Monday, June 14, 2010

The Beginning of Jack's Love For Geography

On our Unschooling Blog, I've been transcribing some of the massive notes I took when Jack was a year old. It's fun to read back and remember those days.

Today I posted about June 17, 2003, and there was something of historical significance there. Well, I mean it was historically significant for our family; not necessarily significant for the whole world.

Jack was a geography prodigy as a toddler. I say "was" simply because he's not really into it anymore. But he probably still knows more geography than the average adult.

People could name almost any country, and Jack could find it on a globe. It was AMAZING. We could have totally exploited the kid on various talks shows. And we would have (especially if there was money involved), but Jack was also a very fearful child. He was terrified of being photographed at one of those mall kid-friendly formal photography studios. There's no way he would have been okay in a TV studio.

Anyway, June 17 is the day we bought educational placemats at the Fort Worth Museum. It's these placemats that began the whole geography thing. I hadn't remembered exactly how it began, but it turns out I have the incident recorded.

In my calender note-taking thing I wrote, ...used world map for lunch. He pointed to Australia. I said that's where The Wiggles are, and sang a Wiggles song. He thought that was hilarious, and kept pointing.

I LOVE that. It's fun to imagine that he was maybe trying to tell me something. Maybe Jack somehow knew that Australia would become very important to our family.

I continued doing mini geography lessons in this fashion. I'd point to various countries and connect them to pop culture. Japan is where Pokemon is from. China is where Sagwa the cat is from. The UK is where Winnie-the-Pooh is from.... I think this helped Jack build an interest in geography, because he's always had a passion for pop culture. Then once the interest was there, he grew to love geography in general.

I really love that it all began with Australia.