Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Friday, December 1, 2006

Approaching U.S. Geography

As we approach our studies, I keep remembering how I studied certain subjects in public school. For the record, I loved school-I loved the interaction with my teachers, fellow students, the activities and clubs. Of course the main thing I didn't like was the socialization aspect of public school. I feel homeschooling is a much more healthier environment for a student socially and academically if the parents are willing to involve their children in activities outside of the home after a certain age. I don't think this is truly a problem with a lot of homeschoolers, sometimes the problem is that there are too many outside activities.

I happen to have fond memories of my school years, including elementary social studies. Granted, we used textbooks but it was interesting learning about U.S. history and about the world we live in. I've been thinking about 2nd grade for Camille and since we're going to touch a little on the discovery of America, I decided it would be best to start a little U.S.A. project.

The original thought was to read a few books about Georgia and do an informal study, but after finding out this isn't necessary for standardized testing purposes, I decided to expand that idea. We're going to start a notebook of the states. There are a few products in the homeschooling world to help with this. The one I am most impressed with and will use is Hold That Thought's United States Geography notebooking cd. It is for 4th grade and up but I figured that we could use whatever forms we'd like and add to the notebook as Camille matures in her studies.

Another one that caught my attention was Homeschool EStore's My Book of State History. It is along the same lines as the Hold That Thought product but doesn't seem to have all the same features. It is cheaper though.

Notgrass has a few state history curriculums but is for older students and a little pricey for my taste. Carole Marsh is an author that has written state books for every state in a fun and interesting format that is perfect for ages 5-14. You can find her books at Amazon, some of the homeschooling online stores and your public library. The best thing about Carole Marsh's books is that they are approved by each state's educational standards so most libraries have them on their shelves. Another resource for state histories can be found at

This link will enrich any study of the U.S. - How about books to read for each state?

My plan is to make this very informal, studying one state every two weeks or one state a month in the order in which they became states. We'll learn about state birds, flowers, songs, etc. The fun stuff. I won't be requiring any memorization about this, it's just a little side project that's meant to be fun.


No comments: