Homeschool: State Study of Washington

Inspired by Confessions of a Homeschooler, I’ve been working through the 50 states with my kids. First up, we did Hawaii. We had dinner with my brother and sister-in-law that week, and the kids looked at all of their pictures from the three times they’ve been. The next week was Alaska (I’m going basically west to east with a few variations when needed). There is a couple from our church who live in Alaska about half the year, so we picked their brains on what life is like up there. The thing that stuck with all 4 of us the most? The fact that there are virtually no roads; you have to fly to get from city to city.

Our third state was the wonderful state of Washington. We started the week, as we always do, by having the kids trace the outline of the state from our huge wall map. We don’t have a wall big enough to display it (there are 2 that would work in the school room except for the fact that one has the windows and the other was painted to be a chalkboard wall by the previous tenants – and I’m not complaining! That wall is pretty awesome!), so we keep it rolled up and bring it out once a week for this activity. Once the state is pencilled, the kids go over their lines in ink and then bring it to me, where I write in the basic facts that I want to teach them within the outline of the state. They’re basically the same from state to state (except for Hawaii, because that was our first one and I didn’t really have a plan yet when we did it): Nickname (The Evergreen State), Motto (Alki), Capital (Olympia), Largest City (Seattle), Area (71,300 sq mi), Population (6,897,012), Highest Point (Mount Rainier), Lowest Point (The Pacific Ocean), and its Admission to the Union (November 11, 1889). Additionally, we put in the location of the capital, largest city, and highest point. In Washington’s case, we also included Mount Saint Helens.

Here’s Seahawk’s map:

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And Munchkin’s:

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I still owe them a baking soda and vinegar volcano to represent Mount Saint Helens. That’ll happen probably next week :).

We also worked on our “Fifty Nifty United States” song. Only three states in and they can already sing the whole thing start to finish! Since they mastered that so quickly, we’re going to work on the Presidents song that Confessions recommends starting next week.

I also plan to make a printout of the “Lower 48” and laminate it for each kid, cut the states apart, and attach magnetic tape to the back of each one to have them use as a geography puzzle. I haven’t been able to make it to Staples yet to get that done, though…

name plate copy

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4 thoughts on “Homeschool: State Study of Washington

  1. Sanz 04/03/2013 at 7:12 pm Reply

    Great fun! You know, we didn’t do any history or geography this year. We have done a lot of science, though. I was thinking we would switch those two around next year and do a more simple science and more in depth history or geography curriculum. I have seriously considered doing the 50 states…hmmm…more to think about!

    • wendy 04/03/2013 at 8:28 pm Reply

      If you’re looking for a great history series, I recommend “From Sea to Shining Sea Young Readers Edition” by Peter Marshall et al. You can get it in paperback or ebook from Amazon and it’s a wonderful history of America that focuses on how God was taking an active role in our development as a country. There are 2 other books as well; that’s just the first one.

      The 50 states is a natural choice for geography; your theme each week is predetermined! LOL! Just check the library for books (or use wikipedia) .

      Thank you for commenting. It really means a lot to me that you do. Keeps me from feeling like I’m writing to no one.

  2. sparklybabs 04/04/2013 at 7:13 am Reply

    When you get to Mississippi, let me know and I will send you some pics or info to make it more personalized 🙂

    • wendy 04/04/2013 at 8:56 am Reply

      Awesome!! Thank you so much. It’ll be awhile still, but I’ll definitely take you up on that 🙂

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