Geography | Map Work

I was thinking the other day that it's been a long time since I've done any homeschooling posts, which is sort of strange because it's pretty much ALL WE DO around here.  ;)  I think I shy away from these types of posts because it always seems to take so long to type it all out and explain everything and add the proper links and such.

But then last week I reminded myself that it doesn't have to be complicated.  I can just share one thing, occasionally, that we do; that has worked for us, and show you or tell you briefly about it.  So today here's one thing we do:

We keep it pretty simple.  Last week I printed out these two maps of Europe, one blank (without labels), and one with labels.  I didn't want to overwhelm my kids, so I asked them to focus on just some of the countries of Europe.  To make that easier, I highlighted the portion of the map I wanted them to study with a yellow colored pencil.  Then I gave them each a copy of the labelled map to study for about 5 minutes, asking them to pay attention to the bodies of water and the countries (but not necessarily spelling everything correctly).  Then I took those from them and handed them each a copy of the blank map, and had them fill in what they could remember.

For my oldest, who is already pretty familiar with all of these, I encouraged her to do the capitals along with the countries, and for my youngest (7), I wrote a number on each highlighted country and then asked her fill in the numbers on her blank map, while looking at the labelled map.  Then she practiced writing the names of the countries in the blank space below the map. I had given her the option of not doing it at all-- (which my other little one eagerly took!)-- but she wanted to do what hte big kids were doing so that's how we made it work for her.  :)

Sometimes, too, I will ask them questions without a map in front of them.  For example, If you were standing in Germany and facing west, what country(ies) would be next to you?  What body of water would be closest to you?

We will keep reviewing the countries we've learned, and tag on more each time until they're familiar with them, then tackle the capitals and then eventually move on to another continent.  I remembered the other day that I have tracing paper, too, so I will likely have them do some tracing from a map at some point to become familiar with the shapes, and will encourage them try to tackle them freehand, too. 

I'd love to hear what you do for map work in your home and school if you'd like to share!


  1. Hi Stacy,

    Not sure if your kids do too much for typing, but for awhile, I was really into this site:

    It is a fun way to practice and learn geography.

    Europe and Africa were my favorites.


    1. Yay! Thank you, Helen. :) Can't wait to check it out.

  2. The homeschooling posts you do are my favorite, although I love all of your posts. I have gotten a lot of homeschooling ideas from you through the years. :)

    1. Aw! Thank you so much! I will try to post more of them!

  3. Love this! We haven't done too much map work like this yet. My oldest is 7. :) The only thing we really do is look at maps when we're doing our readings.

    I don't post enough for the same reasons you mentioned. My biggest setback is posting pictures. It takes FOREVER. Do you know any tricks? I have a Google Pictures account that sends pics from my phone to an online library, but I think I still have to download those onto my PC then re-load them into Blogger. :/ Help!

    1. Hi Catie- Well, yes. You can probably wait on the study of maps for awhile ;)

      It does take forever. I upload from iPhoto into a Flickr account, and then have to take that html tag and cut and paste it here. It isn't ideal, but I don't know another way. I do try to upload several at a time and sort of stick them in blank posts so that when I do take the time to write, the photo is there waiting for me.

    2. Sigh. I wish I could send pics from my phone to Blogger. I have the Blogger app on my phone, but I can't get it to work! #nottechnilogicallyadvanced

      That's a good idea, though--just put the pics in when you can. :)

    3. Ha! I am ALSO #nottechnilogicallyadvanced :) If I could figure out a way to do it with paper and a pen? I'd be set! :) [I've never even tried the Blogger app nor knew one existed!]


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