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                 Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement
    From a Distinctively Christian Perspective of Home Education
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors   /

Table of Contents
5-Part Series: The Geography Connection
Last Issues:
     Part 1.  The Geography/People Connection
     Part 2-A.  The Geography/Science Connection
This Issue:
     Part 2-B.  The Geography/Science Connection
      •  Physical Geography: Beginnings
      •  Geography Teaching Materials
      •  19 Geography Teaching Tips
Future Issues:
     Part 3.  The Geography/History Connection
     Part 4.  The Geography/Arts Connection
     Part 5.  The Geography/Present Connection
Recommended Resources
     "Welcome to the Wonderful World of Geography"
     Doorposts: "For This Is Right"
     The Teaching Home Back Issues
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote


     Geography is composed of three interrelated components:
information, skills, and perspectives.  All three are necessary
for your children to be geographically informed.

     These elements are reflected in the National Geography
Standards' goals for geography education.

     These divisions can be related to the stages of learning
proposed by Dorothy Sayers' "Lost Tools of Learning," also known
as "classical" education:

1. Information
     Know and understand facts, concepts, and generalizations
     about geography
     (Grammar Stage: The fundamental rules of each subject.)

2. Skills
     Apply geographic skills to observe, gather, organize,
     analyze, and present information
     (Logic Stage: The ordered relationship of particulars in
     each subject.)

3. Perspectives
     Use geographic perspectives to evaluate, make decisions
     about, and report on issues, processes, and events.
     (Rhetoric Stage: How the information, principles, and
     application of each subject may be clearly expressed.)

     According to the National Council for Geographic Education,
surveys show that the geography knowledge of United States
students ranks far below students in such countries as Japan, the
United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada.  In fact, geographical
knowledge has declined over the years, so that now many children
cannot read maps or locate states, cities, or important physical
features, even in the United States.

     We trust that our 5-part series on geography will help you
ensure that your children will have the geographic knowledge,
skills, and perspectives -- including a Christian perspective --
to best serve the Lord and mankind.

     May the Lord bless you and your family for His glory.

The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
The Teaching Home is a home-school, family-run business
operated in our home since 1980.


"Welcome to the Wonderful
World of Geography"
World Physical Geography
Written by Brenda Runkle
     This one-year curriculum is appropriate for
grades 6-12.  It includes a student textbook,
student activity workbook, and a teacher's guide.
Order from Geography Matters, 606-636-4678.


Physical Geography: Beginnings

     A foundational part of geographical understanding is a
knowledge of what the physical earth is like (see last issue), as
well as how and why it came to be as it is.

     For Christians, this knowledge is based on God's Word.  The
first chapters of Genesis present the facts of Creation, the Fall
of Man, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, and the division of Earth
and its inhabitants.

     These accounts are more than just stories or spiritual
lessons.  They give detailed and accurate scientific and
historical information that is critical to understanding the
physical features of our planet.

     "In the beginning God created the heaven and the
     earth."  Genesis 1:1

     "Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed
     with water, perished."  2 Peter 3:6

     "So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence
     upon the face of all the earth."  Genesis 11:8

Online Creation Science Resources
     In addition to Christian textbooks on science, there is
a wealth of information at the following websites.

Answers in Genesis
 •  Online articles listed by topic.
 •  Articles on Noah's Flood
 •  The Flood as the Major Biblical Cataclysm
     "The Genesis Flood should be regarded as the main mechanism
     for laying down the fossil record."  Read this article at
 •  Plate Tectonics
 •  Geology Questions and Answers

Creation Super Library
     Articles on all aspects of creation in 12 languages.

Geography Teaching Materials

 •  Christian Textbooks.  Geography may be taught separately or
     integrated with other subjects from a Christian perspective.

 •  Books and Videos.  Picture books and travel videos give a
     fuller view of the world.

 •  "Operation World."  (See Newsletter #145.)

 •  Wycliffe Bible Translators' "Bright Ideas!" are free lessons
     with activities that teach about cultures and missions.

 •  CIA World Factbook.  (See Newsletter #145.)


New from Doorposts:
"For This Is Right"
A Practical Application
of the Fifth Commandment:
"Honor thy father and thy mother . . ."

