Since its advent, the GPS has been a great ally for Americans, but it has also been a great pitfall. Where before we had to pick up maps to find our way around, we now just search for directions to our specific location. This saves energy, and what normal person wants to waste energy on something we don’t have to? However, the result is that the American population’s geography skills continue to diminish.
At Lake Forrest Prep, a private school in Orlando, we would like to fight against this trend, and, instead, promote global knowledge. Not only do we want to enhance knowledge of the global landscape, but of cultures, as well. It all starts with our children. Take note of these helpful tips, and in no time at all, your child will be able to tell you where Indonesia, Ireland, and Detroit are all located on a map. And they will know what living is like in each region.
- Parlez Vous Two Languages? The best time to learn languages is as a child, when your brain works more like a sponge, absorbing easily what older people have trouble absorbing. Teach your child a new language, or a few, and you will be forced to pick at least some of it up along the way. Later, your child will not have as much of the same apprehension others feel about traveling outside the country because they will be confident in the fact that they know multiple languages.
- Maps in the House: If there is an empty wall in the house, paste a global map on it. Make sure on a nearby table, or on a shelf, an atlas is handy. Whenever a faraway land is mentioned in a book or on a television program, locate it on a map with your child. Read books and news articles with your child about places around the world. Instead of watching cartoons during television time, the TV could be used to watch series like Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth.
- The Worldwide Web: Fitting a trip to somewhere else on the globe may not be in the cards for your family financially, but the Internet can help to offset this disheartening reality. Take a trip around the world using the satellite images provided on maps.google.com. Look up recipes from around the world, celebrate a foreign holiday like Basanth or May Day. Or, just get those passports ready, find your destination, and take a trip!
It is vital for our future that our children know about places outside of America. At Lake Forrest Prep, an excellent private school in Orlando, we encourage our students to branch out and broaden their horizons. So, come on and grab your bags. We’re heading out!