• Know Your State

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    Know-Your-State-Feature-Image Geography is a fun subject of study and can be done any school year at any age. You can include it as a separate subject but is more naturally learned in the context of history, science, and even art. Geography can easily meld into your daily routine. It is vital to establish a foundation of geography and creating a simple state study is an effective way to generate interest. Have you covered your home state? Do your children know where your state is located within the boundaries of the United States? Do they know basic information about your state geography and history? If not, why not consider some of these ideas and begin to implement them into your school routine? Even if your school schedule is rolling along, you can always select something that will fit in naturally amidst your daily life. Or better yet, give as filler to students waiting for your attention while you are working with a sibling. This can be a fun way to use their time and certainly more beneficial than screen time on a game or app. Two key tools for any homeschool library are outline maps and a good U.S. atlas. Your world atlas will likely have only one map of the United States found in the North America section. A good U.S. Atlas will include a separate more detailed map of each state along with regional and topical maps. Watch that the state map is intact on one page and does not cross the binding as this can be difficult for some students. Here is a good way to begin: Give your children an outline map of your state. Have them find the state capital in the atlas and place a star in that location on their outline map. Now they can write the name of the capital next to the star. Label the names of each surrounding state, country or body of water. What other features do you see on the map in the atlas? Mountains? Lakes? Desert area? Rivers? Draw and label them as well. Any good U.S. atlas will also have interesting information on each state. You can read this aloud or instruct your student to read it aloud to the family or quietly to himself. Each state is different and fascinating in its own way. Encourage your students to discover something new and write about it or draw a picture of what they’ve learned. Here are some simple activities that will serve to connect your students with the geography of your state: • Create a travel brochure about the state. • Make a crossword puzzle with information about the state. • Make a three-dimensional state map with salt dough. (2 parts water, 1 part salt, 1 part water) • Create a set of post cards with drawings or pictures of popular places or events • Learn about the natural resources found in the state, how they are used, and how they affect the economy. • Learn the state bird, flower, tree, and symbols and what they mean. • Learn the state motto and date of statehood. • Cook a meal with ingredients grown in your state or that is popular in your state. Students can share what they have learned with the family over a meal at the kitchen table, during family discussions, through writing a summary, while driving to music lessons, in a poster or other ways. Make it fun and light hearted and it won’t even feel like school. Once your students have a grasp of their home state, why not add another? Try learning about where grandma lives, a favorite sports team location, vacation spots, bordering states, or any other connection you can think of. I’ve included a couple of printable pages from Trail Guide to U.S. Geography that can be used for a state report or as a foundation for a U.S. geography notebook. Click here to download them. However you work geography into your life you will not regret laying a geographic foundation and your students will have life-long benefits from knowing about their country.  

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    Desk Atlas of the United States Desk Atlas of the United States Are you in need of a good US Atlas? We are so proud to introduce the Desk Atlas of the United States brought to you by Geography Matters. Filled with lots of fun facts, historical references, and important data, the Desk Atlas will become a valuable reference tool in your home for years to come. In honor of Geography Awareness Week, we would like to offer you the opportunity to receive the digital downloads of our widely trusted and recently updated Trail Guide to US Geography and Student Notebook pages for FREE with your purchase of the Desk Atlas of the United States. Learn all about the United States while having fun with this hands-on and informative curriculum! Click here to take advantage of this special bundle. U.S. Desk Atlas Bundle

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  • Facebook Party Giveaway: A Journey Through Learning

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    We'd like to offer a special thank you  to our friends at A Journey Through Learning. The folks at A Journey Through Learning are the creators and publishers of lapbooks for nearly every topic imaginable. They have general topic lapbooks for holidays, literature, history, math, science and much more. In addition to their general topic lapbooks, A Journey Through Learning also offers lapbooks that correspond to many popular homeschool curriculum titles, including many of our geography courses and our Trail Guide to Learning series. AJTL new header 2 For our Facebook party giveaway, A Journey Through Learning is giving one winner a $30 gift certificate for digital downloads! That means you can shop their digital titles for whatever strikes your fancy. To enter, leave a comment telling us which A Journey Through Learning lapbook you're most excited about using. You can earn extra entries by following A Journey Through Learning on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to use the Rafflecopter widget below to let us know which tasks you’ve completed. Contest ends at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, February 5. Winners will be notified by February 7, 2014. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Facebook Party Giveaway: See the Light

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    Art, history, cuisine, and geography are all interwoven and tell us much about the people groups of past and present. That's why we're so excited that See the Light is hosting a giveaway for our Facebook party.
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    See the Light offers instructional art DVDs for kids in elementary through high school. Their Art Class set focuses on the basics of art, such as shape and space; value and color; color blending and perspective. Students can also enjoy their Art Projects series, in which each DVD takes a student through the creation of a particular art project from start to finish. Projects include: Tiffany Window, Sunflowers, Paper Jungle, and more. The See the Light team is dedicated to bringing scripture and biblical principles to students in a fresh, engaging way while teaching them the fundamental of art. For our Facebook party,  See the Light is giving 5 winners a copy of their Art Class Volume 1 DVD. To enter, just leave us a comment telling us which See the Light Art Project you'd most like to try. You can earn extra entries by following See the Light on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to use the Rafflecopter widget below to let us know which tasks you’ve completed. Contest ends at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, February 5 and is open to U.S. residents only. Winners will be notified by February 7, 2014. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Facebook Party: Homeschooling Today

    85 comments / Posted by 10

    It's that time of year when the  winter doldrums strike and everyone seems afflicted with cabin fever. Homeschooling Today magazine can help! In addition to offering information and encouragement from a Christian worldview, the magazine offers ready-to-use lessons and activities, which is perfect for fighting the effects of cabin fever. Homeschooling Today You can enter to win one of five 1-year subscriptions to Homeschooling Today - encouragement sent right to your mailbox four times a year! And, don't worry! If you don't win, you can still get $10 off a 1-year subscription using coupon code gmspecial. To enter, leave us a comment telling us your favorite indoor activity for those cabin fever days. Earn an extra entries by liking Homeschooling Today magazine on Facebook or joining their email list. Be sure to use the Rafflecopter widget below to let us know which tasks you’ve completed. Contest ends at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, February 5. Winners will be notified by February 7, 2014. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Facebook Party Giveaway: Ruth Beechick Bundle

    84 comments / Posted by 10

    We were saddened to learn of Ruth Beechick's death in late 2013. Ruth was a lifelong teacher, both in the classroom and as a curriculum writer. She was a mentor to the late Debbie Strayer, author of our Trail Guide to Learning series. Ruth's teaching philosophies heavily influenced Debbie's and helped shape the Trail Guide to Learning series. Ruth will be greatly missed. To honor Ruth and her contributions to homeschooling, we are giving away a copy of three of her books: The Three R's, You Can Teach Your Child Successfully, and Dr. Beechick's Homeschool Answer Book. The_Three_R_s_lg You_Can_Teach_lg Homeschoole_Answer_Book_lg   To enter, leave a comment telling us how Ruth's teaching philosophies have impacted your homeschool. Be sure to use the Rafflecopter widget below to let us know that you’ve commented. Contest ends at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, February 5 and is open to U.S. residents only. Winners will be notified by February 7, 2014. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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