In one of my recent posts, I talked about the challenges of homeschooling and how to find the unexpected learning opportunities and then voila, one came our way.
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My daughter receives Highlights magazines and the last one included state stickers. She didn’t really care at first until we sat down and I read each sticker with her and we discussed why they chose the picture they did to represent each state. She might be a weird child, but she totally embraced this activity and insisted on reading them several times over, so I thought, hey, I can use this.
To transform this simple activity into a full blown lesson, I found a free printable, blank map of the states online. Together we placed each state sticker in it’s appropriate place (or as close to) with the help of a giant atlas.
Upon completing the map, we read the book Hello Kitty Hello USA!: A Celebration of All Fifty States by Higashi Glaser and looked at each state, learning what they are known for, their motto, state bird etc. A truly fun book to explore.
Have you ever noticed that when you start something new, suddenly you find it everywhere? That’s what happened here. The next day I went to TJ Maxx and there in the toy department was a Match It States and Capitals puzzle, as well as a floor puzzle.
So this week my daughter has been immersed in geography and she actually loves doing it and it has led to further exploration and songs about states on YouTube. I’m sure the excitement will eventually fade but learning has occurred and knowledge gained and that’s all a parent can hope for.
-Kate @ BTBL
We are three generations that seek a way to get back to basics. It’s not that we eschew technology, but sometimes simpler is better, especially in raising our children. Mom was a reading teacher, Amanda is an early childhood educator and Kate a children’s literature specialist and former school librarian along with the latest additions, a daughter (now 5) for Kate, and two sons (now 3 and 1) for Amanda. We advocate reading aloud, the simple toys that use imagination and encourage creativity and learning in the kitchen, which can be a fun mess but also teaches life skills. Join us in raising healthy, happy, inquisitive and intelligent children.
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.