Who wants to win “Draw Africa”?

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So I'm in love with these geography drawing books. I heard about them recently, and couldn't wait to get my hands on one.  I started with the Draw Africa book because we're focusing on that continent this year in Cycle 1 of Classical Conversations.  I've loved them so much that I've added them to my resource list for Foundations and Challenge A...and when I make my list for Challenge 1, I just might add the Draw the USA book for those who missed Challenge A.  I'm so excited to share this great resource that I'm giving one away!!

Learn to Draw Africa


In Challenge A, we worked on drawing the world, but I didn't have these resources by Kristin J. Draeger.  Recently I recommended these books to a friend who will have a son moving up to Challenge next year, and she went home and ordered the Draw the USA book.  Not long after, I received a text with her first stab at drawing the United States. About the same time, I showed another friend, who also has a son entering Challenge A, my Draw Africa book. She too went home and purchased the book.  Then I heard the response of their experiences with the books along with pictures:

Drawing the USA and Africa

These are amazing drawings for a first stab!!  My favorite part was the comments that came with the drawings.

The first mother said of her drawing: "So exciting to be redeeming my own education!"

The second mother said of her son's drawing: "Any book that helps my son do this is a winner. ‪#‎WorthEveryPenny‬ DrawingTheWorld"

My family sat down the other day to draw Africa.  What I love about how the books are laid out is that she works through each continent one shape at a time. Additionally, each page only contains one single step.  Tackling the entire continent can be overwhelming.  Thankfully, she's made each step seem so easy, that you don't get lost.

Family map drawing time

I took my book to the office supply store and had them cut the spine off of the book.  Typically I would spiral something like this because I'm addicted to spiraling.  However, I thought that if I put these pages into page protectors, my youngest could practice some tracing with a dry erase marker, but it would also preserve a book that I foresee enduring a lot of kid handling.  The binder above contains the Draw Africa book along with the Draw Europe book.

11 year old drawing africa

Starting with the Red Sea, the book leads the student across the northern section of Africa and then works its way down.  This time I was only overseeing their drawings because I was also taking pictures!  However, this also allowed a great opportunity to steer conversations as they drew.

Will: It would be cool to label all of these countries in the African language.

Me:  Does all of Africa speak one language?

Will: I guess not.  I didn't think about that.

Me: What languages do they speak?

Grace: French and German?

Me: Well, yes.  That's true, but why do they speak those languages?

Grace: Because the French and the Germans invaded them.

Me: Exactly.  Why did they invade?

Grace: Slavery.

Me: Were the only ones that invaded looking for slaves?  Can you think of anyone else who invaded that wasn't involved in the slave trade?

Will & Grace: Umm

Me: Hey dad...can you think of anyone?

Dad: Missionaries.

Will: Right - like David Livingstone!

Grace: And Mary Slessor...the one who took care of all of the kids!

Me: Yeah, and stomped through the jungle singing hymns at the top of her lungs so she wouldn't scare the locals or the jungle animals.

Our conversation continued, but you get the idea.  A few good questions and all of the sudden drawing Africa isn't just a task to complete, but an experience rich with discussion.

dad joins in drawing africa

Just because it's laid out for you, it doesn't mean there is no observation or drawing skills required.  I loved to see my kids comparing proportion in order to get their drawings to look right.

measuring scale of countries

Now my youngest (9) hung in there for a while, but she didn't make it through the whole book in one setting.  I plan on taking the whole year to work on this drawing, so I'm not concerned.  Similar to how she works on her Suzuki piano, I'll have her practice a little bit until she has mastered that section before she adds more to her drawing.

needing a little break after drawing

Everyone else finished their drawings in a short amount of time and with encouraging results.  We were so blessed to find a resource like this that I couldn't wait to share it with you!

final drawings

My 11 year old's drawing with her daddy's behind it.

Here’s the details: the contest starts today (8/5/15) and ends next Friday  (8/14/15) so that I can announce the winner on Facebook sometime over the weekend. If you win, I will email you, and you must respond within 24 hours, or I will choose a new winner. Use the rafflecopter giveaway box below to enter.  There are several ways you can earn more chances: Visit us on Facebook and give us a "like" if you like, or tweet the offer, or simply leave a comment below why you should win this book!

So … enter already! This contest is now closed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Shari on August 5, 2015 at 9:03 am

    I want this for myself! I know so little about Geography. Would love to have it for our homeschool stash. Thanks for hosting!

    • Betsy on August 5, 2015 at 9:59 am

      I know! I loved learning to draw with my son. I’d love to see how you add your artistic touch!

  2. Stephanie on August 5, 2015 at 10:21 am

    I can’t believe I am just now experiencing your blog!! I also LOVE your post on scheduling. Came on here to look at that again before my big planning weekend and saw this! I want to win the Draw Africa book!! I am a Geography major… even have a Masters in Geography and have never drawn the world. hmmm Thanks Betsy!!

