My biggest thought came the same way as our learning about history.... we should start with the United States! After all, we do live here :-). So, I tried without any luck to find state curriculum all contain in one place (until today when I went to grab links for this post and noticed that Road Trip USA is now being offered by Confessions and it looks awesome! Plus, there's a giveaway on her site right now). Anyway, I set out to find websites that would help me piece together information for my children, and free is definitely affordable for me! So, since we live in New Mexico, here are the links I found for our state. We learned about the state flower... which is awesome because the yucca is everywhere and my children now point them out as we're out and about... and bird, colored and found out why our flag looks the way it does, and even colored an A-Z picture book of all things New Mexico. I'll post that information here, and then next week I'll make a post of our next state (Nevada, since dad gets stuck there a lot):
http://www.newmexico.org/kids/learn/index.php is our state website and has A LOT of really interesting information. Under the activities tab is where I found the A-Z coloring book that my children grab on their own everyday and ask me questions about without any prompting from me. Sometimes just having things available makes a huge impact!
http://www.kidzone.ws/geography/usa/ has become my number one "go to" site for state information. Here is where we found a picture of our flag to color, as well as some history on it. Here is also where we found pictures to color and information on our state bird: the roadrunner and our state flower: the yucca, and after learning about the two separately my children were set off on their own creativity to color a picture of both together.
I have to note here one thing about coloring these last pictures. Remember my daughter that learns a little differently? Well, coloring a white yucca flower that's only tinted green was kind of disturbing for her. She felt like it should be multi-colored (well, she feels like everything should be multi-colored and comes up with some AMAZING things because of it), so guess what? I authorized multi-colored yucca flowers and a purply/blue roadrunner. Why? Well, I took into consideration why we homeschool. She knows what the roadrunner and yucca look like.... she's seen pictures and can answer questions. Sure coloring the picture "true to life" may have helped solidify in her mind what they look like, but who's to say that not doing it would destroy the reality of what it really is. I bring this up because I think we can really easily get caught up in "the right way" of doing things and forget that sometimes (especially in minuscule situations like this) it just doesn't matter! Yes, I'm trying to teach what these things look like, but if she knows what they look like and would just prefer to do it differently, then why not? We homeschool because our children have different personalities and ways of seeing the world, embrace it! There's a time and place for learning exactness, this isn't one of them.
I'll update you on our further state learning finds each Monday! Do you have any US Geography favorites? The one thing that I wanted to do that didn't happen this week was get books from the library that would go along with the state of the week. Hopefully this week I can grab some that will be helpful for you too!