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Geography, Homeschooling

US Geography with Pin It Maps

UPDATED with a 10% off coupon code: maps

Our US History Pin It Maps arrived on the doorstep last week and I was ready.

I had been eyeing the Pin It Maps for a while and had done my research. I was definitely prepared.

One large 4×6 photo storage container and the necessary quilting pins were already sitting in the dining room as I eagerly opened the box.

And while I didn’t plan it, I also had an army of flag assemblers ready to go because my parents were in town visiting me that weekend.  I put them right to work assembling our flags. We were able to chat and catch up while accomplishing something.

Bonus points for that visit, right?

We finished assembling every single flag during their visit which allowed me to kick off our school day on Monday with our new maps. It only took a few minutes for me to feel certain that Geography and History in our house had just struck gold.

Learn how to use Pin It Maps for studying US History and Geography. Add some hands-on fun to your home, classroom, or homeschool.
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Geography, Homeschooling

Our Homeschool Geography Plan

Beginning in January, we decided to focus on Geography as we finish off the year.  I will select one continent each month to focus on. This month we are studying the continent of South America, but this same basic format is the plan through May.

Our Monthly Geography Plan

image1-2First, I will print a large map for the wall as well as individual maps for each of my kids.  Your Child Learns is a site with many geography resources and a perfect place to bring try large maps at home on your printer.  You can select a variety of sizes and then tape the pages together.  I like a 3 sheets x 3 sheets map.

During the first week of the month, we will label the countries and capital cities, following along with the readings in our National Geographic Kids Atlas and the Usborne Children’s World Atlas.  The National Geographic Atlas divides each continent into regions with informational readings for each section. After reading about a particular section during our afternoon book bin reading time, we will color in our maps.  The Usborne Atlas also includes great information about the continent, including landmarks, so we will continue our informational reading in this atlas as well.

Our study during the second week of the month will be used to label other geographical features on our map.  Rivers, lakes, mountain ranges, and other notable features will be selected.  I’ll choose from notable features in our atlas and readings as well as features that my husband selects as he holds a geography degree.

During our third and fourth weeks, each of my kids will be asked to research an individual country on the continent we are studying.  They will be required to report the information to the rest of us at the end of the fourth week in some form or fashion.  They might write a report, create a powerpoint, or design an informational booklet or travel brochure.  The sky is the limit!

Every week fiction and non-fiction books will be included in our afternoon book bin!  I will purposefully seek out tales, stories, and informational books related to the culture of the various countries located on our current continent.  My goal is also to incorporate a few recipes or restaurants that reflect the foods found around the globe.  A themed dinner or tea time each month would be bonus!

This is a basic format each month that should work for our family as we finish this school year and work our way around the globe.