Kitchen Table Classroom: Learning The United States

Little turned four 2 weeks ago {I cannot even believe it!} and we had a fabulous pirate party {post coming soon}. We also took a trip to California last week and had a fantastic time together as a family enjoying Disneyland, Hollywood, Santa Monica beach, and Beverly Hills. I have so much to post on! I’m sorry I’ve fallen behind.

A New Routine

I thought I would start off sharing with you my most recent addition to our daily school hour. As far as schooling goes, we’re falling into a very nice little groove together and I’m loving it. We start breakfast and getting ready for the day around 7:30 or 8, then at 9 I take an hour to myself. I know, this might sound selfish. I thought so too until I read this incredible blog post about how important it is for introverts to take care of themselves. The article landed in my inbox at a critical time for me since I was feeling absolutely drained, overwhelmed, and unmotivated.

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I took the writer’s advice immediately and now take a daily hour each morning to drink my coffee, read my blogs, watch the news, and just relax. Honestly, after I have my full hour, I never feel resentful or bored giving 100% of myself to Little for the rest of the day. I take the time to regroup, be alone and quiet, and then I am able to give freely and completely of myself without hesitation. It’s so so nice. Little happily plays in his room during my coffee hour. He may come in and ask questions or permission for something, and I’m happy to help him, but he knows that as soon as his need is met or his question answered, I need that time. It’s healthier for all of us.

When we start school at ten, we’re wide awake, Little’s got all his wiggles of the morning out, I’m feeling calm and relaxed, and we can sit down to work and play. It helps our days move smoother, and keeps me from feeling overwhelmed or worn out. I love our new routine, and Little seems to be benefiting from it too!

Now, Onto the Lesson:

Recently I saw the idea on Pinterest {if you know specifically where, tell me and I’ll give credit} to teach little ones the geography of the United States. The states and their locations was something I didn’t learn until I was in tenth grade, so it never really occurred to me that kids could comprehend something so complex, but they can!

Little Bug has always been interested in locations and direction. He has known his left from his right for quite some time and pays close attention in the car when we’re driving anywhere. He loves to ask questions about directions, states, city names, and street names. When I picked up on his interest in geography, I thought it would be a great opportunity to teach him his states!

mommyponders

mommyponders


The game is very simple. I purchased a US place mat at Wal-Mart for $2.00 and I use his favorite cereal {Multigrain Cheerios} for the treat. We started with Texas, because that’s where we live. I simply put a Cheerio on Texas and he had to say the name before he could eat it. I was going to make this a once a week thing, but he loved it so much he asked to play the game again the next day! Right now we have five states memorized. He knows Texas, California, Kansas, Florida, and Washington. Some I let him select, others I chose because I thought their location or shape would be easy for him to remember. Next week we’re adding Louisiana to the mix. For a quick review, I just point to the states and ask him and he immediately knows them; no treat required.

It’s such a fun and simple game, and I’m absolutely amazed at how quickly he’s caught on and how much he loves it!

I can’t wait to share with you all how our homeschooling concept is changing and growing. My whole educational paradigm has shifted in the past few months and I’m more passionate about homeschooling than ever before. I hope you’re all doing well! If you try this fun game, let me know how your little ones enjoy it. 🙂

Blessings,

Kat

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1 Comment

Filed under Kitchen Table Classroom, Learning at Home, Simplify Your Life, Stay at Home Moms

One response to “Kitchen Table Classroom: Learning The United States

  1. Love this. All of it. Mommy time and the geography lesson. Thanks for sharing!!!

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