Heather asked how I decided about our Geography Study.
As I thought through what we were going to do this year before starting our History rotation next year, I thought having an idea of the world and where places were would be a good idea. Last summer we had a school "dry run" where we studied Ohio, the United States, Canada, and Mexico ... North America.
When we started this year, we moved on to Central America. In February, we'll study South America, then Europe, Asia, The Middle East, Africa, Antarctica, and Australia. I plan/hope to be done with our Geography Study mid-August.
The first week of any continent/region will be studying the area as a whole. Then I chose 2 to 5 countries to focus on for a week or so at a time. I chose those countries in several ways; 1) places where I or someone I know have gone and have personal resources (My parents & I have been to Honduras, my parents have been through the Panama Canal, my SIL spent a year in Chile, etc.), 2) countries that are important based on land-mass or economics of the region (Panama because of the canal, Brazil, Russia which spans two continents, etc.), 3) countries that are important to history/western civ/development of the US (Egypt, Israel, UK, France), and 4) countries that are representative of a continent or region and there are library resources available (South Africa, Kenya).
Hope that helps!