Before we can dig into our brand new geography curriculum that we got from Bright Ideas Press, I needed to round up our homeschool geography resources that we already had on hand. Mr. Senior 2013 loves geography too so I know some of them were kept in his room for “light reading”.
I did manage to round up these atlases and books that I have had to show you some of what I use. Too, I have taken some screen shots to show you our brand new WonderMaps because I will be using WonderMaps with North Star Geography.
Today, I wanted to show you my growing geography resources that I know we will be using with North Star Geography. Only 2 books are missing from the above list because Mr. Senior 2013 has them in his room, but I can tell you about them too in just a minute.
I am sure you can study geography on probably a lot less than we have, but we can’t. Our geography habit needs to be fed each year, so we have added resources slowly. Too, as the boys got older they have wanted their own books and resources. As the budget allowed, I added them in regularly.
So below I have listed resources that I think are must-haves or basic. Again, it doesn’t mean you need all of them, but helping to know which ones are more useful or helpful makes it easier to decide. The other resources pictured above but not listed below, I add in as enrichment and I just wanted you to see them.
- 1. The inexpensive geography mats we actually picked up at Wal-mart a few years back. One side has a world map and the other mat has the U.S. and then the flip side on both mats is blank. We did and still do quick geography quizzes with them. We will study a region, then quickly flip on the back side and try to fill in with a dry erase markers as many rivers, boundaries and countries that we could get. Me too, I was included in the race to see how many I could label in a short time.
- 2. National Geographic Visual Atlas of the World You know anything by National Geographic is top notch. I always said I would never buy anything this big because of the problem of storing it. That didn’t last long because once you take a look at how breath taking the solar system looks in it and how they compare geography facts like comparing two continents, it looks so much better in a large book. Too, it is easier as the kids get bigger to gather around a bigger book. (Tip: Always check to see that you are buy the most current edition.)
- 3. DK is another favorite publisher. Complete Atlas of the World, 2nd Edition I actually got this one because it had some facts like population growth, global climate and border conflicts that I want my boys aware of. The physical world maps are more in depth though not as vivid as the National Geographic.
- 4. National Geographic Family Reference Atlas of the World, Third Edition is another beauty by National Geographic. I purchased this one because of key information like tables, charts, biodiversity, education. It truly is a family reference. I guess if you had to make a choice for your middle to high school kids, this would be in the top running.
- 5. Junior Classroom Atlas This is one of our first ones because it is suited for elementary aged children and we still refer to it when the other atlases are teeming with overwhelming information. Sometimes you can have too much information and it helps to break it down to the general sweeping facts.
- 6. CLASSROOM ATLAS-REVISED 2012 This is geared toward about middle school and can be used for elementary ages too. It has been updated and it is one I will probably be adding soon. Even though stats change, I feel some atlases are timeless. Not so much changes (physical earth wise) that you can’t use an older atlas. Sure, stats will change, but if your kids are young, they are not interested in that kind of stuff right now anyway.
- 7. Historical Atlas of the World 1st (first) edition Text Only An historical map is one that you will need when studying ancient history because it shows the boundaries or empires as they were then. It really helps your kids to get a foot hold on ancient history. You can see this one is out date, but then again it’s ancient history and how much updating can you possibly do. So I don’t always fall for having to have the most up to date.
- 8. Historical Atlas of the World Now what I do fall for is when another kid needs their own copy. So I have purchased the updated copy of the historical atlas simply because I had two older middle school kids and we needed more than one. I won’t go into the fights over having their own copies.
- 9. Free geography vocabulary words I made and put them on a O ring. These are good for your kids to study later too.
- 10. National Geographic World Atlas for Young Explorers, Third Edition
I got this one because it we could read about things like the animals for the website links they gave us and each continent had basic facts. Like it says more about the exploring aspect of geography and we love this one. It is especially good for a child that is geography phobic so they can see geography is about so much more than finding the prime meridian. It is about exploring and going to far away places.
- 11. A Child’s Introduction to the World: Geography, Cultures, and People – From the Grand Canyon to the Great Wall of China This is a really sweet book. It includes a pop-up paper globe and stickers. I like it because though its geared toward younger learners, it can still stand up for older kids too because of the information in it. It is another keeper for multiple ages of children.
- 12. The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World Geography With Complete World Atlas (Geography Encyclopedias) Again, another one of my very first purchases. I always made sure I didn’t just buy curriculum but had enough back in my budget for references that would stand the test of time. A great reference book that we just love.
- 13. What is geography without games? And, Professor Noggin’s History & Geography Card Games: Set of 6 is one of our favorite series. We have a lot of them.
The other two we have that didn’t make the picture because Mr. Senior had them someplace are Geography: A Visual Encyclopedia which is absolutely stunning which is why I can’t find it right now and has a lot of different things like gemstones, earthquakes and weather. And the other one is Atlas of World Geography which is a highschool level book that gets lost around here frequently too. It is the one I will be using on North Star Geography, well at least for Mr. Awesome.
Then of course my newest tool that makes studying geography absolutely a breeze is WonderMaps. You can print black or white maps or color maps.
Take off boundaries or leave them on ALL with a click of your mouse. It truly is going to make studying geography so much more than finding boundaries or locating countries.
Though we love all of our resources and we add to them as we plod along during the years, those above are keepers and I feel are basic to any library.
Do you have any geography go to resources that your family luvs?
I know you’ll love these other posts. Edible Rock Cycle Fudge and Hands-on Rock Activities, 35 Hands-on Geography Activities to do in 15 Minutes or Less and The Ultimate Guide to Brave Explorers (Great and Small).
Hugs and love ya,