Ready to learn about the 50 states with your kids? There are many curriculums, unit studies, and books to guide you through the United States.
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You may find those quickly get mundane, and your kids lose their focus, though. If you want to make geography a fun part of your homeschool, skip the old-school stats, memorization, and boring facts.
Here are 4 fun ways to learn about the 50 states that you and your kids will love!
Study the States by Hobby
Studying the states by researching a hobby or sport is a fun way to learn more about the states. Maybe your family loves baseball. Study states that currently have baseball teams, baseball stadiums, or a history that involves the game. You can just skim the basics of each state. This will allow you to focus the majority of your study on the hobby within the state.
Some ideas for topics to study about each state:
- Sports teams in each state
- Companies or manufacturers located in each state
- Birthplaces of your favorite authors
- Musicians or music history
There are so many different things you can study about the states. While specific topics may not allow you to venture to each state, it’s a great starting point and will help keep your kids engaged and interested in learning.
First Hand Postcard Learning
To make your state study more interactive, hold a 50-state postcard lottery. First, you’ll need to find contacts in all 50 states that are willing to send you postcards.
This is a great time to reach out to your online homeschool groups, extended family members, and any other contacts across the country. Simply ask them to write down a few fun facts about their state on a postcard and drop it in the mail. They can be as simple or elaborate as they’d like.
Once the postcards start coming in the mail, you have a randomized state study right at your front door! You can use the information provided on the postcards as a starting point and dig even deeper with online research.
The information given by those living in the states is probably a lot more fun and interesting than what you’d find by reading a book.
Example of a Postcard State Study
Here’s an example of information a postcard might contain and how it can be used to study the 50 states:
West Virginia is home to the world’s largest roadside teapot. It’s also home to the New River Gorge bridge. Pepperoni rolls originated in West Virginia. Country singer Brad Paisley is also from West Virginia!
With this information, you can study the state’s terrain, mapping the New River and the Appalachian Mountains. Studying the New River may lead to learning that it’s one of the oldest rivers in the world and unusual because it runs south to north. You’ll also find that it’s the only state completely within the Appalachian Mountain range.
If you research the history of pepperoni rolls, you’ll find that it was made as a lunch that immigrants took to work in the coal mines. You can read about the history of the coal mines and how that industry affected the state.
Then you can read about famous people from West Virginia, like Brad Paisley, Jennifer Garner, and Mary Lou Retton.
Studying the states this way is especially fun if your family enjoys rabbit trails or getting lost in learning. There are so many interesting facts about the states that you may skip over by reading a book or following a curriculum. Sometimes the best way to learn is from those who live or grew up in the state!
Take a Food Tour of the 50 States
If your family loves unique foods and spending time in the kitchen together, this method is perfect for you! Each state has its own unique recipes and cuisines.
There are dozens of lists online of signature foods or meals that each state is known for. You can simply use the internet or purchase a 50 states recipe book that takes you on a culinary journey through the United States.
To keep this type of study simple and easy to manage, choose 1-2 states to study per week. Once you complete your study of that state, purchase or prepare a chosen dish or meal from that state.
These are just a few unique ways to learn about the 50 states with your family. Grab a journal or 50 state guide to get started. Get creative and have fun studying each state’s history and unique quirks. You may find your kids begging to learn even more about a specific state or find the location for your next family trip!