The next step is to practice adding blobs for each of the seven continents. At this stage,students do not need to worry about replicating the exact shape of each continent. Instead,they should draw large or small circles or ovals to represent each continent. What theyshould pay attention to is where the continents should be drawn in relation to the greatcircles they have placed on their map. For example, North America should be drawn so thatits top is above the Arctic Circle line on the map and its lower end is below the Tropic of Cancer.After the continents are on the map, label the oceans. Again, repeat this lesson with yourfamily until everyone can complete it quickly and easily.
After students have mastered the great circles, the continent ―blobs,‖ and the oceans,
theyare ready to add more detail. Choose one continent at a time and ask students to practicedrawing the outline until they can produce a decent approximation of the actual shape.Once each continent outline has been mastered, children can expand their knowledge of that continent. They should learn how to add the borders for countries and to label capitals,mountains, and rivers.
If this seems too difficult, consider the following two real-life examples. First, I host summerparent practicums around the country each summer. In our geography drawing camps,children aged 6
8 learn to draw and label the continents and oceans in just three days.Some of them have even managed to memorize the states and capitals as well. In mygrammar school curriculum guide (Foundations), families focus on three cycles of geographyacross three years. The maps we use in our programs were drawn by a 12-year-old studentin the Challenge A program in which students spend an entire year learning to draw adetailed map of the world according to the methods I have described above.
• Principle #3: Make the geography lessons a fun family activity.
Because we w
ere working to recover a ―lost tool of learning,‖ my family chose to draw our
maps together during the evenings, when all of us could be home. We would play classicalmusic or listen to audio books as we drew together. If the weather was nice, we drew ourmaps while sitting on the porch. If you start utilizing these lessons in your home during thewinter, light a fire in your fireplace and enjoy a cozy time together as you learn somethingnew.
Teaching our children to draw and memorize the world is a priceless gift. Knowledge of world geography in detail equips our children with tools to read classical literature withgreater interest and comprehension. It piques their interest in the news and in missions.Hopefully, they will have deeper interest in and s
ympathy for all of God’s people around the
1. In my book,
The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education
, I havedevoted an entire chapter to explaining this method of instruction, including a plan forgrades K
8 that allows children to master each continent in detail.
Leigh A. Bortins is author of the recently published book
The Core: Teaching Your Childthe Foundations of Classical Education.
In addition, Ms. Bortins is the founder and CEOof
Classical Conversations, Inc.
and host of the weekly radio show,
Leigh! At Lunch
.She lectures about the importance of home education nationwide. She lives with her family