Follow The Leader

P7020121Learning something when you’ve been told you need to know it is pretty boring sometimes. Following your child’s lead and letting natural interests develop is a lot more interesting.

My almost 6-year-old is having a lot of fun with this large map, finding the places he has heard about, comparing how far they are from Baltimore, and finding the corresponding flag for that country (pictured at the bottom of the map).

Today’s geography lesson came about after my 3 1/2 year-old daughter, while eating a banana, announced that monkeys like to eat bananas, but why do we never see monkeys in Baltimore (not counting at the zoo)? Her brother answered that monkeys live in jungles, like in Africa. In this photo, he shows her the distance between the US and Africa.

While we had the map out, we also talked about how many continents and oceans there are, the difference between countries and states, and how an island that is nowhere near the country it belongs to can still be a part of that country. And we added a new place to our list–Indonesia, where a neighbor is currently visiting relatives. Both kids listened with rapt attention, something I can say I never displayed during geography lessons in school.

My son will attend a traditional school in the fall, but I’m enjoying working with him at home and letting him choose the lesson of the day.  He’s taking me places I wouldn’t go on my own.

Where have your children’s interests taken you?

3 thoughts on “Follow The Leader”

  1. That is a wonderful story. I hope to follow your lead on teaching my child as she develop. That map looks huge. Is that a carpet map or something?

  2. No, it’s a Rand McNally map that a relative gave us, I’m not sure where he got it exactly. But it’s a poster weight paper with a shiny surface.

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