the world.
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    • Otherwise, if you are looking for something puzzling for the older folk in your family you can get this global puzzle from Sonlight. The puzzle pieces match the shape of the countries. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your kids are good at puzzles and this will be fun – trust me kids walk away from this, some of the pieces are tiny and it is just too difficult. But they quite like to join in alongside an adult.
  4. Games:
  5. Online:
  6. Audio and Podcasts:

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  7. Artifacts:
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    Don’t knock what you have lying around the house. We have things collected from traveling abroad. We have a shoe size box with artifacts from most trips. And if friends travel then get them to buy us a postcard – even if they don’t go the extra mile and post it (which can be a hassle in a foreign land) they can always just bring the postcards home and give them to you when they get back. Otherwise there are heaps of exotic goodies in the pantry! You would be amazed at what is lying around your house from foreign lands – stories, songs, crafty things – it all adds up to build a complete picture of the world.

That’s enough to get started on! We will see you on our wild virtual tour over the next few weeks…

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Tags: Geography · Se7en at School

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