You might notice that geography in our homeschool is just 10 minutes long. That may seem like too little time, but I promise, if you are consistent this small amount of time can produce big results. My four year old knows more about geography than I did in high school.
I think it's important even at young ages for children to be able to recognize names of countries and the world around them. I find it not only helps in terms of giving them a global worldview, but I'd argue empathy as well. Knowing the history and the 'why's' behind a country gives them historical content into a culture.
This year, we are concentrating on US geography, as this will be our concentration in history studies.
And by the way, with the various ages I teach, it is perfectly possible to teach them all at once. You can go more in depth with your older children a couple nights a week to give them a challenge.
How I 'do' geography. I'm lucky enough to be able to hook my computer up to our large screen television in the living room. This allows everyone to see and with 5 of them, it just makes it easier.
I start of with this world map on the television. Using a pointer I first go over the continents from largest to smallest in a sing-song voice.
North and South America
Then the oceans: Starting on the left of the map-
And back to Pacific
Then, I will concentrate on ONE continent and go over the countries in that continent.
Then year I'll start with North and South America.
It goes like this:
United States of America (be sure to point to Alaska and Hawaii when you say this)
St Kitts and Nevis
Antingua and Barbuda
Trinidad and Tobago
South Georgia Island
South Sandwich Island
This takes just 3 minutes once you are used to this--the kids recite everything with you.
Next we move on to US States and Facts-throughout this year I will use this map for a teacher reference.
We will start with the south since we live in Texas, then move North-East, Mid-West, West.
This week we will do:
I will do one state at a time, and quickly go over the relevant facts, having the kids recite them with me.
We name the:
Bordering states (I point to the bordering states using correct direction in relation to the state we are doing)
Bordering Body of Water
Picture of state flag
Because we live in Texas, we recite a few more facts than we do for the other states such as:
All of this takes around seven minutes or less once your kids get used to the pace.