|Synopsis of the Runkle Geography Program:
As adults we know a task must be repeated time and time again until it becomes second nature to us. My mapping method stresses this belief. It is very structured and uses all four methods of learning. Not all students learn in the same manner, so we offer the complete range of learning styles. Students will read, speak, listen, and manipulate on a daily basis.
The text is written in daily lessons making it much easier to plan a day's or week's activities. Starting and stopping points can be easily determined. The text is also conversational, addressing the students, asking them questions, reminding them of other lessons, and asking for interpretation of information. There are very few unassociated facts.
The story of geography is woven like a tapestry. It all goes together to form an intriguing story. Our earth is so interesting. One goal is for the student to travel down the highway not playing their video games, but looking out the windows thinking about what they see. What kind of climate is here? How does one region change into another? How has the land changed to meet the needs of the people there? Are these trees indigenous to this region?Are farmers trying to grow a crop here that really doesn't belong? Is the land being eroded because of agricultural or industrial use? How has this road changed the lay of the land? How has it changed the character of the community around it? Why is this town here, at this particular location? Why did this city thrive and the one down the road become a ghost town? Are these people like my community or different? Are there any regional specialities in the grocery stores? How about okra? How are the houses built? Is there a regional architecture? Do the houses in Seattle look like those in Boston? So much to think about!
Fun, silly ways to learn!
I have used a lot of mnemonics, which are fun, silly ways of remembering things. For instance did you know that "very cold elephants prefer chile"? They do if you are learning countries of South America! If you listen to "radio station SMHEO" you have learned the Great Lakes in order (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario). "HOMES" may be the acronym, but you cannot place the lakes in correct relative location. That doesn't help much!
Continent by continent by continent......
Each continent comes with a written text and a series of maps. I want the student to not only know the countries, their capitals, correct spelling, and relative location but important physical features such as natural boundaries.We introduce rivers as natural boundaries in the map series. When you study Physical Geography, Unit 1, you will discover other natural boundaries as well.
Don't panic now!
You, as the parent or teacher, do not have to have all this knowledge in the beginning. Learn along with the students. Love of learning should be a life-long experience!
What else do you need?
This program was designed to be used without any additional materials. However, I always recommend a globe, atlas, and almanac simply because they are such good teaching tools.
Welcome to the wonderful world of geography!
Brenda Runkle, Author