Here are my thoughts and reasons for some of the changes made to Charlotte’s Geographical Reader:
Title Change to Living Geography.
Charlotte titled her book Geographical Reader Book I Elementary Geography. This title, rightly so, gives the connotation that this book is for the younger student. Charlotte did intend her book for a younger audience, but that does not mean an older student wouldn’t gain anything from it. I noticed with older students who used this text, things that were fuzzy came to light. Because I wrote the Teacher’s Notes with work for the family including older students, I did not want to box this text or curriculum into a title which appeared that it was limited to younger students. Also, the word ‘Reader’ is not typically used in modern titles. But primarily Living Geography became the title because it appealed to me.
Revision of text.
The original Geographical Reader I was written from Charlotte’s British perspective and addressed to British students. I reworked the text to be more applicable to a child in the United States. I changed British spelling to US spelling. The majority of the children reading this text will be from the United States. Knowing that visualizing words is how a Living Education approaches spelling, I thought it best to be consistent, presenting to the student how the word is to be spelled. My apologies to my Canadian and British friends.
Some topics in the original got a very loose brushing over, such as a one sentence mention of the Indian Ocean. This and others, were expanded in the text. For the oceans in particular, I wrote additional text so each would have its own lesson. This also created the opportunity for a full Map Question lesson for each ocean.
Occasionally I changed wording to make the picture clearer. I especially re-worked the doll facing the North Star section and the drawing a plan section. My children and I had found these lessons highly confusing, with tears. It will still take some careful reading to understand the process. I debated about eliminating parts completely, but, upon careful thought, decided these difficult sections also comprise a valuable part of education by learning to follow instructions in written form rather than watching a tutorial or viewing pictures. It is not easy in our virtual, instant, tutorial world, but worth the effort.
Historical facts were updated such as a reference to Galileo being 300 years ago and the North Pole being still undiscovered. I removed or changed reference to peoples of other countries which I found outdated. Throughout their formal educational years and transitioning into life long learning, a person’s own reading and observation will provide more benefit to understanding other peoples than a blanket statement at this juncture. Occasionally I found errors or inconsistencies with italics and other grammar.
I do have a document which records of each and every comma, space, hyphen, spelling and hiccup that I made to the original text. Thought that might be a bit too much scouring to post.