project geography nerd

ian's current obsession is u.s. geography. he reads/looks at his atlas everyday and likes to look for cities with the same name in different states. he pretty much learned all of the states and their capitals by doing a puzzle of the united states at my mom's house over and over again. i had no idea he knew most of them (except for the smaller east coast states because the pieces in the puzzle for them were so small) until he started quizzing me and i didn't know the answers!

over spring break he finished learning all of the capitals, and i learned the states and capitals because i actually never learned either when i was in school. and i can't stand not knowing what ian knows -- gotta stay at least on the same level as my five year old!

the other night at my in-laws' house ian was showing off his geography skills. someone asked him what states bordered canada and he prattled them off: washington, idaho, montana, north dakota, minnesota, michigan, new york, vermont, new hampshire, maine, and alaska. my father-in-law asked, "what about the state uncle A lives in?" (i.e., wisconsin), but it turns out that part of michigan lies between wisconsin and canada, so ian was right. (i, of course, thought wisconsin touched canada, so i was wrong and i'm obviously not on the same level as my five year old.)

we have a huge world map hanging in our hallway, and ian likes to stop at least once a day to find something interesting on the map. sometimes it's about how close south america is to antarctica, or how much desert there is in africa, or the tundra in the north. he likes to look at the list of the biggest countries in the world, and find out about population density.

seriously, geography is beginning to be a true obsession.

so, this summer we'll be working on world geography. we're getting our reference collection together: three world atlases (kid's version, pocket version, and one in japanese), the map in the hallway, a globe at my parent's house, and the fabulous pocket world in figures from the economist magazine, which i snagged from a friend's house.

if all goes according to plan, project geography nerd will be a success and ian will be prepared for the geography bee ... when he's in fourth grade!


hobokener said...

that so reminds me of me at a similar age. I had a book on the 50 states and poured over it time and time again. And it's pretty much stuck through life - I can still stare at maps for hours.

allison said...

project geography nerd sounds AWESOME! wow, what a brainy boy. i can't wait for him to win the geography bee!

Steliza said...

When I finally get to see you in person again, promise me there will not be a quiz. I knew all this stuff in 7th grade, honestly, but I replaced this random knowledge with more important facts like 80's music song lyrics and how to use crafty type tools!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to your son on memorizing the United States and Capitals!

The trick, however, is remembering them years later. But there is a fun set of flash cards I know of that can help you remember them forever. They have funny pictures that stick in your brain. Check it out at: