Globe Woes

Most certainly not to be confused with global woes, these are just the ridiculous ramblings of a homeschool mother perhaps a bit more than a little obsessed with geographical teaching aids.  I love to travel, and I want to surround my kids with the world and just how big it is.  My girls seem to share this fascination.  In fact, Boo was inspired all on her own the other day to draw this.    I found it on the desk downstairs.  She was so perturbed with herself when she realized, upon comparison with the wall map, that she had neglected to include Australia, that I decided not to tell her what else she had left out.

As much as I’m drawn to globes, maps, and geography apps, I don’t always have the greatest of luck with those purchases.  The wall map’s push pins are always wriggling their way out of the gyprock.  My favourite atlas app takes up way too much space to run smoothly on the kids’ iPad.  And we recently broke our third globe!  Yes, I know.  I just need to bite the bullet and get a really good quality, unbreakable globe.  Do they even make such a thing?  On second thought, I don’t think I’m brave enough to shell out that kind of money, given our track record in this department.

For Christmas we bought the kids the coolest 3D puzzle globe.  I thought, Yes!  This will work wonderfully.  Even if Little Mister throws it or drops it, it’s meant to come apart; and we can always just put the pieces back together again.      I could not have been more optimistic about this purchase.  That is, until it had been together all of one day and the cheap plastic stand it clipped into broke.  What a disappointment!  Belle spun it a little too fast and it fell a foot and a half from the coffee table to the floor and broke its stand.  Well, now we have a cool world ball that rolls relentlessly.  Today C-Bear asked me which way the world is tilted on its axis.  I knew she was looking at our puzzling globe.  Oh, one day…one day we will conquer this curse.  

I laugh when I think back to the Christmas before last when we were actually considering buying the kids a talking globe.  I wonder how long that feature would have lasted??  Would it have had a chance to teach us anything before it died?  Instead, we opted for the LeapFrog floor map with the talking pen.  It still works, but I can’t remember the last time one of the kids dug it out.  Go figure!

In my mind, there is something important about being able to see the world in all of its spherical substance, as opposed to Alaska and Russia on opposite ends of a poster.  (That’s one reason I love, love, love that Barefoot Atlas app for the iPad.) However, a strategically placed wall map can be a handy thing too.  Until now, we have been using these printable continent maps for looking up places in our daily readings. They hang in page protectors, close to all of our school supplies and books so we can conveniently grab them, but the place names are tiny and sometimes difficult to decipher (especially for young ones who are still learning their basic geography).  So I couldn’t resist this peel and stick National Geographic wall map the other day at Indigo.  No tacks or push pins required.  Now, if we could have just avoided hanging it crookedly…  

 …baby steps, baby steps.

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