everyday homeschooling blog


Jun 26, 2013

Good Old Map Reading

MaryAnn Gaver

     "Trust the GPS," Jay told me on the phone before I installed the new contraption on the dash board of my old white van a few years back.  It was a breeze finding my way to the Science Center in Baltimore, Maryland that afternoon. I loved having help on every turn, and eventually became quite dependent on my new navigator. Then, one evening several months later while the twins and I were on our way home from a music recital, I realized that I often allowed my brain to switch to autopilot, and had neglected many great opportunities to teach the boys how to read a real road map...

      I decided that our new GPS was now called the Gaver Positioning System. In other words, I wanted the boys to be adept at map reading (even in the city). I encouraged them to understand coordinates, distance, and using their own brains when navigating! I continued to use the old GPS in unfamiliar cities, but tried to look at a map first, and always had a road atlas at hand.

      I encourage you to take out your road maps this summer. They're outdated and falling apart you say? No problem. RandMcNally.com has great resources such as kid's maps, atlases, and travel games that can make being on the road this summer a great learning experience for your family.

      As you plan a car trip, open the map or road atlas on the kitchen table, and let your children see the route you'll be taking. They'll love to be part of the planning, and will enjoy learning how to navigate. Plus, they're sure to become more aware of their surroundings as you drive.

      If you're not taking a big trip, find local maps, and let your kids find the way to the park, Grandma's house, or a friend's home. 

     Safe travels! And God bless you as you chart your course this summer!