Saturday, August 17, 2013

Countdown to School: Where in the World? And an old man who made bowls.

"Section III: The Knowledge of the Universe:  Science and Geography; Mathematics; Physical Development and Handicrafts"   ~~ Charlotte Mason, Toward a Philosophy of Education

All week I've been posting about science questions, but geography also fits into Charlotte Mason's Knowledge of the Universe.

In the public school curriculum, it doesn't exist as a separate subject until high school.  Even in the World Book Typical Course of Study, it's in there with Social Studies.  But Charlotte Mason valued geography as an interesting study in itself.  So does Knowledge Quest, the company that currently publishes Ann Voskamp's Child's Geography books plus a new addition to the series.  So does National Geographic, and Canadian Geographic, and our friend at church, the retired head of geography at a local university.  Another geography professional we know is writing a book about the connections between the physical world and the Holy Spirit.  To all these people, geography is a central idea, not a subtopic.

If you need further encouragement to spend some time thinking about how geography is not only "the world" but also who we are in that world, you might want to print out "Ten Reasons Why Every Student Should Study Geography."

I'm still working out some of the details for this year's geography study.  The two main books Dollygirl will be reading are H.V. Morton's In Search of England, and Christina Hardyment's Heidi's Alp: One Family's Search for Storybook Europe.  I'd also like her to spend some time exploring the Canadian Geographic Kids Atlas Online.

This is my best idea for an In Search of England narration, and you could use it with other books too. Recently we were at a dollar store that sold fold-together 8 1/2 x 11 inch mailing boxes.  I bought a package of three, thinking maybe we could use them for a smaller version of the popular "pizza box projects."  I was also thinking about the "Aunty Dot and Uncle Frank" world geography book we used a few years ago, with its real envelopes and letters, and photographs of their "souvenirs."  And also the handwritten postcards that Ann suggested as narrations in Explore His Earth.  So the term project will be to make a "treasure box" of Mr. Morton's trip around England, including a map, souvenirs, sketches, and notes.
As a side note, I was reading through the first chapter of In Search of England, where the narrator first leaves London for Bucklebury, and comes across an old man who makes wooden bowls.  I wondered where  Bucklebury might be, and looked it up online.  Serendipity: there is a whole Wikipedia page and photos of George Lailey, "the last professional practitioner of the traditional craft of bowl-turning using a pole lathe."  And how did he get to be so well known?  Morton's 1927 book!

I'm not sure whether to hand that one to Dollygirl, or let her do her own exploring.  At any rate, it will be interesting to see what souvenirs Chapter One inspires for the box.

1 comment:

Lauri said...

And if you're a royal watcher, the Duchess of Cambridge hails from Bucklebury and her parents still live there.