I have a confession. I have never taken a geography course. When I was a kid in the nineties, the borders of the world were changing faster than some people change their underwear. I did take several history classes and I had a class about my state in middle school. My other confession is that I personally dig a worksheet and coloring. I now appreciate the need for some basic geography, but quickly realized my original plan wasn’t working. I had to find a more interactive approach to U.S. Geography. This post contains affiliate links. You can read the full disclosure here.
Finding an interactive approach to U.S. Geography
I have two kiddos that moan and groan every time a worksheet is pulled out. To take the path of least resistance and focus on learning, I often would just do something else other than worksheets or writing. We might play a game or discuss. The result of the constant avoidance is incredibly poor penmanship and writing stamina, but when we are talking about working memory I have to pick my battles. I have to put the focus on activating working memory and not making it more complicated with too much motor planning (handwriting). They also both learn better hands on. I have to have kinesthetic learning opportunities for memorization that are not solely handwriting based.
I have begrudgingly decided that there is a time and place for worksheets, but memorization work is probably not it. We are working through U.S. Geography this year (and our election process) and I have been looking for a curriculum that fits my guys’ learning styles. As much as they hate worksheets, they love games! Our math curriculum is games based and is well received. I was lucky enough to stumble upon this resource.
This bundle is a fantastic deal during Launch Week (9/5-9/12 2016). You can save a bit over 70%!
Here’s the list of everything in the new US Geography Bundle: (ages are just a guide. You know your children best! Many activities designed for older children can be done with younger children if you help!)
- Draw The States eBook (all ages)
- US Geography Word Search eBook (Ages 6+)
- Us Geography Map Puzzle (ages 6+)
- Clip Cards By Region (ages 6+)
- US Geography Cross-Word Puzzle eBook (ages 6+)
- Clip Cards By State Flag (ages 6+)
- Clip Cards By Capital (ages 6+)
- US Geography Write, Trace & Color eBook (ages 3-8)
Beautiful, Flexible, Interactive Resource
I love that there are lots of activities that will help my kids recognize the states, memorize the states and capitals, and identify the regions of the country (to just name a few things). The need for this became incredibly apparent on a 12 hour car ride this year. I also want them to have a better working knowledge of the states as we talk about the election process this year. There are also still options for coloring and handwriting.
The lesson I would teach all new homeschoolers is to buy flexible resources and curriculum and adapt it to your needs. This resource has so much flexibility. For instance, we probably wouldn’t use 2 piece puzzles, but they would love to race or play a game like Old Maid. My kids are not moaning and groaning with my new interactive approach to U.S. Geography, but don’t worry they have a lot of other things to complain about.
We have been slowly sneaking in some learning with these fun activities. Because there are executive function issues (including working memory), I break down information into small chunks and give them a reference sheet. U.S. Geography naturally chunks into regions. I picked regions where people we love live first.
The UNO game rocks, but I didn’t follow the directions here either. I had to buy a new color printer (so sad) and so I wanted to save on ink as much as possible. I printed them out on regular paper and cut them out and glued them on index cards. It was a little extra work, but well worth it to me. There is always a way to adapt what you have.
What else are we using?
We had already purchased several things to use for U.S. Geography. We have The Scrambled States of America, 10 Days In The USA Board Game, and The Complete Book of Maps and Geography, Grades 3 – 6 book. I am also using my flag resource. We are revisiting a couple of books: Weslandia and MICRONATIONS: Invent Your Own Country and Culture with 25 Projects (Build It Yourself). I wish I had found the bundle first because I really think I could have used it and a map of the United States and come out WAY cheaper.