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AO Geograhy AmblesideOnline.org

Ambleside Online/House of Education Geography

Even with just a couple of topics in a term, over the course of six years, many topics can be taught. In "Home Education," (volume 1 of her Series, pg 72-78) Charlotte Mason talks about teaching these kinds of things during outdoor time. If you would like a book to help explain these concepts, topics are lined up with corresponding chapters from both Home Geography for Primary Grades by Long, and/or Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason, both of which are online and be accessed for free.

Year 1
   Term 1: The world is round. Left, right, front (before), back (behind) are positions; know which is which and realize they are dependent on perspective.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Our World Part I
          Long's Home Geography 1. Position

   Term 2: Fixed direction (north, south, east, west). The sun shows direction: East is where the sun rises, west is where it sets. Stars (North or Pole Star, constellations) show direction and help mariners find their way. The length and direction of shadows can help us tell time as well as direction.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography 2. How the Sun Shows Direction
          Long's Home Geography 3. How the Stars Show Direction

   Term 3: The round world can be divided into two spheres. The line dividing it across the middle is the equator; its parallel lines are latitude. The line where the earth meets the sky is called the horizon.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Our World Part II

Year 2
   Term 1: A compass can show direction when sun and stars are not visible. Magnetic needle always points north. Points on the compass (N, S, E, W and also halfway in between: NE), how sailors use a compass.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography 4. How the Compass Shows Direction
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Points of the Compass
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Mariner's Compass

   Term 2: Planets rotate around the sun. Earth rotates around the sun in 365 days, making a year. The earth's turning makes day and night.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Our World and Other Worlds Part I
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Our World and Other Worlds Part II
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Day and Night

   Term 3: The poles; earth's spinning on its tilted axis makes the four seasons
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Poles and Axis
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Four Seasons Part I
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Four Seasons Part II
          2 minute explanation on YouTube; also look for Bill Nye The Science Guy episode: "Seasons" (23 minutes)

Year 3
   Term 1: Measuring distance: inch, foot yard; mile. A country's proximity to the equator or poles determines its climate. Parallel lines from pole to pole are longitude.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Hot Countries and Cold Countries Part I
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Hot Countries and Cold Countries Part II
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Parallel Lines

   Term 2: The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Sunrise and Sunset
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Why the Sun Rises and Sets
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Mid-day Lines

   Term 3: A map (plan) is a picture of a room, town, country or earth and should show where N is; how maps are made; maps of towns, regions, countries, the world.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography 7. How to Tell Distance
          Long's Home Geography 8. Pictures and Plans
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Plan of a Room
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Plan of a Town
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Map of a County
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: How Maps are Made

Year 4
   Term 1: Earth's surface is mostly water; highlands (cooler), lowlands (warmer), mountains (foot, slope, summit) and valleys
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Surface of the Earth Part I
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Surface of the Earth Part II
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Highlands and Lowlands
          Long's Home Geography 11. Plains
          Long's Home Geography 12. Hills, Mountains, Valleys

   Term 2: The water cycle: clouds, rain, rivers, ocean, evaporation (vapor); dew, snow
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography 13. Rain, Wind, and Snow
          Long's Home Geography 14. How Water is Changed to vapor
          Long's Home Geography 15. How Vapor is Changed to Water
          Long's Home Geography 16. Dew, Clouds and rain
          Long's Home Geography 18. How Rivers are Made
          Long's Home Geography 19. More About Rivers
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Rivers

   Term 3: Rivers and waterways; rivers start at a mountain spring and flow to the sea; a river's source, mouth, bed, two banks, tributary (branch), rapids, cataract, waterfall. Oceans and their parts, why rivers wind, work of rivers (fertile after flooding, pebbles, gravel, sand)
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography 21. Work of Flowing Rivers
          Long's Home Geography 22. Waterdrop's Story
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: Countries
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Waters of the Earth Part I
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Waters of the Earth Part II
          Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography: The Oceans and Their Parts

Year 5
   Term 1: Land forms such as continent, island (archipelago), mountain, hill, isthmus (neck), mainland, peninsula, cape, plain, prairie, shore, forest, field, plain, tundra, desert, oasis. Bodies of water such as brook, creek (stream), river, pond, lake (inlet, outlet), sea, ocean, cove, bay, gulf, strait
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography 24. A Map
          Long's Home Geography 25. Forms of Land and Water
          Long's Home Geography 26. More About Forms of Land and Water
          Long's Home Geography 27. A Trip to the Highlands

   Term 2: Food crops (vegetables, grains fruit) and other useful plants
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography 29. Useful Vegetables
          Long's Home Geography 30. Useful Grains
          Long's Home Geography 31. Fruits
          Long's Home Geography 32. Useful Plants

   Term 3: Trees, flowers; what plants need to grow.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography 33. Forest Trees
          Long's Home Geography 34. Flowers
          Long's Home Geography 35. What is Necessary to Make Plants Grow

Year 6
   Term 1: Animal features (feet, teeth, covering) and their purposes; how we use animals (meat, milk, fur, silk, horns, hooves, labor, pets)
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography 37. The Parts of Animals
          Long's Home Geography 38. The Covering of Animals
          Long's Home Geography 39. Uses of Animals

   Term 2: Things mined from the earth: minerals and metals such as coal, iron, gold, silver, lead, tin, copper, mercury, salt. Quarried stones: granite, sandstone; limestone (chalk), marble, slate and their uses. Where brick and glass come from; mortar.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography 41. Things Found in the Earth
          Long's Home Geography 42. More About Things Found in the Earth

   Term 3: People around the world live in different dwellings, eat, work, learn and play. Terms: agriculture (farming), stock-raising, mining, lumbering, fishing. Town people: manufacturing, trade/commerce, transportation and other occupations.
          These topics are covered in these chapters:
          Long's Home Geography 43. How People Live, and What They Are Doing
          Long's Home Geography 44. More About What People Are Doing
          Long's Home Geography 45. A Review Lesson