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Geography in the Grammar Stage
Stories about other lands are the natural first step of the grammar of geography, and can begin before a child even enters first grade. Picture book read-alouds such as The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack, about duck herding on the Yangtzee River; On Mother's Lap by Ann Herbert Scott, about an Eskimo mother and her children; and Pelle's New Suit by Elsa Beskow, about a little boy growing up in Sweden, are excellent ways to introduce the concept of other people and places to a child.
This familiarization should continue all throughout the grammar stage. As a child advances in his reading ability, continue to provide quality literature for him to read about other people and places, along with his other reading that he is doing for history and for the joy of beautiful stories. The books of G. A. Henty are great for this, such as For Name and Fame, or Through Afghan Passes about the First Afghan War, or The Tiger of Mysore by G. A. Henty, about the British in India. Others that our family has enjoyed are King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry, A Prairie Boy's Summer by William Kurelek, anything by Meindert DeJong and Kate Seredy, Heidi by Johanna Spyri, Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates by Mary Dodge, and Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry.
True stories about Christians in other countries, and resources for children from organizations such as Voice of the Martyrs, are another excellent way to increase your children's awareness of the world around them, while at the same time helping them develop a heart of compassion for people all over the earth. And National Geographic or Discovery Channel specials on television are also wonderful tools for increasing geographic awareness.
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