    • Betsy on August 5, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      A geography major! How cool is that! I’d love to hear more about your geography studies sometime.

  3. Kimberly on August 5, 2015 at 11:20 am

    We’d love to win this book! It is on our wishlist as our kids call Africa home anyway.

    BTW, there are lots of African countries where French is an official language (francophone), and several where Portuguese is an official language (lusaphone), even several where English is an official language (anglophone), but to my knowledge there are no African countries where German is still an official language. There are, on the other hand, more than 2,000 African languages and regional trade languages used everyday. Your fun linguistic fact of the day!

    • Betsy on August 5, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      I had no idea that Portuguese was an official language in Africa! As far as the German goes, I was thinking of Afrikaans (a West Germanic language) which is spoken in Namibia and South Africa. We have some friends that run a school in Namibia. We began to research the country and we were fascinated with the German Colonial roots in cities like Windhoek and Swakopmund. What I am truly fascinated with is the 2,000 African languages used every day. They are truly linguists to admire! Thanks for the great info

  4. Vernine Blaszczyk on August 5, 2015 at 11:38 am

    I want to win!!!! I love HOW knowing where a place is deepens my understanding of history, art and science (not to mention geography). This book makes this attainable through a simple step-by-step approach. The act of drawing the countries makes real the shape, boarders, and features of those countries. I can read, learn the history, and understand the culture and the politics of those people that live near the Red sea better because I know what the Red sea looks like and where it fits on the map. I want the book 0-0

    • Betsy on August 5, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      It is amazing how much knowing how everything fits together deepens one’s understanding! Love it!

  5. Liz on August 5, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    This would be a wonderful activity to do with my grandkids, and maybe I could learn to draw it too!

  6. Sandy on August 5, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    This resource has moved to the top of our wish list as I continue to hear so many great things about it. I would love the opportunity to use it with my son and encourage others in our CC community that geography can be fun and doable!

  7. Christy on August 5, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    The only one I don’t have…until she makes more! Love what this has done for my kids’ confidence!

  8. Sara on August 6, 2015 at 7:00 am

    This looks so exciting and makes drawing the countries not so overwhelming. Would love this resource for my boys!!

  9. Mary on August 6, 2015 at 7:33 am

    How have I not heard of this book? Thanks!

  10. Nancy Smith on August 6, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I think I want all of these …

    Also seriously looking forward to this year, Betsy!!

    • Betsy on August 6, 2015 at 6:48 pm

      Yay! They are all wonderful. I’m so glad you’re excited about entering Challenge! It’s going to be a great year!

  11. Gale on August 7, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    I’d love something that would help our family with geography.

  12. Julie Anderson on August 8, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    I would love to add this to our curriculum this year! I’ve been telling everyone about your map madness idea, and I plan to add that aspect into our CC review. Also, I want to focus some time this year specifically on geography of these civilizations we are studying this year. I have the 3-volume set of A Child’s Geography, but I do not have anything to help us learn to draw Africa! This will also be the last year of Foundations for my oldest before he enters Challenge next year, so I want to prepare him this year for this Challenge strand. Would love to win this one! 🙂 Thank you for all that you share with us ~ Julie

  13. Donna on August 9, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Would love to win this! 🙂

  14. Tricia Prozik on August 9, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Would LOVE to use this with not only with my children, but I am also hoping to teach Challenge A next year!! 🙂

    • Betsy on August 9, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      Awesome! I love Challenge A. It’s a huge year for the kids, but it was also a wonderful year of learning for me as the tutor!

  15. Donna on August 9, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Would love to win this to help with our Classical Conversations Foundations and Challenge Geography seminars! 🙂

  16. Amy charbonneau on August 10, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Looks great! Would love to learn how to draw Africa 🙂

  17. Lynette on August 10, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Every year, I say I am going to give a higher priority to geography and by Christmas, I feel like i have failed yet again. THIS is the year! We will learn to draw Africa…and I’d love to have this book to help us on our way.

  18. Sheila on August 11, 2015 at 12:56 am

    I’ve never heard of this and it looks like a wonderful resource to accompany our geography study this year.

  19. Jana on August 11, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Hi Betsy! I just put this book into my cart on Amazon shortly before seeing your post. Sure would be awesome to win it! 🙂

  20. Starla on January 10, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    I was wondering how you go about getting the spine removed to the book. I have never heard of this, but opens up a whole new world for my homeschool resources.

    • Betsy on January 10, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      I just take it to Office Depot or Staples and ask them to cut the spine off. It’s amazing!

  21. Lauran on June 7, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Thank you for the review- going to purchase it now (it hung out in my amazon cart for awhile 😉 Will you have definitive resource guides for Cycle 2 for us newbies to the cycle? (PLEAAAASEEEE?)

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