State Study with From Sea to Shining Sea

rom sea to shining sea book series

Typically, when I teach my children anything, I like to go in order; alphabetical or numerical. I tend to start at the beginning of a text and am hesitant to do anything in later chapters before we actually read through and complete any previous chapters. I’m not sure if I am afraid of breaking the invisible line of order that will cause everything to explode or what, but get me off track and I’m lost and a little bit uncomfortable. That’s my angst as a homeschooling mom. I am working through my issues.

I decided to start our geography study with the United States rather than studying countries. Although there are quite a few countries I’m looking forward to learning about, I believe that they will benefit more now from learning about places they will actually be able to visit in the near future. The likelihood of us going to Maine is more probable than us visiting China.

from sea to shining sea book series

Although we didn’t get to spend significant time in all of these places, the kids can already check off most of the states in the Mid-West, Southwest, Pacific, and definitely the South as having visited or driven through at a high rate of speed. When we lived in California, we could drive eight hours and never once leave the state. Now with so many states around us and only a few hours away (and some a matter of minutes), we have plans to see more of the United States this summer. We love a good field trip.

When we started learning about the states in the USA, I started with them memorizing the states and capitals with the states in alphabetical order, of course. That was fun for a while and they were learning something, but with them getting older, I knew there was so much more about our United States they should know.

I found this really cool book series, From Sea to Shining Sea, at our public library of all places. It provides a comprehensive study of the state by discussing its birth, its history, places and people and sites of interest in the state, as well as its special feature, EXTRA! EXTRA!, which mentions important facts specific to the state. Did you know that in 1875, when Reverend John E. Todd requested telephone service, the world’s first telephone exchange opened in New Haven. How about this? Did you know that from 1701 to 1875 that Connecticut had two capitals which were Hartford and New Haven. Do you know which city eventually claimed that position in 1875?

I decided to be a little daring and rather than starting our studies with the state of Alabama, I decided to study regions of the country. I felt so free going against the grain. We have been studying the New England states which are composed of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Listen to this. We started with Vermont, followed by New Hampshire and hope to finish the area in a few weeks, learning about a new one each week.

Our course of study is as follows:

Introduce the state (capital, flag, seal, bird, flower, borders, nickname, motto, admitted to union, state number, and quarter).
Locate it on the map.
Learn ten significant points about the state.

Learn about a significant person (male and female) of the state.
Study state history.
Learn and/or see presentation of the state song. There are a lot of offerings, on YouTube, of children singing state songs. Connecticut’s state song is Yankee Doodle. They already knew some of the lyrics, but learned the second stanza.

Study more state history.
Do an arts and craft project representing the state.

Review state information.
Cook the listed recipe for the state. Each book in the series has a recipe to make that represents the state. The recipe we made last week for the state of Connecticut was Hartford Election Cake. It was delicious. Visit our Captivated Kitchen and get the recipe.

geography worksheet

I put together a worksheet that the children use to list some of the information we cover. They get to practice writing the state name, state capital, and abbreviation for the state along with listing some other useful information about the state.

geography worksheet

Since we are year-a-round homeschoolers, we are going to continue working through as many states as we can for the rest of the year. Our next region of study will either be the Pacific or the Mid-Atlantic states.

Here are some useful resources I use for creating the worksheets we use:
Drawings of states
Quarter Designs
State Bird
State Flower
State Seals
State Songs

Are you studying geography with your children in their school? If so, then did you start domestic or go international? What is your favorite state in our beautiful USA?

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2 Responses to “State Study with From Sea to Shining Sea”

  • Comment from Joy

    You have a great curriculum. It is a good idea to learn about places that you have a greater chance of visiting. I like your worksheets. Since the US census will be taken this year talk about
    the popuplation of the each state and the total population of the US.

  • Comment from rebecca d

    It’s always nice to meet a fellow homeschooler. I’m here from Friday Follow… I’m your newest follower.

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