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Geography, Uncategorized

Learn Geography using Fun and Games

Homeschool Geography doesn’t have to include workbooks or endless copies of boring maps to fill in. There are so many ways to learn about geography with your kids through games and fun activities.

Our family is spending a year focused on Geography and I have started gathering ideas.

My goal is a year of fun, not a year of worksheets!

Geography games for fun and learning. Continue Reading

Geography, Homeschooling

Around the World Stories

As my children and I study world geography this year, I am looking for creative ways to introduce them to different cultures and countries around the world.

I wish I could say that my plan involved tossing my kids in a plane and traveling to every continent so we could experience places and cultures first-hand, but that isn’t in the cards right now.

We will have to stick with experiencing the world in our own home using books, stories, and resources.

Around the World Stories will be part of our adventures and studies as we learn about people and cultures around the world. Continue Reading

Brave Writer, Geography, Homeschooling

Geography using Brave Writer

We are going to Learn Around the World this school year, and I am feeling inspired and a little overwhelmed with great ideas.

Most of that is due to our Learn Around the World Facebook group. The Facebook group is filled with inspiring homeschool moms who are sharing great tips and brainstorming resources.

This post was inspired when one mom began a thread with a question: Anyone pairing up Brave Writer books with the different countries?

Great question.  I decided to do a little research on the titles and sort the Brave Writer Boomerang and Arrow titles by continent and country.  They are available below and in the files section of my Facebook group as a downloadable PDF.

Explore Geography using Brave Writer. You'll find Brave Writer Arrow and Boomerang Titles organized by Geographic Location.

The following titles are used by Brave Writer for the Arrow and Boomerang Literature Guides. You can simply read them aloud to your family, or if you want to dig deeper into these titles, a literature guide for each of these books can be purchased in the Brave Writer store.

The books on this list range from a 3rd-grade level through high school. Please note that you should use your own discretion when it comes to the appropriateness of a book’s content for your family.

In addition, I recommend doing your own research to be certain that a title lines up with your educational goals for that particular country or continent.

I have listed titles that take place in a specific location or help the reader better understand the experience of someone who is from that country, even if the book takes place in a different country.

Geography Using Brave Writer

{This post contains Amazon affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure.}

North America

(USA not included as the majority of titles take place in the USA)

Anne of Green Gables – Anne’s adventures take place in Canada
Esperanza Rising – Mexico and California
What the Moon Saw – Mexico and USA
Mountains Beyond Mountains – Haiti



A Single Shard – Korea
Master Puppeteer – Japan
Sadako and 1000 Paper Cranes – Japan
The Big Wave – Japan
The Ghost at Takaido Inn – Japan
The Thing About Luck – Japan
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon – Chinese Folklore
Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze – China
Cracker! Best Dog in Vietnam – Vietnam (NOTE: content is about the Vietnam War)
Inside Out and Back Again – Vietnamese refugee flees to the US (Entire book written in freeverse poetry)
Same Sun Here – India (Immigrant from India in US)
I am Malala – Pakistan
Persepolis – Iran (Graphic Novel)
Sold – Nepal (NOTE: content is descriptive about Human Trafficking)
The Bronze Bow – Isreal


The Midwife’s Apprentice – Medieval England
Crispin: The Cross of Lead – England (14th century)
Shakespeare’s Scribe – England (Black Plague; Globe Theater)
The Inquisitor’s Tale – France
Echo – Germany (Three tales intertwine. One begins in Nazi Germany)
The Book Thief – Germany (Nazi Germany)
Diary of a Young Girl – Germany (Nazi Germany)
Number the Stars – Denmark (WWII)
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Russia (WWII)
Endless Steppe – Russia/Siberia (family taken from Poland)


Journey to Jo’burg – South Africa
Cry, The Beloved Country – South Africa
A Long Walk to Water – Sudan
The Red Pencil – Sudan


Kon Tiki – Polynesia


Mr. Poppers Penguins – takes place in the US, but a penguin is involved.

