Orientation Week
Year 1

That first week of school, we slept in a tent that we had decorated with ballons (we called it our feast of booths) and had a special opening week called, "Orientation Week". I wanted to orient this four-year old to the great big vast huge world. The earth is our exquisite home that God gave to us. It is unique and perfect for us and has all our needs. The Bible teaches that God made it to be inhabited. Our theme for this school year was, "God created the earth a special place to be inhabited" (ref. Gen 1:1, Is 45:18). What you are reading on this page was a chief tool for opening up geographical knowledge of the entire earth.

The focus this week was THE GLOBE. I showed Hannah the globe and pointed out the three main things we saw on it--blue water called seas or oceans, big land masses called continents, and small land masses called islands. I did not make her memorize this. I'd point to the sea and say, "What's this?" Then I'd point to an island and say, "What this?" I'd point to a continent and say, "What's that?"

I'd spin the globe, do a little move and say, "Point to the ocean." Spin it again, "Show me a continent." "Good. Now where is an island?" Maybe then I'd say, "Now you quiz me." This exercise continued only a minute or two. I like to leave off on a high note. If she says, "More please!" I may give it another spin or two, but that's it. She can't wait until the next time.

Next it was time to sit down for board work. I placed the following on the board for her to copy--

THE GLOBE

  1. Oceans/Seas
  2. Continents
  3. Islands/Isles

We then went back to the globe and learned the Seas/Oceans.

Next came more boardwork for her to copy for her notebook--

OCEANS

  1. Pacific Ocean - largest, deepest
  2. Atlantic Ocean
  3. Indian Ocean
  4. Arctic Ocean - smallest, coldest

We then went back to the globe and learned the Continents.

Next came more boardwork for her to copy for her notebook--

CONTINENTS

  1. Asia
  2. Africa
  3. Europe
  4. Australia
  5. North America
  6. South America
  7. Antartica

Notes:

  • There was no memory work. We just kept quizzing and talking about the earth all week long.
  • We did map work (tracing the continents and isles, filling in continents, etc.).
  • We did a reading about the hemispheres (from, "Our Father's World" a Rod & Staff second grade social studies workbook) and did worksheets for the hemispheres as well. We discussed hemispheres on the globe, traced them, and did Rod & Staff teachings on them--all spread out.
  • We paid little money for our supplemental resources. I went to the library "used book" section and purchased some ten cent magazines with big pictures of the earth, plants and animals for our collage. I also used old Voice of the Martyr magazines for pictures of people from around the globe (and stuck a little picture of Hannah in the midst).
  • This information may be found amongst your current stuff or you can just download some information from the internet or create your own materials after you've done a little research. Hannah has always best enjoyed the things that came from my hands--and of course, that makes me very familiar and comfortable with the material.

That week we used the globe, maps, chalkboard work, readings, and a video (from Moody Science?) about the ocean. We also made a collage of the three living things that live on this earth--plants, beasts, man. I made up a program for that week and printed it on pretty paper. It helped ensure that we covered everything we needed to. We popped popcorn and had a great time.

Next: Where we live on the globe.

During that week (Orientation Week) she learned where she lives--our continent, country, and state. She then learned where Jesus lived--his continent (Asia), his country (Israel). She learned to identify Israel by first pointing to Egypt in Africa, the triangle next to it (Sinai peninsula), and then next to it Israel. "Egypt, triangle, Israel."

Next: Where Jesus lived on the globe.

She learned how to identify Israel on the globe and on various maps.

After learning about her country and birthplace, she did likewise for the Lord Jesus. She did mapwork for Israel. She learned about a few places that she had already read about. This is important. She did not learn a bunch of names stuck on a picture. And although she was familiar with these places, I did not show her all of them at once. A HUGE PART OF TEACHING IS ***RESTRAINT*** UNLIKE WHAT IS BEING TAUGHT IN THE SLAUGHTERHOUSES OF THE MIND CALLED, "SCHOOLS". One thing she did do was fill in the names of an important landmark--the sea of Galilee which flows into the winding Jordan River, which flows into the salt sea (known today as the, "Dead Sea"--but is it not known for its saltness? It is the salt sea.). She got an early grounding in Galilee, Samaria, and Judea which is critical for New Testament geographical understanding.

Hannah's knowledge of the reality and location of Bible lands was anchored here in these simple teachings.

I taught Hannah her homeland first and then the land of the Lord Jesus because I Corinthians 15 teaches that first comes the natural and then the spiritual. This is a precept that we have followed for the course of our school. What I've seen is that it starts with what you can see and what you are familiar with and then your knowledge is extended to what you cannot see.

These techniques can be used on any age, including adults. I learned a lot myself in preparing the lessons.

[Aside: Hannah understood early on that the earth is uniquely created for our needs and that we are unable to live anywhere else. She also understood that the Copernican principle of mediocrity of the earth is ridiculous. I may not have told her the exact name of it, but told her men wanted to live on the moon one day. "It's barren, no water, no air, no dirt for food, what kind of sense does that make?" I mocked. We mocked. Earth is not one amongst many planets ("wanderers"). She learned early on that the sun circuits the earth, the earth is motionless, and that the earth is not a planet (but that there are people who believe that). She heard the name of Tycho Brahe from perhaps Year 2. I did not give many details, just a name and a sentence or two. We talk about the truth all the time, so the names just keep coming up over and over. And as the years roll on the amount of information she collects just increases here a little, there a little. It is all based on Genesis 1:1-2:7 and therefore it is in order and includes all basic knowledge.]

***NEW****
THE EARTH: OUR HOME BOOKLET
Includes the main worksheets and teachings that we used during orientation described on this webpage.

see index for more articles on how we used the Authorized King James Version of the Bible in our sanctified homeschool.