     A powerful tool for building a life-long
commitment to honor and obedience!  134 pages.
     Download a free copy of "A Checklist for Sons and Daughters"
     This chart offers a set of nine questions and accompanying
Scripture passages to instruct and encourage children to obey God
by obeying you, their parents.
     This mini-chart and the encouragement to parents that
follows it, are both condensed from "For This Is Right."


19 Geography Teaching Tips

     Learning activities that can make geography interesting and
meaningful for your children.

1.  Map It Yourself
     Help your young child make a map of your house, yard, or a
familiar place such as a park.
 •  Older children can draw the map to scale on grid paper.
 •  Include symbols and a map key.

2.  For Active Youngsters
 •  Make a simplified map of your community on a large poster
     board or piece of cardboard.  Include your home, grocery
     store, fire station, library, park, etc.
 •  Make streets wide enough for your child to drive on with his
     toy cars.

3.  Collect Maps
     Take home a park brochure with a map to help your child
     understand what a map means in real terms.

4.  Label Blank Maps
 •  Have your child fill in a blank map with items you have
     studied (place names, topography).
 •  For hard-to-spell geographic names, print out a list of words
     for younger children to choose from.
 •  Print free blank outline maps at

5.  The Look-It-Up Habit
     Develop the habit of looking up the location of each unknown
     place that you hear about: in the news, in your reading, on
     clothing or food labels, etc.

6.  Link to the Map
 •  Place photos, missionary prayer cards, postage stamps, etc.
     around your wall map.
 •  Connect each with a string or wet- or dry-erasable pen line
     (on a laminated map) to the corresponding location.
 •  Or use removable stickers with a corresponding number.

7.  Five-Minute Map Drill
     Have your children take turns finding locations on a globe
or wall map (world, country, or state) as you call them out.
The repetition of this drill will reinforce knowledge.
 •  See list of places to locate in our last newsletter.

8.  Name that Place
     Point to a random spot on a wall map or a spinning globe and
see if you can name (or learn) the place closest to your finger.

9.  3-D Maps
     Let your children make papier-mache, dough art, or playdough
models of an area that you are studying.
 •  See ideas and recipes at

10.  Map Placemats
 •  Buy laminated placemats with a map of the world or the United
     States to use in finding and discussing locations while you
     eat lunch.
 •  You can also take any small map to be laminated at a
     quick-print shop.
 •  Deskpads and placemats of Israel


Teaching Home Magazine
Back Issues

     Many home schoolers have
found information, inspiration,
and support from the writers
who have contributed to The Teaching Home magazine over the last
23 years.  Fifty-one Back Issues are offered for sale online.

     These back issue never go out of date.  They are relevant
and applicable to your needs today.

     In each issue an average of  58 home schoolers contribute:
      •  Practical how-to articles
      •  Encouraging letters
      •  Ready-to-use teaching tips.

          "The Teaching Home has been a part of my
    continuing education since I started home schooling,
    and I have kept every issue.
         "I often go back to old issues to find creative,
    helpful hints or inspiration." Meredith C., Florida


19 Geography Teaching Tips (continued)

11.  Stamp Collection
     Identifying and cataloging stamps can provide interest and
research on many countries.  See

12.  Play Geography Games
 •  Wooden, cardboard, felt, or foam map puzzles of the world or the U.S.A.
 •  Color state flower, tree, bird, etc. in U.S. coloring book
     such as:
 •  Make your own trivia, "Pictionary," or "Where Am I?" game.
 •  Make and play a matching game with geographic terms on one
     set of cards and their definitions on another set.
      Online Geography Glossaries
      (Listed from simple to more extensive.)
 •  Board games such as "Take Off!"
 •  GeoSafari.
 •  Computer games such as "Where in the World (U.S.A.) is
     Carmen SanDiego?"
 •  Sources for games and activities:
     Builder Books
     Geography Matters.

13.  Country Notebooks, Scrapbooks, or Files
     A good way to collect information on a country that you are
studying is to place it all in a notebook, scrapbook, or file.
 •  Include: brochures, photos, stamps, recipes, reports,
     missionary letters, etc.

