I love to travel and explore new cultures, to learn new languages, and meet new people. Traveling offers us a unique opportunity to learn about the world around us. Field trips are therefore a major part of what we do and how we learn.
Whether we are traveling on holiday in another country or exploring historical and cultural treasures locally – I take advantage of every opportunity to expose my children to the world in which we live. In our homeschool, we dive deeply into history and immerse ourselves in other cultures via geography and language studies.
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Geography Lessons Through Travel
Any type of travel is sure to include numerous opportunities for your kids to study the topics that make of the field of geography.
As your family travels and explores a new area you will most likely look at a map to help find your way to a historic landmark or to your hotel. You might decide to take a hike near a lake or through the mountains. You’ll likely also eat foods that are unique to the area.
All of these activities are included in the study of geography!!
The study of geography includes 3 major categories:
Geography Skills – including map reading, using tools like compasses and atlases, and understanding navigation and cartography.
Physical Geography – similar to earth science, this includes geology, meteorology, oceanography, ecology, and astronomy.
Human Geography – we can understand how people relate to their location and environment by learning about sociology, culture, religion, transportations, agriculture, and economics.
DIY Geography Picture Dictionary
Years ago, I created a printable Geography Picture Dictionary for my children. I knew it would be the perfect tool to document the physical geography we observed in South America. Therefore, in preparation for our voyage, I revised it – as the original boxes were really too small for quality illustrations.
While traveling through South America, we created a small illustration for each of the physical geography features we observed. Brochures we collected along the way also helped us. The process also provided us with a special keepsake.
If you are interested in learning more about how I utilized the printable in South America, take a peak at my Geology & Geography of the Galápagos.
Do your children enjoy sketching and doodling? Then a Geography Picture Dictionary is the perfect learning activity.
Download and print the free DIY Geography Picture Dictionary here.
If you are looking for a high-quality and engaging geography curriculum for middle and high school ages, I encourage you to take a little time to learn more about the program we have been using this year – North Star Geography. Created by Bright Ideas Press, it has helped my children delve deeper into the three main geography categories: Geography Skills, Physical Geography, and Human Geography.
It provides suggestions for course planning – whether you want to undertake the course in one semester, one year, or more long term. My family is learning more about geography than ever before and the materials make my job easier than I could have imagined!
Linked up with The Massive Homeschool Geography Guide at iHomeschool Network.