South America

Secret of the Andes – Peru

If you want to print this out as a PDF document, then you can find it in the files section of the Learn Around the World Facebook group. I’d love to have you join us.

Traveling the world through literature is just one of the many ways to study geography without leaving your home.  Happy Travels.

Combine the Happy PLanner with the Homeschool Planner by Pam Barnhill.Using the Brave Writer Arrow Guides in like having a trail guide through the woods of Language Arts.

Geography, Homeschooling

Learn Around The World

When my 14 and 12-year-old daughters were 7 and 5, we spent two years studying the countries, stories, and cultures from around the Globe.

Learning around the World.

It’s been 5 years since our fun ended and I am feeling the itch to do it again. I want my boys (ages 10 and 8) to enjoy and learn from a similar experience.

So I did what I always do: I called a few friends and formed a group and together we are going to “Learn Around the World” with our kids this year. We will do all of our studies at home with our own children using materials of our own choosing. We’ll follow the same schedule and at the end of each continent, we will get together for a continent party. There will be music, food, crafts, and presentations.

I am so ready for this again!

It got me thinking that YOU might want to join us, so this is my official invitation. I’d love to have your family join us as we “Learn Around the World” this year. Continue Reading

Geography, Homeschooling

US Geography with Pin It Maps

UPDATED with a 10% off coupon code: maps

Our US History Pin It Maps arrived on the doorstep last week and I was ready.

I had been eyeing the Pin It Maps for a while and had done my research. I was definitely prepared.

One large 4×6 photo storage container and the necessary quilting pins were already sitting in the dining room as I eagerly opened the box.

And while I didn’t plan it, I also had an army of flag assemblers ready to go because my parents were in town visiting me that weekend.  I put them right to work assembling our flags. We were able to chat and catch up while accomplishing something.

Bonus points for that visit, right?

We finished assembling every single flag during their visit which allowed me to kick off our school day on Monday with our new maps. It only took a few minutes for me to feel certain that Geography and History in our house had just struck gold.

Learn how to use Pin It Maps for studying US History and Geography. Add some hands-on fun to your home, classroom, or homeschool.
Continue Reading

Geography, Homeschooling

Our Homeschool Geography Plan

Beginning in January, we decided to focus on Geography as we finish off the year.  I will select one continent each month to focus on. This month we are studying the continent of South America, but this same basic format is the plan through May.

Our Monthly Geography Plan

image1-2First, I will print a large map for the wall as well as individual maps for each of my kids.  Your Child Learns is a site with many geography resources and a perfect place to bring try large maps at home on your printer.  You can select a variety of sizes and then tape the pages together.  I like a 3 sheets x 3 sheets map.

During the first week of the month, we will label the countries and capital cities, following along with the readings in our National Geographic Kids Atlas and the Usborne Children’s World Atlas.  The National Geographic Atlas divides each continent into regions with informational readings for each section. After reading about a particular section during our afternoon book bin reading time, we will color in our maps.  The Usborne Atlas also includes great information about the continent, including landmarks, so we will continue our informational reading in this atlas as well.

Our study during the second week of the month will be used to label other geographical features on our map.  Rivers, lakes, mountain ranges, and other notable features will be selected.  I’ll choose from notable features in our atlas and readings as well as features that my husband selects as he holds a geography degree.

During our third and fourth weeks, each of my kids will be asked to research an individual country on the continent we are studying.  They will be required to report the information to the rest of us at the end of the fourth week in some form or fashion.  They might write a report, create a powerpoint, or design an informational booklet or travel brochure.  The sky is the limit!

Every week fiction and non-fiction books will be included in our afternoon book bin!  I will purposefully seek out tales, stories, and informational books related to the culture of the various countries located on our current continent.  My goal is also to incorporate a few recipes or restaurants that reflect the foods found around the globe.  A themed dinner or tea time each month would be bonus!

This is a basic format each month that should work for our family as we finish this school year and work our way around the globe.