14.  Geocaching
     Take your family or group geocaching -- a type of scavenger
hunt for a waterproof container bearing a "treasure."
 •  Use the container's exact geographic coordinates and a GPS.
 •  GPS Field Exercises & Challenge Games
 •  Protect your family from ticks when out geocaching.
 •  Practice conducting a search and rescue operation.

15.  Travel -- in Person or Vicariously
 •  Traveling to different areas, states, or countries is the
     most realistic and educational geography experience.
 •  Consider a short-term missionary trip as a family.
 •  An alternative is to "visit" different places through your
     study, hands-on activities, or a unit study.
 •  View travel videos from your library.  (You may want to
     preview these and skip any objectionable parts.)

16.  Start a Geography Club
     Parents can alternate teaching a co-op class a couple of
times a month with little effort for teachers and much enthusiasm
for students.
 •  Include instruction, children's reports, games, and ethnic
     food of the location you are studying.
     See "Eat Your Way Through the USA" by Loree' Pettit at
 •  Curriculum can be based on a textbook, countries of the
     world, or your state (field trips included).
 •  Close with a Geography Fair (see below) or celebration.
 •  National Council for Geographic Education has free online
     curriculum for a Geography Club at
 •  Home Science Tools: Earth and geology projects and videos:

17.  Put on a Geography Fair
     This provides an opportunity for your children to showcase
their study and work in geography.
 •  Include your whole support group or just one or two families.
 •  Work can be presented in many ways:
     Graphically with a poster or display
     Oral or written report
     Multi-media, video, or web page design
 •  Judging and prizes are optional

18.  Teach Map Skills while Driving
     A very practical way for your children to learn map skills
(as well as compass directions and distances) is to use them when
you are driving (or walking).
     This can begin before your child is old enough to drive and
will later enhance his driving lessons.

 •  Teach your children how to find your home and other
frequently visited addresses on a map.

 •  Teach the cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west)
     and refer to them as you drive or walk.

 •  Teach your children to choose a route and estimate driving
     time before leaving home for a timely, safe, and unworried

 •  Teach your children to find your route on a map or get
     directions, distance, and driving time online.

 •  Teach each child to act as "navigator," telling you ahead of
     time the distance, direction, and street name of your next

19.  State and Local Geography
     Experience geography close-up by studying, visiting, and
discussing various land forms (ocean, rivers, forests, mountains,
marshes, plains, etc.) in your area.
     You should be able to find information in your state's
handbook, online, or ask your librarian to help you.
 •  Find information on a geologically interesting location in
     your area.
 •  Find a book that gives the source of geographical names in
     your city or state.
 •  United States Geography offers extensive information on the
     U.S. in general and each state in particular.


Please Thank and Support
Our Sponsoring Advertisers!
     These free newsletters are made possible financially by the
fine suppliers who advertise in them and in the accompanying
e-mail.  Please consider those that advertised in our last issue
(below) as well as the ones in this issue.

Wheatstone Academy
Rhea's Education Days
Grapevine Studies Bible Curriculum
AVKO Educational Research Foundation
Audio Memory: Geography Songs
Jean Welles' Worship Guitar Class
     Kid's Guitar Lessons.
Enlightened Democracy by Tara Ross


Sunnyside Up:
Maybe You Wear Them with Walking Shoes
     Devan, 6, was helping me dress his little sister for a
family outing to the snow. I asked him to bring me a new pair of
tights for Alyssa. Reading the package, he asked with a frown,
"Mom, don't you think Alyssa will want to play with me and run
     "Yes," I replied, "That's why we're bundling her up."
     Devan's frown deepened as he exclaimed, "But, Mom, these are
'nonrunning' tights!"
     Submitted by Karen E., Oregon


God loves us.
     "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten
Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have
eternal life" (John 3:16).

We have been separated from God by sin.
     "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
(Romans 3:23). “For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).

The death of Jesus Christ in our place is God's
only provision for our sin.
     "He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to death for our sins
and was raised to life for our justification" (Romans 4:25).

We must personally receive Jesus Christ
as our own Savior and Lord.
     "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that
not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of
works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).


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