Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I try and use our globe as often as possible. I do this because I am way too ignorant about geography and because I do not want to remain that way and because I do not want Norah to grow up as ignorant as I was.
So, anytime a location comes up in conversation or in news or in our study of history, I try and find it on the globe. I do this no matter how inconvenient it is at the time. This means I feel like I am always stopping what I am doing and pulling the globe off the shelf. And it means that the globe I paid $60 for is getting used (abused), but at least it isn't just collecting dust on the shelf, right?
A few days ago, for example, we read about the first Sumerian dictator and the Akkadian empire he created by conquering all the city-states. We even colored a map of that area in history. We made it a point find that area on the globe and saw that Akkadia is now the current day countries of Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Till then, I had never realized the Tigris and Euphrates were connected to the Persian Gulf.
When we read stories from the Arabian nights the next day, the book said that the Arabian empire once stretched "...across northern Africa, the Middle East and all the way into India..." We found all of those places on the map and I realized that Saudi Arabia is about as far from India as our east coast is from our west. I hadn't realized they were so close together.
Sometimes I hear home schoolers complain, worry, express the fact that they need a separate geography curriculum, but this need may be resolved by simply using the globe as often as a new location comes up in all your other subjects.