Make a World Geography Curriculum work for you by creating one yourself!
Why Create a World Geography Curriculum
Sometimes the options for the curriculum can be overwhelming. There are so many great choices out there to guide your family in a study of World Geography, but it can be hard to find the right fit. Instead of relying on a curriculum, you can create your own World Geography curriculum with a little bit of planning and creativity.
By combining a few good websites and resources with your own selection of countries from around the world, your family can enjoy an informative and fun year of world geography studies. Best of all, you are in control of the countries that you study so you can tailor it to your family’s interests and potential future travels.
How to Create a World Geography Curriculum
Homeschool parents are perfectly capable of creating their own world geography study. I like to design my own by following a few general steps that keep me focused:
- Select A Country
- Map It Out
- Learn More About it
- Make or Play
- Taste Testing
The best part of designing your own curriculum is that you can set the pace. Your family might explore one country each month or slow it down to better fit your family’s schedule.
Select a Country
Our family likes to explore one country a month. You can select them all at the beginning of the year or vote at the start of each month. We like to select countries from a variety of continents throughout the year. It works well in our family to explore 2-3 countries on the same continent before moving on to the next continent. This also allows us to spend our first week of study learning basic facts about the continent before diving into specific countries.
Before choosing countries for the year, consider giving your children time to explore the world online or at the library. Everyone can nominate their favorites for the year and your family can vote to select the finalists.
Map It Out
Begin by mapping the basic physical geography of your selected country. A good student atlas will give you a few ideas of some of the basic features to note on your map.
Pay attention to:
- major cities
- lakes and rivers
- mountain ranges
- border countries
Our family likes to print maps at Your Child Learns. You can print mega maps for the wall or simple one-page blank outline maps for any country.
Learn More About It
It is time to put that library card to work so you can explore information related to the country you have selected. Check out books that explore the basic physical geography, culture, food, and famous landmarks that are related to the country you have selected.
There are plenty of options on YouTube to learn more about a country but you want to be sure to preview the videos or select videos only from sites you trust.
A few Geography YouTube channels to explore:
Check out Around the World Stories and listen to original story adventures that take place in specific countries around the world. Learn more about the history and culture of a variety of countries while listening to these delightful tales. My kids enjoy coloring as they listen along.
You should also read books that include tales and stories from the country you are studying. Your local librarian is a great resource to point you in the right direction. You can also refer to a book such as, Give Your Child the World, for lists of books specific to different countries.
Make & Play
Arts and Crafts
Once you have learned about the history, culture, and physical geography of your country then it is time to enjoy a memorable hands-on activity. Ideas for crafts and art activities can be found online fairly easily. Visit Pinterest and search for: [country name] art activities (or craft or games) to gather ideas.
Sometimes it is also convenient to have a helpful resource book on hand:
- Global Art by MaryAnn F. Kohl is a perfect source of activities for your elementary student. This title includes art activities and cultural background information for countries around the globe.
- Around the World Art & Activities: Visiting the 7 Continents Through Craft Fun by Judy Press is recommended for ages 4-8 and includes hands-on fun for your youngest learners.
Finding an activity based on a famous landmark, the language, or a historical event is another way to make your world geography plans memorable.
You can search for games to play on Pinterest as well by typing: [country name] games. There are also plenty of ideas on various websites:
- Games that School children Play Around the World includes various games from countries around the world, often with a video, as well as, instructions.
- Most Popular Childhood Games Around The World is a great site because most of the games are common games, but the variations found around the world are included.
Including arts, crafts, and games from the country you are studying is a great way to make your time fun and memorable for your kids.
Finally, one of my favorite ways to explore a country while studying World Geography is to cook a meal, or a few snacks, that are favorite dishes in that particular country. The internet is full of great ideas if you search for [country name] favorite snacks, or meals or desserts.
My favorite resource for recipes is the book, Eat Your Way Around the World by Jamie Aramini, which includes recipes to make a well-known meal for countries around the globe. The recipes are easy to follow and kid-friendly. It’s a great resource for families.
Visit a Grocery Store
You can often find grocery stores for specific cultures in your area. There might be a local Asian Market or Hispanic Grocery store. A field trip to stores that sell cultural-based foods is a great experience to incorporate into your studies. Grab a few unique looking snack bags and drinks while you are there and return home for some taste testing.
Dine at a Resturant
Visit a local restaurant that prepares foods similar to what is served in the country you are exploring. You might check out the local Hibachi Grill, Pho place, or Indian restaurant.
There are so many ways to dive into world geography at home. Find a routine that works for your family and have a fun year.
For more ideas, check out 100 Ways to Explore Geography with Kids, and add in a few more creative twists throughout the year.