Geography

As Christians we have a unique approach to geography. At a fundamental level we know to whom the earth we study belongs. It is not “our world” but rather “God's world.” A different view of origins (creation rather than evolution) also changes how we see the geological aspects of geography.

Interestingly, Favell Lee Mortimer wrote geography books for children as well as the Peep of Day series of Bible series books included on the Mothers' Companion flashdrive. Although, unlike the Bible story books, they have dated and are not very useful now, the principles she employed are interesting and still very much worth using. Her aim was to interest young children in geography and “...to show that the world which God MADE ought to be governed by the book which he WROTE.” In order to do this she combed missionary magazines for material which she then rewrote for children, testing everything out by reading it to a (very naughty!) little boy called Cecil Theodore Weld-Forester. Anything that bored Cecil was cut out of the manuscript.

The geography project The Earth is the Lord's (in volume 2 on the flashdrive) is very much in the spirit of Mrs Mortimer. It was written in the 1990s by a group of home educating mums for use at the weekly meeting of Christian Education for Deeside. Each mum contributed a couple of sessions on a particular continent of the world. The ages of the children ranged from about three to eleven so this material is very flexible and can be used with children of almost any age. It is especially suitable for use by children of different ages from the same family working together. Each continent is approached in a different way reflecting the character of the mother who researched it and led the original sessions, but common elements are missionary information, singing, cooking and quiz-style worksheets. The songs that we sang for each continent are included for you to sing (with the music too) and a vital part is the recipe section included for each continent.

Family Adventure (Volume 7) is one of my favourite projects and it includes a lot of geography. Based round the amazing missionary journey of A. N. Groves and his family to Baghdad in the 1830s, there is plenty to learn using maps and other resources provided in the study guide. Also on Volume 7 is a project on the Tundra. Linked to this is the spectacular missionary film which forms Volume 7a. Note: Some users have had difficulty viewing the film. It works best if the flashdrive is opened using the Mozilla Firefox browser but if you have any problems let me know and I will send you a copy of the film on a DVD disc free of charge. Whatever you do don't miss seeing the film!

And... when your children have eventually outgrown the Mothers' Companion don't worry. There are plenty of good free geography resources on Sandra Bird's http://blogaboutbritain.co.uk.