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Tag: states

After we learned our US States early this spring, I figured I would eventually have Satori track license plates on the road. Before I could bring that idea up to her, she already was noticing that vehicles all had license plates for different states. I planned to get a workbook or something for our next trip, but didn’t have it ready in time, so today I figured I could probably print it out from home.

I googled “state license plate checklist” but didn’t find anything perfect. This checklist was the closest. I found the license plates extremely hard to read, so I added the state names to it. I fired up the laminator and now we have a glossy License Plate Checklist!

I quickly realized that neither permanent nor of course dry-erase marker would stay on the laminated page forever, so I will be bringing along these tiny stickers instead. Satori can use them to mark off when she’s seen a particular plate. I think up to 3 can fit, and if she wants, she can even color code them and stick new colors on top to signify even more.

Here’s the checklist I whipped up today, in case anyone else wanted to use it.


I may post a few updates while we’re on vacation, but if not… we’ll see you after Memorial Day! Have a great holiday.

Thanks to everyone from this blog and on WTM who suggested great places to see while we’re in Oregon. 🙂

Exactly a month ago, Satori and I started a US State Study where we were going to learn two states a day. I wanted to get an intro to each state, and Satori was determined to memorize the state shape, location, capital, and abbreviation. We just finished all 50 states last night! She now knows them 110%, even better than I do actually. She also picked up most of the state nicknames, insects, and other tidbits. This all started when she played Stack the States iPad game, and she was frustrated she didn’t know the state capitals. She’s been quite  a little sponge soaking up all this information so quickly.

I already blogged here and here about the resources we planned to use. Since we have finished, I will go through how we went about doing our quick state study. Again, we did two states per day, each state taking up about 10 minutes, so about 20 minutes a day total. We kick it off with the 50 States: A State-by-State Tour of the USA. Even I learn tons of new information everyday.

We pull out our State Sticker poster and place the stickers on the map. We kept folding ours up when we were done, so some of the middle stickers kept sticking up. I recommend putting it up on the wall if you can.

We then pull our our State Notebook and Satori highlights the states we’re learning. Map is free and can be found at the site.

We then read two more books that give different views of the state maps and it repeats some of the information we learned. These are The United States of America: State-by-state Guide and  Smart About the 50 States.

Leaving those books spread out, Satori writes in her notebook page (free template). We are saving some of the spots for when we learn about each state more in-depth next time around. In the front of our book, I printed out a page that lists each state and the rank and date they entered the union. She highlights them as we study them, writes their rank. She actually remembers some of these ranks too.

Our State Wall Chart hangs on the wall, they fit nicely in a Standard Pocket Chart. We flip the state over to show off its red shape once we’ve learned it. Last night we took all the flashcards and I quizzed Satori on what she’s learned. She remembered everything except Indiana’s abbreviation (IN). Since we just got a new pen pal from Indiana, I’m sure she’ll remember it for next time. 🙂

I told her she should be the one quizzing me!

She then took the states and placed them in geographical order. She is extremely familiar with the distinct shapes and locations, so this was no challenge.

Next up, we are now going to go through an easy introduction to US History using the Betsy Maestro books.

Satori has been obsessed with learning her U.S. States. She wants to play the US State iPad and board games we have, but she needs to know a bit more than just their names and locations. My plan is to rapidly go over two states a day and only learning the capitals and abbreviations (she already knows locations) to get her up to speed quickly, but this is causing her pure agony. She wants to learn them faster! She wants to learn more about them – state flowers, state nicknames, state trees, state history! I am not prepared for all that, so we’re sticking to learning the two states a day and once that’s done, we’ll then go over them again, but more thoroughly, probably learning a bit of American History along the way.

In the meantime, she’s been re-reading her state books and writing about the 50 states in one of her notebooks. She’s so excited about it, she gets up early in the morning to start writing and works on it late at night. I do not expect or require this.

She’s pretty thorough, incorporating things she knows about each state even from books we’ve read months ago. She woke me up early today to show me her writings on California.


While this is cute, bound notebook pages like this can fall out over time, and it’s not as “cool” as if we did this in a more planned way utilizing a different method…

I have a feeling that she’d like to incorporate actual Notebooking into her homeschool studies, so I started researching some notebooking resources. Had I known she was going to set out to do all this on her own so quickly, I would’ve printed out the State Notebooking pages NOW that I had planned out for our more thorough state study later this spring. 50 States Complete Set w/bonuses

If you want to start a State Notebook, offers the most complete set in their Bundled 50 States Complete Set State Study. It’s just $29.95 for the entire bundle, or free if you’re a Treasury Member (which I found out I am this year, as I bought a lot last year). I am completely overwhelmed with the amount of features in this package! Just view a few sample pages and you’ll see what I mean. I think it is totally overkill for a six year old, but Satori is different in that way that she’ll love all these pages to write on.  If you don’t need the whole bundle, you can buy each state separately for $3.95.

Each individual set of state notebooking pages includes:

  • Notebook Cover (1 pg)
  • Map, Nickname, & Motto Page (1 pg)
  • State Facts Reporting Page (1 pg)
  • State Timeline Recording Page (1 pg)
  • State Symbol Pages – bird/flower, tree, flag, seal, song (6 pgs)
  • Map Pages (2 pgs)
  • Template Pages for History, Government, Famous People, Inventions, Tourism (2 pgs each)
  • Template Pages (Blank) – for your own topics (4 pgs)
  • State Symbol Pages (Blank) – draw your own symbols (11 pgs)
  • Cutouts for Notebooks or Lapbooks (3 pgs)
  • Travel Journaling Pages (4 pgs)
  • 2 pgs of Info, ideas, directions, and state facts.

In addition to the individual state sets, you’ll also get:

  • 13 Colonies Themed Pages
  • National Memorials, Monuments & Parks
  • State Birds, Flowers, Flags & Seals
  • USA Pages
  • Washington, D.C. (same as state individual sets)

Wow! If you’re a notebooking family, that’s the place to be.

The Fifty States Copywork & Fun! by homeschool bits

If you find that huge set overwhelming, I found a simpler, yet still appealing Notebooking/copywork set, which happens to be one of CurrClick’s most popular offerings (it’s a Best Gold Seller). The only setback is that they are releasing them by volume, and have only released the first 7 out of 10 volumes. Volume 7 was  just released this February 2011, so hopefully the last three volumes won’t be far behind. You can get the first The Fifty States Volumes 1-7 [BUNDLE] for just $3.50. It goes alphabetically, so this covers Alabama through Ohio. You can also buy each volume of 5 states separately for $0.50 each. It gives a color summary of the state, then a fill-in-the-blank summary, a flower to color, word search, full color flash-cards, copywork, page of facts, blank copywork pages, and more pictures/info about the state.

Here’s an actual page on Arizona that she loved filling out.

Free State Notebooking Templates

I found this 50 States Notebook Squidoo page by Jimmie about her 50 States Notebook. It’s full of state notebook resources. Some links are outdated, but we found a lot of good resources.

I printed off her free Notebooking Page Template. We plan to fill out just the first page. We’ve actually started using this now. I’ve asked her to hold off on filling out some of the spaces, I am not sure if I want to have her draw the items on her own or if we can paste a picture.

There are so many resources for a great state study. I’ve started a US State Study page (work-in-progress) that is a list of our favorite state resources that includes books, games, websites, etc…

Satori and I have been on a big geography kick. I read The Little Man in the Map last year to her, and again last week. She has been drawing maps, such as this one featuring the little man. 🙂 She has been fascinated with maps ever since we started Story of the World last year. We played a few geography games a few weeks ago and she amazed me by knowing the names and locations of all the US States. I never taught her, we just have maps all over the house that I guess she’s memorized them. She’s been playing a few iPad games on geography and really wants to learn more, so I’ve been busy trying to whip up plans for that.

Satori already loves all her geography workbooks, so much in fact, that we’re tried out most of the popular geography workbook series up to grade 3. We have started a new series – MCP Maps, Charts and Graphs C, which is great, because she loves reading the lesson and learning about geography on her own. We’ve also enjoyed the Steck Vaughn Maps Globes Graphs series and Scholastic Success with Maps (out of print now).

We’re stepping it up a notch this spring, to study the US States. She really is motivated to learn more about the states then just their shapes and locations. So we’re going through a quick one-month study of all the states, and will learn their capital and abbreviation. That will be alphabetically, and yesterday we started with Alabama and Alaska. Then, we’ll take it a bit slower, adding State Birds/Trees, Nickname, Major cities, etc… I want to take that study at one state per week, in order by region. We’ll then take a break learning the states and for grade 2, we’ll start studying American History, going over the states all over again in order of statehood.

I’ll be sharing our resources used in this study in a future post.

We’re also going to study World Geography more. We’re going to use The Core method of “blobbing” and eventually draw the entire world by memory. We started last week and I will show examples soon. I also made a map sheet with the 5 great circles if you don’t want to hand-make your lines everytime. I’ll share that in an upcoming post.

What else is new? Satori has been so excited about typing! I’ve created a blog account for her and soon you’ll see blog posts written by the little girl herself! (Approved by me before they go live.)

I’ve also been a bit fanatical about getting an educational game collection going. I will be posting reviews on educational board (and iPad) games on geography, math, science, language arts, art, and more soon.