Wondering when to study geography in homeschool? Elementary school is the time to begin teaching geography to your students. Start by teaching basic skills in kindergarten, such as the purpose for maps and globes, how to identify rivers, lakes and mountains on a map and how to locate the your town, state and country on the map. Kindergarteners should also be able to identify the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, north and south poles and identify the seven continents.
When your child reaches first grade, review the geography skills learned in kindergarten and build on them further. First graders should learn how to use a map key, identify north, south, east, and west. They should identify major oceans, the equator, both the northern and southern hemispheres. They can also begin learning geographical terms such as island, delta and gulf.
Second graders should continue practicing what they have already learned. In addition, they should learn to locate their country of residence and the surrounding countries. For instance, a child living in the United States should be able to identify the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Teach new geographical terms such as prairie, desert, oasis and valley.
In third grade, students can begin learning to use an Atlas either in book form or online. They should also learn how to measure straight distances using a maps bar scale. Additional geographical terms should be learned, such as channel, reservoir, strait, and isthmus.
Fourth graders should learn to locate the highest mountain ranges, the highest mountains in the world, as well as famous rivers, the Mediterranean Sea, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. They should be able to locate and name the British Isles. This is the time to begin to learn to read maps using longitude and latitude lines.
In fifth grade, homeschool students should continue to practice skills learned in fourth grade and learn to read a map using coordinates and degrees. They should also learn the time zones, climate zones, the Tropic of Cancer, the Tropic of Capricorb and study the great lakes of the world.