Friday, September 18, 2009

Do Children Need To Learn How To Use Maps?

Baby picked up Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery and Where It Stops Nobody Knows by Amy Ehrlich from her school library.

I always enjoyed Anne of Green Gables, so I'm looking forward to stealing moments here and there to read it. But I started out with Where It Stops Nobody Knows and out loud a couple of pages near the end of the book while we prepared supper. [I always read the end of a book first before I decide if I like it].

There's a part where Nina, the teenage main character, looks through maps with another girl to show her where the many places she has travelled.

Baby: What's a map?
Me: Oh, you know. Those big books that have drawings of all the countries in the world. You use them to find places, even street addresses.
Baby: [looking puzzled]: Sounds like waay too much work. Why can't the person just use Google Earth to find places? Or GPS if you only have an address but don't know how to get there?

Ja, I know it comes from growing up with a geeky mother who relied heavily on GPS. But I think it's time I invested in a map. I don't know whether Baby will understand why I want her to look for countries and places using it, rather Google Earth. I'm not even too sure if I'm romanticising something that is actually obsolete. But %^$#%! I can't have my child growing up never having touched a map and thinking GPS is the answer to all directional troubles!

So what do you think? What's the advantage of teaching our children how to use maps, rather than relying GPS?


Tamara said...

Anne of Green Gables is my favourite childhood book. I thought I *WAS* Anne!

I can't believe they don't show kids maps in schools! We used them in geography to learn the names of South Africa's provinces etc.

BeckyJoie said...

Ya, map reading is a great skill that is definitely helpful when your GPS quits working or sends you off on a non-existant road.

Gaynor said...

Well ... maybe it's a Gemini kids born on the same day thing cos Andrew came home today saying he'd learned a skill that would help him survive on a desert island ... I told him I hoped he would never be alone on a desert island and asked him what it was and he said one of his friends had shown him how to light a cooking fire with glass :-s I extolled the virtues of not playing with fire, and that he could only try this with his dad or me present ... but I definitely think map reading would be important too! I loved Anne of Green Gables. Steal it away Damaria and reread it ...

Laura said...

I get lost all the time - really if I go somewhere new I get lost despite the many maps my mother draws for me!

So my kids know what maps are - Cameron can read them better than I can :)

They also have a map of the world in Cams room that I show them countries on!

So I suppose then to us it was important? But let me tell you if I had gps I would burn all maps cos I can not read them!

Damaria Senne said...

LOL Laura. I think you and Baby would get along famously!

Yet said...

Oh wow! haha. Call me crazy but I'd like to know how to get from point A to Point B if the internet and GPS stopped working.

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