Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. ~ Margaret D. Nadald

Our Father also gifted us with the nature to nurture, keen sensitivity to the Spirit, selflessness, discernment, and heroic faith. No wonder our Father placed us at the heart of the family and thus at the center of the plan of salvation. We are the Lord's secret weapon. ~ Sheri Dew

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28 March 2011

Studying the States

I have been thinking a lot about geography lately, and was trying to come up with the best way to teach it to my children that would be fun and affordable. This all came to me while I was looking at confessionsofahomeschooler. She had laid out what I thought was a really good world geography curriculum called Expedition Earth and that was inspiring. However, as I sifted through what was there and what I would need to acquire, I realized that this just wasn't for me right now.

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):
Learn about State symbols

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!


Courtney Wilson said...

Thanks for these resources! I plan on adding geography for next year!

crazy4boys said...

Here's an idea - ask your followers to do a quick highlight of the state they live in. Set some guidelines like find a link to state bird, flower, coloring page, a list of library books, etc. If we all work together we could get this pulled together in a week or so! We could submit it via email or in the comments section and you could showcase one each week as planned.