I LOVED school this week – I mean LOVED. I knew that I would, I have been waiting to get into our state studies and it finally arrived this week. Surprisingly, as much as I was looking forward to our state studies, I wasn’t all that prepared. I had thrown around a couple of ideas as far as what our “process” would be with each state, but I hadn’t settled on anything for sure, and then all of a sudden… it was here.
I have several books that we will be reading/browsing for each state including:
- Greetings from the 50 States: How they got their names
- National Geographic United States Atlas
- It Happened in America: True Stories from the Fifty States
- The United States of America
- 50 Great States
- Scholastic Atlas of the United States
Then I use the MFW booklist and our local library to find a few books on the individual states to read.
Studying the States:
We are studying the states in the order of their statehood. For each state we are following the same basic process.
I state the name of the state and we locate it on the map. We talk about where it’s located and any distinguishing markers we can identify to remember it’s location. MFW states that the point is not to locate all 50 states, however, Treyton has already learned 20+ states, and has very strong map skills, so we are trying to focus, and reemphasize this strength of his. If he doesn’t learn all of the states, that’s okay, but I figure we will try.
We review the previous states we’ve studied at this point. I call out the name and Treyton locates it on the map. If he’s unable to find it based on the name alone, I provide some “helps”, like “Pennsylvania, they make chocolate and crayons there.” He is usually then able to find it, but if he can’t I will give him a nearby state that he knows and tell him that it’s near that one.
Next, we pull out our “state passport” from Confession’s of a Homeschooler’s Road Trip curriculum. The kids place the state flag sticker in their individual passports, and I date them (as their official travel guide).
Treyton colors in the state on his United States map.
I have the kids look at their state page (from MFW Adventures) and the state card, we talk about the state bird and flower. They then color their pages.
We then put a small journal-page together for each state. This includes a handwritten state title, a colored in US map, the MFW state card and a few stickers of items that are special to this state (ex: peaches for Georgia) and if we have a postcard from this state it goes on our page.
After this we take the Road Trip state card and hang it on the wall (in order) next to our book shelf, where we pull out our state books and begin reading about the new state.
If I’ve found a fun state activity to do, we usually do it after our reading time, or in the afternoon.
In addition to the state-of-the-day activities I found a Rhyming 50 States Song on Youtube that we listen to everyday as we try to learn the names of all 50 states. So far we’ve gotten “Alabama, and Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado and Connecticut and more.” The kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this and ask over-and-over to watch the song and video.
Our first state, we learned the Delaware is the second smallest state in the US.
- F is for First State A Delaware Alphabet
- Cornstalks and Cannonballs by Barbara Michell
- If you were there when they signed the Constitution
- Shhh We’re Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz
- We only read parts of this book
The second state to join the union. We learned that Pennsylvania is the home of Philadelphia where Benjamin Franklin was from (not born, but from :)) There is a lot of farming in Pennsylvania, and their football team is the Steelers, after the steel industry that once boomed in this state. The Liberty Bell once rang out here, and is still there today.
Books we Read for Pennsylvania:
After learning that Hershey chocolate is made in Pennsylvania, we decided to make a special treat using the state’s favorite product…
As the kids were eating their smores Treyton started talking about Philadelphia, about what it would be like to live there. As he talked I began writing a few of the things he said down. I printed it out later, and he added it to his United States Notebooking pages.
If I live in Pennsylivania….
… I would probably do a lot of chores
…. we would make a lot of chocolate and candy
…. A long time ago, I would only have one or two kinds of clothes
…. I might make crayons
…. I would probably see the liberty bell
Another small state, this state is home to Atlantic City, which is the basis of the popular real-estate game, Monopoly.
Known for growing peaches, this state also grows more pecans and peanuts than any other.
For Georgia, I made the kids peach cobbler. It went over pretty well, Treyton didn’t like the crust, but he liked the peaches. Alexa liked all of it, especially the whip cream and ice cream. I was actually surprised, but I liked it too!
Next week we are starting the Book Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, this week we read the book “Pioneer Girl: The Story of Laura Inglass Wilder” as an introduction.
This week, Alexa, Treyton and I went to go see a theatre showing of Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny. This was Alexa’s first theatre experience and Treyton’s third, I believe. It was really good!
Treyton started reading his first Magic Tree House chapter book (The Revolutionary War one) he read a total of 3 chapters this week. He hasn’t complained even once. He needs a little bit more help with this book, but he’s doing pretty well with it.
Next week we will be learning about 4 more states… can’t wait!