New version of geography program for younger children–coming soon! Suggestions appreciated.

I have been contemplating what I want to do with my two middle daughters for next year, for their main curriculum (literature, social studies, etc.). Currently, Jenny is doing Sonlight’s P4/5 and Charlotte is doing P3/4. We’re on week 8 of P4/5, so that puts us on track to finish it somewhere around December. P3/4 isn’t really scheduled, so I’ll just keep going with that until we finish P4/5. Next December, Charlotte will be 4 and Jenny will have just turned 6. I had tentatively thought about doing Core A with Jenny, but I’ve been thinking about combining the two of them into a core together. So my thought is to do my own geography program with them starting when we finish P4/5, and then doing Core A with them together afterwards. That would mean starting Core A maybe around Fall 2015. At that point, Charlotte would be (newly) 5 and Jenny almost 7, the perfect time for doing Core A together, since it’s for ages 5-7.

I think the geography program will be the perfect spacer for them. However, I do need to go through and re-plan some of it, since I found that a lot of the library books I had planned on doing when we lived in our former neighborhood were no longer available once we moved.

Since I have to re-plan everything anyway, I have a few changes in mind as well. The first is to make it for slightly younger kids. It will be all picture books, leaving out the few chapter books that were in it before. I’ll also probably be leaving out the missionary books, or at least only include a few selections from them, because the writing is a little hard and no pictures. I’ll probably still include some of the “Little Lights” series, as those are easier. I’ll also be leaving out the additional nonfiction books on countries that I was getting from the library before. All of these changes will help it to be better for slightly younger kids.

Also, I’m planning to actually do some planning for the length and layout, instead of just putting in all the books on a country I wanted, and then figuring that was how long we would spend on the country. This time around, I want to aim to make it 36 weeks long, and to spend roughly the same amount of time on each continent (I may make it 4-5 weeks each for North American/Australia, because those two continents have fewer separate countries/peoples to cover, and then I’d do 6-7 for the other continents). I’ll probably leave off Native America, and I’ll leave off the “general geography” stuff, or I’ll spread it out throughout the program.

I had a hard time before getting the crafts and science activities done. I had a schedule so that I’d remember to put library books on hold at the right time, but I didn’t do anything comparable to remember to add things to my grocery list, and sometimes collecting all the supplies just made it not worth it. So this time, I’m going to try to collect and bag all of the supplies that I need for each craft or activity.

One last change I want to make is with the passports. I’m still going to use our printable passports, but this time I’m thinking to buy a sticker book I found online that includes all the flag stickers. I think it’ll be a lot easier to get it done if the kids just have to pull off a sticker and stick it in their book, then when we had to get our drawing boards out, and the glue, and put glue on the sticker, and put it in the book, and sometimes they got too much glue and it made the pages stick. I’ll still post my old flag file in case anybody would rather print theirs (although I won’t be able to guarantee that the flags will still match up, with the changes).

What I’d love from any readers who are interested in this geography program is, are there any things you’d like to see done? Do you have a country that you’d really love me to make sure is included? Do you have a book that you recommend? I’m mostly looking at books that portray the country as it is now (modern) and folktales, but I’m willing to include historical stories if they are really good stories.

I am going to look into posting the new version on a website and being able to post a download link here, so that people don’t have to post/email me about it. We’ll see if that works.

I’ll include both a booklist with books sorted by country, and also a schedule. That way, people who want it all scheduled out will be able to just start right away, but people who would just prefer to go through it in their own time with the book ideas can do so.