How to Rock Your World: Fun Homeschool Geography Curriculum

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Trail Guide to World Geography makes learning geography fun! Kids in grades 3-12 can learn together with this multi-level homeschool geography curriculum.

Most of my favorite Friends episodes involve Joey. His lovable, goofy cluelessness cracks me up. I may or may not quote Joey when talking to my kids about school stuff. {ahem} “Good job, little buddy.”

Did you ever see the episode where Chandler attempted to break up with Janice? In desperation, he finally told her he was moving to Yemen. When he learns what’s going on, Joey compliments Chandler on his cleverness, saying, “And, Yemen? That actually sounds like a real country.”

Trail Guide to World Geography Homeschool Geography Curriculum

It’s funny when it’s Joey, but not so much when it’s real, live people. Especially not when the real, live people are your homeschooled kids. Hoping to avoid any Joey-Yemen moments, I decided to cover world geography in-depth this year. Because, you know, it’s important for kids – and adults – to know about the countries that make up the world in which we live.

So, how do you rock your world? With fun homeschool geography curriculum! (See what I did there?)

Choosing Homeschool Geography Curriculum

We opted to use Trail Guide to World Geography to cover high school geography. I ordered the High School World Geography GeoPack so we’d have everything we needed to jump into world geography. The GeoPack includes:

  • Trail Guide to World Geography
  • 3-Level World Geography Student Notebook digital download
  • Eat Your Way Around the World – a resource that includes recipes for complete meals for 30 different countries of the world
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Geography Through Art
  • Grade-level appropriate student atlas

I also got The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide, an optional, but vital resource used with Trail Guide to World Geography.

One of my favorite things about Trail Guide to World Geography is that it’s designed to be used by students in grades 3-12, so the whole family can study geography together. Yeah, I know I’m only using it with my high school junior right now, but I know how useful multi-level teaching can be.

The guide is broken down into three grade/ability levels: primary, intermediate, and secondary. All the activities in the book are clearly marked with a symbol indicating which level they’re for.

You can purchase a World GeoPack for whichever level you need. The only difference is the atlas that the student will use, so for different levels, you could just get one GeoPack and order the appropriate atlas for each level you’re teaching.

Using Trail Guide to World Geography

Trail Guide to World Geography is a teacher’s manual for the course. It contains 36 weeks of lesson plans. Each lesson plan section starts with Geography Trails, a list of daily geography drills for each level. Students use their atlas to find the answer to the day’s drill question. The activity is designed to take a maximum of 5 minutes.

I have Megan answer all three questions (primary, intermediate, and secondary) as a review. If she can’t answer any of the questions based on what she already knows, she uses her atlas for reference.

After the daily drills section is the Points of Interest section. It’s broken down into four or five sections each week:

  • Mapping
  • Trail Blazing
  • Geography Notebook
  • Illustrated Geography Dictionary
  • Geography Through Art

In the mapping section, students label the areas they’re studying and key geographic features on their blank outline maps.

The Trail Blazing section includes a huge variety of research, project, and activity options for students. Kids aren’t expected to complete them all. Instead, you choose those that interest your student, work with your family’s learning/teaching style, or provide the right level of variety for your family.

The Geography Notebook and Illustrated Geography Dictionary sections contain ideas for students to create their own geography notebook and dictionary. And, the Geography Through Art section lists optional related art activities from the book by that title which is included in the bundles.

I look through the activity list and either mark specific ones that I want Megan to do or leave a note for her to choose a certain number.

Teaching High School Geography with Trail Guide to World Geography

Although it is a teacher’s manual, the lesson plan sections in Trail Guide to World Geography are written to the student. So, older students can easily work through the material independently, which is what we do.

I take the teacher’s manual about once every three or four weeks when I sit down to update Megan’s assignment sheet. I assign the daily drills – gasp – daily. As I mentioned, I have her go ahead and read through all three level drill questions because you never know when you may have overlooked teaching something that you take for granted. Don’t judge me. You know it’s true.

Then, I go through the activity sections on the following pages. I always have her do the mapping assignment. Then, if there is anything specific that I want her to do, I number it and add it to her assignment sheet. Otherwise, she just chooses the activities that interest her. I usually tell her to choose at least one from each section so that there is plenty of variety each week.

She typically works on the assignments three or four days a week. Geography is a fantastic subject for loop scheduling so don’t let it fall to the wayside just because you can’t get to it every day in your homeschool.

Trail Guide to World Geography Homeschool Geography Curriculum

Trail Guide to World Geography makes teaching world geography easy, painless, and fun for elementary through high school students. Because, y’all, nobody needs a Friends episode to learn that Yemen is, in fact, an actual country.

Head over to the Geography Matters website to check out the GeoPacks and get started teaching geography in your homeschool.

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  1. Geography is so important! One of the things I love about the curriculum we use, Layers of Learning, is that it covers geography as one of the core subjects. We do various activities from the curriculum, plus every day we do a quick geography quiz — a handful of questions ranging from “name as many states as you can that border Canada” to “find Singapore on the map.”

    1. If I recall correctly, you won’t need to make any extra purchases. The student resources digital download would allow you to print the consumable resources for each student.

  2. WOW! This curriculum is a game-changer for my 10th grader on the autism spectrum. He did cultural geography last year and ate it up. He absolutely loves geography. So, I’m going to get the World Geog pack and we’re going to do that for literature and geography. Thank you so very much for this resource and article! You’re a blessing!

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