Tuesday, August 31, 2010

El Mundo in Eight Seconds or Less

Because there are a few items that I find indispensable as a teacher and a parent, I’m starting a little series of articles highlighting some of the equipment homeschooling families (or any family with children) should consider investing in.

And somewhere around the top of my Homeschooling Essentials list is a globe or world map. I was surprised and disappointed to discover that geography is no longer a mandatory subject in many schools. Well, it is in ours.

In my effort to broaden my children’s horizons and develop their appreciation of other cultures, I purchased a globe this year. I don’t know how I made it through last year without one. I think it is really important to provide a tool where they can visually explore the world and it’s features.

Already we have used this globe so much! And so will you. You can use it when discussing a wide range of topics including:

• “Show me where we live!”
• The Continents
• Land Formations (try to get a globe with raised relief)
• Earth Science (incl. plate tectonics, volcanoes, fault lines, etc.)
• Astronomy
• Ecosystems
• Gravity
• Foreign Countries
• Directions (North, East, South, West)
• Climate
• Culture
• Ocean Life
• National Parks
• History (Native Americans, conquistadors, settlers, colonies, etc… this list is too big to list here)
• To supplement shows on PBS (i.e., Nature)
• And so on….

And the great thing is that you can spend as much (or as little!) as you like when purchasing one. I got mine for $14.99 at Target. My kids are still very little and I think it is foolish to spend a ton of money on an object that is going to be heavily used, possibly scratched, dented, written on or otherwise. We’ve already had little sticky fingers roaming over it, and I’m glad I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t want to inhibit them from exploring it out of fear that they will ruin it after I paid some ridiculous amount.

If, however, you have older children and would like to go ahead and invest in a good globe, please consider supporting MommyMaestra by purchasing one from our on-line shop (we also have inexpensive versions!)

You could also check out 1-World Globes, which has an incredible assortment (who knew there were so many ways to create a globe?!) Especially take a look at their Junior Geographer Adventure Pack. I think it looks like a lot of fun.

You might also consider checking on Ebay or Craigslist to see if you can find any super deals in your own area.

And for some reading material or activities to go along with it, visit La Libreria.

One note of caution: Be very careful that little fingers do not get pinched or smashed between the globe and the frame. I imagine that would really hurt!! I recommend an inflatable globe for children under 6 with adult supervision.

Con mucho cariño…


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