Nearly every Sunday afternoon we have the same routine. Everyone grabs a cup of their favorite hot beverage – coffee, hot cocoa, Raspberry Zinger tea – and we all sit on the big couch in the living room and explore the Holy Land together.
It started with a series of Promised Land videos from Brian Hardin of Daily Audio Bible on RightNow Media (if your church doesn’t have a subscription to RightNow Media, you will want to request they join so you can have access to this awesome library of resources!). I was home from church with sick little ones and I decided I would start watching Promised Land, only to find I couldn’t shut it off! I loved seeing all of the places mentioned in the Bible and listening to Brian weave the stories and make these places come to life for me. I’ve never been to the Holy Land, and really had no desire to go…that is, until I watched these videos! I had my kids sit and watch the videos as well, reminding them of places Daddy had talked about being during his deployment.
That’s when I remembered that years prior, I had purchased A Child’s Geography Volume II – Explore the Holy Land at a homeschool conference. We had used it for a short time, but after a rather abrupt move to a new home, I packed it away and promptly forgot about it. I dug around in my homeschool closet and found it, and we began again on Sunday afternoons as a fun time of family togetherness learning about places in the Bible and how they look today.
As with anything Ann Voskamp writes, the language can be a bit flowery at times (although less so than many of her books), and if you have an aversion to riding on a magic carpet in order to see all the lands of the Bible, then this might not be the book for you, but as with everything, I tweak to fit our family and it turns out much better than it would have if I had just read straight from the book. So, let me share with you how WE explore the Holy Land!
First of all, I should note that A Child’s Geography is actually a product of Knowledge Quest. (I realized as I was writing this post that I also have the Explore Medieval Kingdoms version of this series that I got from a homeschool bundle sale! I guess I know where we are headed next!)
I bring my laptop to the couch along with the book (and a cup of coffee – always a cup of coffee!) and use the mirroring feature with our Apple TV. The reason I do this is so that as we read, I can look up places and things mentioned in the book. (If you don’t have this option, you could use your computer screen and have your kids sit where they can see it.)
For instance, last week, we were finishing up the unit on Egypt. I Googled a map of Egypt so the kids could see exactly where we were up on the TV screen. When the book mentioned a satellite view of the delta, I Googled that too. We looked up pyramids and the Black Desert and the White Desert and camels and on and on, marveling at the amazing images. (You can read more about how we use Google Images in our homeschool here!)
Slow Sunday afternoons are such a good place to fit in those books or subjects you don’t always manage to get to during the week. You don’t have to tell the kids they are “doing school.” In fact, I would encourage you to not even consider it school in your own mind. It’s family time spent together doing something meaningful. It’s a fun way to spend cold weekends inside. It’s a way to learn more about the world around you or catch up on a family read-aloud. Enjoy the time together!