If this seems too difficult, consider the following two real-life examples. First, I host summer parent practicums around the country each summer. In our geography drawing camps, children aged 6–8 learn to draw and label the continents and oceans in just three days. Some of them have even managed to memorize the states and capitals as well. In my grammar school curriculum guide (Foundations), families focus on three cycles of geography across three years. The maps we use in our programs were drawn by a 12-year-old student in the Challenge A program in which students spend an entire year learning to draw a detailed map of the world according to the methods I have described above.

Principle #3: Make the geography lessons a fun family activity.

Because we were working to recover a “lost tool of learning,” my family chose to draw our maps together during the evenings, when all of us could be home. We would play classical music or listen to audio books as we drew together. If the weather was nice, we drew our maps while sitting on the porch. If you start utilizing these lessons in your home during the winter, light a fire in your fireplace and enjoy a cozy time together as you learn something new.

Teaching our children to draw and memorize the world is a priceless gift. Knowledge of world geography in detail equips our children with tools to read classical literature with greater interest and comprehension. It piques their interest in the news and in missions. Hopefully, they will have deeper interest in and sympathy for all of God’s people around the globe.


1. In my book, The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education, I have devoted an entire chapter to explaining this method of instruction, including a plan for grades K–8 that allows children to master each continent in detail.

Leigh A. Bortins is author of the recently published book The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education. In addition, Ms. Bortins is the founder and CEO of Classical Conversations, Inc. and host of the weekly radio show, Leigh! At Lunch. She lectures about the importance of home education nationwide. She lives with her family in West End, North Carolina. To learn more ,visit her website, www.classicalconversations.com, or her blog.

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

Publication date: July 19, 2013