Monday, September 26, 2011

Passport Books for Homeschool Geography

We love geography around here. The kids like exploring maps and flags when we come across them. When Bug was little I bought a small passport book but it just didn't fit our needs. I decided to make one myself.
I use those hardbound books that have blank pages inside.You know the kind that you can have the kids make their own books or even a journal. You could also just use a notebook or a journal book which would save you from having so many books. I just had these available. Bug has three world books filled and I need to make another one soon.
The first page I put a picture of her. Put her full name, date of birth, state. I wanted it to look like a real passport for them. I then put her eyes, hair color, weight and address on the first page.
How do I use the passports? We do alot of read-out-louds. When we come across a country in our reading we write the date we read about it. If it mentions a city in that country then we will add that information also.

A reader of my blog gave a wonderful suggestion. She was going to pick up a date stamper from the office supply store. How neat is that! I am going to add that into my passports. More stamping fun for the kiddos. She also found a wonderful website to go along with a passport book. Check it out. Thanks Lea!
If you do use the smaller books you can learn from my mistake. Label the countries on the back of the books. It will save time flipping through the pages. I learned this by the end of the 2nd book. I had a light bulb go off. I know I can be slow witted at times!

I also use it with Sonlight as my core curriculum and we do the passports with Sonlight. We do our passports with all are history studies and any subject that mentions a place.

I bought a package of the world and U.S.A. flag stickers. I have found that not all the countries are included in the stickers. Unfortunely for me it is no excuse for my kids not to have a flag of the country on that page. I am left pulling out an Atlas and drawing the flag to the best of my abiltiy and either the kids or I color it. Have a good Atlas on hand if that sounds like your kids.

I try to choose a stamp along the theme of the story or something about the place. Not always possible. The kids think it is the coolest thing to stamp a book. It makes me feel like a super mommy.
We also do one for the U.S.A.

The best part is that the kids can have the books for many years. The kids love pulling out the books and trying to locate the names on the globes. Sometimes they surprise me and associate a country with a book we read awhile back. That in itself makes it worth it.

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