In a combination of art and geography, Drawing Around the World: Europe helps your child learn about Europe by drawing the shape of each country and where it is located, and by researching basic facts about those countries. It is set up on a four day schedule, so with regular review and practice, the student should eventually be able to draw and label a map of Europe from memory.
Drawing Around Europe is available as an ebook or printed workbook, and works as a geography supplement for upper elementary and middle grades.
On the first day, your child finds the country on a map, and using the workbook page, practices tracing the shape of the country. Then on a blank map page, they attempt to draw the country from memory. There is also a list of facts about the country to fill out - area, population, capital city, people and culture, major religions, climate, and resources (on the website there is a list of online resources that are safe for kids to use to find this information).
On days two and three, students continue to practice tracing and freehand drawing the country, and as they progress through the book, they add on their knowledge of geography, country by country.
Day four is when your student can demonstrate what they remember by drawing a map of the countries they've studied so far on a blank sheet of paper.
Review and Recommendations:
I received the ebook for review, which means I immediately had access to Drawing Around the World: Europe. This is one of the best reasons to go digital download with homeschool resources.
It is true that with the ebook you will have to decide how many pages you are going to print, but you can take a lot of the stress out of doing your own printing by investing in an easy-to-use printer with the auto-duplex feature (it automatically prints on both sides of the page), a source of inexpensive ink, and buying paper by the case.
With an ebook like Drawing Around Europe that relies on regular practice, I think having the ebook is preferable, since I can print extra pages if they are needed, and it can be used again and again within my family.
Drawing Around Europe is 'plug-and-play'; it can be used on its own, or easily put into use with any geography or history program. It went right along with our World History studies.
Kenny and I researched the facts about each country together, and our favorite part was looking up images, especially for the northern countries, which have such amazing natural features. As per usual, one question begets another, so on the first day, we took some extra time to explore each country's economy, natural resources, and government structure. Although the program recommends and it set up for a four day schedule (which is our school schedule) there is no pressure to use Drawing Around Europe within a certain time frame. Take as little or as much time as you like so that your student benefits from this resource.
After the introductory lesson, Kenny traced and then tried to freehand the shape of the country. This was sometimes rather comical, but it was fun. He didn't feel any pressure to get it perfect. What happened, though, is that Kenny is now able to quickly find the country on the map, and can recognize it by sight.
Another benefit of this kind of map practice is that as we are reading or hearing about European countries in the news, we can picture exactly where those countries are and how they relate to each other by consulting our mental map. This mental map is created by the regular tracing and drawing of Europe, which is so much more effective than just looking at pictures.
I always recommend resources like Drawing Around the World: Europe because of the flexible, stress-free learning opportunity it provides for homeschool students. It is particularly useful for relaxed homeschoolers, unit studies with multiple aged children, and Charlotte Mason homeschoolers.
Read more reviews of resources from Brookdale House, then find out more about them on social media: