Joy Dean is the author of the popular workbook 50 States
under God, which was written to teach students in 3rd through 12th grades about all fifty states in order of statehood. Geography
of the Fifty States and 50 States under God for Young
Learners can be used independently or alongside the original 50
States under God curriculum.
Both Geography of the Fifty States and 50 States
under God for Young Learners are thick spiral-bound volumes of over 200 pages! They are well-organized books that use underlining, bullets, page breaks, black-and-white pictures, or interesting fonts to distinguish topics clearly for the student. The workbooks are meant to be read and written in by students, which means you should purchase one per child. And, as you can probably tell from their titles, both books offer a Christian perspective to the development of our country.
Geography of the Fifty States is written for children in 3rd through 12th grades. It begins with a detailed table of contents that tells you exactly where to find every lesson, map, and answer key. I know mentioning a table of contents seems rather silly, but this is one super table of contents. I haven't run across too many books that tell me exactly where to go to find test pages and answer keys for particular activities. There's also an alphabetical table of contents for each state. A section for the teacher tells you how to use the book and offers suggested schedules for the program.
The lessons are very in-depth, teaching your child such things as land regions, borders, geographical features, major cities, and brief histories for each state. At least three maps are included for each state. These maps are not full-page, but they can still be used to complete labeling and marking activities as mentioned in the lesson. Best of all, the maps are directly next to or under the particular lesson topic, so your child doesn't have to search for the map to complete the suggested activities.
After several states are covered, there are two review lessons and a test. The curriculum begins with a series of lessons on overall U.S. geography, statehood, and states and capitals, for which a test is offered as well.
You might think reading about each and every state's regions, borders, features, cities, and history would be dry and dull. On the contrary, because the lessons are fairly short and keep your child moving by labeling and marking maps, this curriculum is anything but dry and dull. Now, I won't lie and say that completing 50+ of these lessons won't get a tad monotonous. But I've never found a program that so quickly and easily takes a child through an in-depth study of US Geography with any more pizzazz. In our home, we're completing two lessons a week, which is not sending any of us into geography overload.
50 States under God for Young Learners is written for three-year-olds through 3rd graders. Although it was written to enable younger children to tag along with older siblings who are using 50
States under God, it can be used on its own if you desire. For each U.S. state, in order of statehood, you'll find four simple worksheets. Your child will be asked to write the date of statehood, color a birthday cake, and write the name of the capital. A small map of the state is included that gives directions for coloring the state and its bordering states.
One of the most unique features of this book is the section of colored paper and color printouts for each state. On the colored papers are written the states' capitals, mottos, and nicknames. Your child cuts out each strip and glues it in the appropriate spaces on the worksheets. The color copies are small pictures of each state's bird, tree, flower, flag, seal and capital. Again, your child cuts out the pictures to glue in the spaces provided on the worksheets.
Little ones will love the variety of activities provided in this workbook, and you will appreciate all the mapping, history, and other facts that are taught in such a fun and easy way. Best of all, everything you need (other than a pencil, scissors, and glue) is contained in the workbook. U.S. geography can't get much easier than that! I highly recommend either of these workbooks for your homeschool!