I tried for a short time to use a geography curriculum, I really did, but it didn’t work, so now I teach geography without a curriculum to my kids. It makes our homeschool geography more fun, and one they look forward to.
My method is the same regardless if it’s a country study, or a state study.
First I pick the place we are going to study
Right now for our United States geography I am moving across the country from West to East. For no other reason than I haven’t particularly studied it that way before. We studied Alaska, Hawaii, and just finished California.
For country studies we are right now studying Europe, primarily because Superman really likes Italy, and Princess had a friend who likes France. Batman was cheering for Asia. He lost. Starting this coming week we will be learning about Ireland.
Next, since I teach geography without a curriculum I do some research
Research means I hit up my local library website and type in the country name.
That will pull up anywhere from none to 50 books. I start checking out what the books are about, if they are just listed because they were published in that area, or if they’re really about that area.
If I’m still needing more books, I’ll do a quick Google search like “Famous people from ______” or “Famous events from _________.” One good thing about being a history buff, I often have an idea what happened in a location, but I’ll freely admit I don’t know many events from Idaho.
Or you could head over to Bethany’s and check out her homeschool geography with some great story suggestions.
Some great websites to inspire you with information for United States Geography
50 States– this will give you famous people, random facts (what state has the biggest ball of yarn), state mottos or flowers
State symbols website– Just click on the state and you will get all the information you need
Sleeping Bear Press Teacher’s Guides– Sleeping Bear Press makes alphabet books on many different topics, so there is one for all 50 states, as well as many countries
Some great websites to inspire you with information for the World
Duckster geography– You can find information by both continent and by country
Honestly, there’s not a lot of generic stuff, do you have any you go to?
All right you have some cool books, and some fun facts, now what?
Now, you start reading. I read the books ahead of time, and then come up with an activity based on the book. Sometimes it’s a mini-book with a short answer to what’s going on.
Other times, it’s more complex and it’s a craft.
It all depends on what seems right for that project. I’m going through and adding in all of the geography printables I’ve made so far, it’s taking time, so hopefully by the end of this summer, we will have it done.
For right now to get you started, I’m adding another subscriber freebie for anyone getting my newsletter:
United States Notebooking pages
So, once upon a time I bought this amazing United States notebooking pages, and I’ve been using them, but you know what? They’re no longer available. As near as I can tell the person who made it deleted the files from their store, so I’m made something eerily similar, with a few additions, and a few things taken out.
As I complete a state study, or update my state study from 5 years ago I’m putting up that state’s notebooking pages. Today I’ll be updating Alaska to include the necessary pictures, and on Wednesday I’ll be sharing our Hawaii lessons and books we found.
Okay, that’s the boring stuff, but what about the fun? I thought the whole point of no geography curriculum was to have more fun with geography.
And you’re right, that’s where the next part comes in, the hands on manipulatives.
For that you can read these posts where I flesh that out even more:
Looking for more ways to teach without a curriculum? Check out over a dozen more ideas at: