A New Approach to Homeschool Geography: Traveling The States!
We have had so much fun traveling in our homeschool using geography based unit studies.
In the past, we have traveled America’s National Parks and traveled to many different countries all over the world so it just seemed fitting that next we should also travel the fifty states too.
An Engaging Way To Making Learning About The States Fun
Traveling in our lessons has been a vital part of our homeschool. Especially in the last year when traveling in the real world was not as much of an option.
We spent last summer using Traveling the Parks to learn more about America’a National Parks. We we were able to explore them using books, videos, and virtual tours. It was the first large geography based unit study I had created but it became such a family favorite that I knew I would eventually do more of them.
Emily loves that we go all in when we do geography based unit studies. When we used Traveling the World I wore a pilot hat and flew her to each country. I would use the video playlists as in-flight movies and stamp her passport when she arrived. We would plan our meals for the week based on where we what country we were visiting.
Our whole family enjoys it so much that I knew I wanted to bring many of those same things to life for something based in the United States. I wanted us to Travel the States together.
How This US Geography Study Works In Your Homeschool
Unit studies focus on topics/themes Emily is truly interested in. That way, she is more likely to remember the things she learns.
It’s also a great way to encourage her to deep dive into subjects she wants to learn about. By using unit studies, we can focus on the things she really wants to learn. It’s a great way to encourage kids who might not be as interested in learning to engage with the lessons.
I love that I can find unique ways to incorporate things that she might not love such as writing and incorporate it into things she is interested in.
Traveling the States includes all fifty states and they can be done in any order. Do them alphabetically, in the order of statehood, or as you travel to each. You could even just let your kiddos pick a state so that they get a say in their learning.
For each state your family travels to you will locate the state on a map, read about the state, color the original artwork coloring page, learn more about the history of the state flag and color your own, stamp a passport, watch the YouTube playlist, learn about the history of the state as well as the nature of the state such as the state animal, bird, flower, and tree, play fun and educational games, and make a traditional recipe from that state.
What’s Included In Traveling The States
1. Teacher’s Manual
In the teacher’s manual, you’ll find a list of the states in both alphabetical and statehood order. There is a list of required and suggested resources including books, games, and hands-on resources. Since no homeschool schedule is the same there are four different scheduling options with checklists included. For each state the lesson plans include the pages to be read, a fiction chapter book, picture book suggestions, a YouTube Playlist with a clickable link as well as a scanable QR code.
The appendix also includes some extras such as postcards, snapshots sheet, landmark cards for your little builders, a brochure template, an inspiring person report template, and some end of the course quizes.
2. Student Notebook
The student notebook begins with a map your travels page. Each state is setup in the same way so that the student will get used to what is expected from them to complete for each state.
- Coloring page with the state animal or bird, state flower, and state tree pictured
- Flag profile with what the flag looks like, information about the flag, and a place to color the flag
- State profile with mapwork, fill in the blanks for facts and historical moments about the state
- Nature profile with a place for each state animal or bird, flower, and tree to be illustrated and noted
3. Nature Profiles
We wanted to ensure that Traveling the States required as little external resources as possible so we created and included Nature Profiles. The nature profiles for all fifty states include realistic images of the state animal or bird, flower, and tree with more information about each such as the year it was designated and scientific facts.
One of our personal favorite parts of Traveling the World was the passport. So, I knew I wanted something similiar in Traveling the States. Traveling the States includes a passport with all 50 flags ready to be cut out and glued in as you travel to each of them.
5. Game Pack
It is no secret that games are a very important part of learning in our homeschool. Because we love them so much I always try to include them in our studies. Traveling the States comes with three fun, engaging games.
- States Memory/Match or Go Fish
- States and Capitals Bingo
- USA Top Trumps/War
Why Traveling the States Is An Excellent Option For Homeschool Geography
Homeschool geography has never been more fun than with this family-style unit study that includes engaging lessons, educational videos to enhance learning, hands-on activities, and more!
Whether you are a roadschooler who is traveling the US who wants to learn more about each state you’re traveling to or a homeschooler who is studying American History and wants to add geography to your studies Traveling the States is perfect for you.