Tag Archives: aspie

Happy, Appy Friday: Geography Version

Like many homeschoolers, I suppose, Fridays are frequently field trip days.  We pack a lunch or eat out, and don’t slow ourselves down by schlepping around heavy books.  Instead, we try to read a chapter en route, take time to appreciate a brief observation in nature, and, of course make real use of our ipad.  Netflix, Youtube and a variety of learning apps have been a wonderful way for us to supplement our day, or refocus when things go awry.  The boys’ favorites are the geography apps.

All apps listed can be purchased for only $1.99 or $.99.

GeoBee Challenge HD by National Geographic

iPad Screenshot 1

Do you think  you know geography?  This will whip you in shape whether you are looking to kill a few minutes waiting in line, or seriously preparing for the National Geography Bee.  There are three types of play with this app.  The first is a series of constantly new, multiple choice questions.  The second is pinpointing the locations of countries and cities on the global map.  The third, and most challenging level, is identifying the location of unidentified photographs.  Some are landscapes, others are famous landmarks.  There is currently a problem with the second level freezing, but they should be fixing this soon.

Geomaster 2

iPhone Screenshot 1

This was our first geography app, and none of us are tired of it yet.  Geomaster quizzes you on the locations of countries, cities, regions and flags.  Not only are you timed, but you also acquire extra points the more accurate you are.  I dare you to pinpoint Djibouti, Djibouti with 100% accuracy.

Stack the States

iPhone Screenshot 1

This is S’s favorite app.  It is probably the most visually appealing to a child, and gives plenty of incentives.  Once you sign in you are able to collect states as you answer questions on  states, capitals, flags, and landmarks.  Be careful you stack the states properly or they just might topple over.  There are different games you can open once you pass various levels.

Stack the Countries

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S plays Stack the States, but A enjoys the extra challenge of Stack the Countries.  This app is set up precisely the same way but with a global focus.  Photographs of scenes from around the globe serve as the background.

A Montessori  Approach to Geography

iPad Screenshot 1

Montessori has a series of wonderful geography apps to familiarize children to maps and the globe.  With standard Montessori colors, this app teaches and quizzes the user on the shapes, names and locations of countries, continents, rivers and oceans.  The image shown is just for the Europe app.

Geography remains an important subject to study.  It allows younger students a greater understanding of who and where they are in the world.  For older ones, it facilitates a larger interest in humanity.  Geography encompasses not only the study of maps and  topography, but also anthropology, religions, politics, cultures and languages.  For my aspie, geography provides a field of study which encourages flexible thinking.  If we can accept another’s way of life across the globe as legitimate,  perhaps we can tolerate the person down the street, as well.

Primarily, however, we study geography for the same reasons we study nature and science and history : it is all part of God’s creativity.

“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,

the world, and all who live in it;

for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.”  Psalm 24:1-2

“C” is for Cowboy

My little G has presented me with new opportunities to focus on early literacy.  There is a wide enough gap between S and G that I was nearly out of practice.  And to be honest, I am not sure I had much practice to begin with.  If my memory serves me correctly, A came out of the womb half-literate.  By the time he was four he was trying to write the name of Central Asian countries, and at four and a half he could spell “micropachycephalosaurus.”  Remember, this is the aspie we are talking about here, the one who must know everything dealing with his chosen subject.  That last word, by the way, is a type of dinosaur, and please don’t look it up, because I may have spelled it incorrectly.  Perhaps it is because I have simply forgotten, or perhaps, sadly, because S is a middle child, but I have few memories of him really learning to read.  Somewhere between four and six, he did learn.  So,  now, here I am with G reading book after book, revelling in environmental print, finding ways to incorporate words and letters into our play dough or painting or bathtime.

Here is what we have done the last couple of days.

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I know that this is not an original idea, particularly.  I have seen preschools and websites galore allowing children to explore the large forms of letters.  We decided to make this on our kitchen floor with blue painters tape.  Creating the curve of the letter ‘C’ with straight tape was more difficult than I imagined, but G recognized it immediately.  That is mostly what I cared about.

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‘C’ is for cowboy.  Here he is lining up his Papo and Lego cowboy figures in formation.

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‘C’ is also for car.   He showed a bit more enthusiasm for driving his car along the ‘C’ than I expected.  Generally, he is not a car enthusiast.  Completely the opposite from how A was at this age!

Next, letter is                                                                                                                       !!!!!November 2013 009

And yet, I am not sure how much he is really getting out of this.  He spends the vast amount of his time actually looking at his books and focusing on word recognition: cat, farmer, happy……oh, and consequences, of all things!  Regardless of which of my boys I am talking about, I am fairly confident that the literacy activity which is 100% effective is, of course, reading, reading, reading and more reading.  Who doesn’t love a good story?  Or sharing it with someone they love?

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