Geography Extras

Fun Canadian Quiz (AND Destination Links to Learn About!)

Recently, some friends and I had fun taking this quiz.  It was just a fun list of 99 places or things to do that you were supposed to check or highlight the ones you had done.  One friend noticed it was heavy on American destinations, so she started a Canadian list of things to do and see, and the rest of us added our favorites to it.  It is below. 

Why not take the quiz with some family members or friends and see who has done the most?  OR check out the links below this summer or fall and take a virtual tour of Canada (as well as learn about some of the most beautiful places in the world.  smile)

1.       Visited, camped or hiked in Banff or Jasper National Park OR spent a night at Banff Springs Hotel

2.        Visited Niagara Falls

3.         Swam in Lake of the Woods

4.          Visited the home of Anne of Green Gables

5.         Toured our National Capital -  Ottawa

6.         Whale Watched in the St. Lawrence Seaway

7.        Been to the Artic Circle

8.         Visited the oldest settlement in North America – L Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland

9.         Had a cuppa tea in Victoria

10.         Drove across Confederation Bridge

11.        Whale Watched off the BC Coast

12.         Shopped on Granville Island

13.       Visited the Calgary Stampede

14.          Attended one of Edmonton’s many festivals

15.        Walked around the lake at Lake Louise

16.        Explored Montreal (esp. Old Montreal)

17.        Visited West Edmonton Mall

18.       Attended Bard on the Beach in BC

19.         Visited Prince Edward Island

20.          Spent the day at a Historical Village – The Ukrainian Village -  Alberta, King’s Landing - New Brunswick , or ________________ - your choice

21.        Saw the War Museum in Ottawa

22.          Attended a session of Parliament

23.         Visited the Alberta Badlands

24.        Drove the Cabot Trail

Did we miss any of your favorites?  Email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  with your suggestions!{jcomments off}

Have you prayed for Slave Lake families today?

It sure has been tough lately with all the natural disasters there have been - I have found it quite overwhelming at times.  BUT I try to remember the tip I shared on this blog - pray for those going through hard times.  In that case, I was referring to the people of Japan.

Recently Slave Lake in Alberta has been in the news and I hope that, at the very least, we are praying for the people of Slave Lake.  Being home schoolers ourselves, it is easy to pray specifically for the home educators that lost their homes OR are waiting to get back to (perhaps) a smoke damaged home.   Let's continue to pray for them (and all Slave Lake families) in the weeks ahead.

If anyone knows of any home schooling families that are in need of curriculum or other things, please email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and perhaps we can do something practically to help.

AND ending on a geography note, let's also continue praying for those who were in the tornado's path in the States, as well.  Point out the States / cities / areas affected on maps.  Research how tornado's start and stop.  DO something to help someone in need today.  Our children are all watching and I think what we do speaks so much louder than what we say sometimes!

Happy Home Schooling!{jcomments off}

Australia Country Day

One of our Home School highlights over the years would have to be Country Days.
I thought I would share one of them with you.  Here is our Australia Country Day.  It wasn't an easy day - I never seem to have an abundance of time to prepare, but it was a great day nonetheless. 
We had 3 families join us.  I need to make a master list of what countries we have studied when - I've done countries for over 15 years and I get mixed up as to who was where when.  smile  We actually studied Australia in 2002 with daughter 2, but daughters 3 and 4 couldn't remember it, so that was good for them.  (I actually learned more the second time around - proves the importance of learning hooks!)
I started off with a continent quiz. 
One of my younger girls failed a continent quiz earlier in the week, so I realised even though they know the continent song (North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Antartica, Africa, Australia - these are the continents.  One more time!  North America..... and so on) - I usually only have one child pointing with the pointer to the continents (and usually a willing one).  Here is a sample Continent Song online.
This time, I took my globe ball around the room and had each child point to the continents as the rest sang the song.  It was very revealing. Made them work!  smile
Then we sang O Canada.  I had the Australian National Anthem ready to play from our National Anthems CD - and I read the words while it played.  Everyone stood  respectfully for both, of course!  smile
After that, I talked about the Country facts for a bit - I usually use a whiteboard to write on two countries at a time, but had lost our whiteboard in the fall (rolling eyes!) and started keeping the facts on posterboard.  We are on the second posterboard and I had them both taped up at the front of the room - and I reminded them of the
countries we have already studied and compared some of the facts.
It is so easy to see if countries are first or third world by how long people live, how many babies die (out of every thousand) and how much the Gross National Product is for each country.  Russia didn't even list their GNP in the book I have.  Says a lot, hey?
Everyone had a pamphlet to color while I talked AND I reminded everyone at the beginning that they need to keep track of what they learned because they all get to share 3 things at the end of the day.  The big kids have learned to keep notes as I talk (smile)
I took out the Geographics and started showing pictures - we covered everything from the aboriginies to the outback, to the wet and dry season, to the Sydney Opera House, to the platypus, to the bulldog ant, to the Great Barrier Reef, to Australian pearls (great quality and price) to more.  I reminded everyone this is just the starting point to learning about Australia and that they can go back home and look up more later. 
Talked a bit about Crocodile Dundee and the digeroo (long imusical instrument), Quigley Down Under and the scene where they are forcing the aboriginies over the cliff (only 1% of Australia is aboriginal at this time), Man From Snowy River, and Return to Snowy River.  The Crocodile Hunter was also mentioned.
(Talked for a bit too long today - hard to know what not to include) -  A friend brought her talking globe and we got to hear what it had to say about Australia, too - as well as she shared some things along the way, too.
We also sang Kookaburra sits in the old Gum Tree and Waltzing Matilda (some kids didn't like this activity - I'll remember that for next time!).  One of the moms had printed off the words to Waltzing Matilda and the meanings behind the words.  Very cool.  (I remember singing it in elementary school and enjoyed that).  Waltzing Matilda is considered the unofficial National Anthem of Australia - smile
Another mom is also a member of Brain Pop and brought two quizzes for the kids to watch and answer.  She has her kids watch once, answer the quiz and then watch it again to find the answers they missed.  Very neat.  I've got to subscribe.  She can find a Brain Pop quiz on just about anything they study. 
Then we had show and tell (everything from beaded bracelets to koala bear teddies made from kangeroo hide, to an Australian coin, to Australian cookbooks, to a carved wood car, to more) - very cool day.  I loved it.  It always is tough fitting it in - I sometimes wonder what I'm doing when life is so busy, but then we get together and it is very rewarding. 
Not sure what there was for snacks - I'm thinking fresh pineapple, cookies and more.  One mom thought about bringing *damper* but didn't have time to make it.  smile  Eating food from that country can be educational, too.  smile  The kids aren't very adventurous, though.
*My show and tell was a Country Day Binder from years past.  When we went through one daughter's portfolio recently, I was astounded again at how valueless worksheets are - so easy to throw away.  The stuff we kept was personal writing and artwork, mostly.  When she got older, she was responsible to write a page on what she had learned about the Country (after we had a Country Day) and how she enjoyed the day.  Very nice pages.  Everything from did you know Australia has more  sheep than people?, to when it was, to anything else she thought was neat.  It is a lovely record of the country days she attended.{jcomments off}

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