How to Schedule a Year of Cartography

So you’ve decided to learn geography with cartography! Congratulations! This is really exciting! You’ll be having fun and using different parts of the brain as you draw all these unique shapes while you grow familiar with the world we live in.

You can find more great cartography resources on our main cartography page.

Hopefully, you’ve already picked up our “Anyone Can Draw the World” PDF package or Video course. It’s a collection of digital downloads that show you, step-by-step, HOW to draw each geographical area. My files also include detailed and simplified maps, ideal for tracing, coloring, labeling, or studying. 

If you’re part of a Classical Conversations Challenge A community, you’ll receive a Challenge Guide with a 30-week schedule telling you which region to draw which week. If you are not part of CC, you can download my schedule suggestion below. There’s an option for a 30-week school year and a 36-week school year.

My schedule is a little different than CC’s based on my experience and what worked best for our family. For example, my schedule doesn’t separate the weeks you learn country names from the weeks you learn physical features. We instead decided to focus primarily on country and city names (and state/territory names in the US, Canada, and Australia). When we did learn some of the region’s physical features, we simply added them alongside the names of the countries and cities.

Cartography class

What to Actually Do Each Day

Since we attend our homeschool community one day a week, we worked on our cartography at home 4 days per week. Each day my son would choose one of the following activities:

  • Trace a detailed map.
  • Label the countries and cities of a pre-drawn map or a blank printed map, paying careful attention to spelling.
  • Trace a simplified map and label the countries.
  • Sketch a simplified map while looking at a map, and label each county with the first three letters of the country’s name.
  • Take time to draw the best map you can, while looking at a map.
  • Draw a map from memory and label all the countries you remember. Check it against a labeled map and write in corrections with a red pen.

If he was being careful it took about 45 minutes. If he was focused and fast (and sometimes a little sloppy), he got this subject done in about 20 minutes. I only required that he wrote his name and date on his work and show it to me when he was done. I was pleasantly surprised that he often took the time to create some beautiful maps!

You can see all my cartography-related resources here.

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