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Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Little Side Trip Away from Crafting - Come Along with us on our Vacation

As many of you might already know, I have been away from my home…..away from crafting….on a road trip with my family. Consequently, I haven’t been able to do many crafting posts on my blog! I thought I would take you on a little side trip away from crafting……and take you along with me on my trip! I promise I’ll be back next week with crafting posts….but come along with me now if you want and see what we’ve been up to!

If you are not a homeschooler, you may not know that we are notorious for making anything and everything a learning experience. Our summer vacation is no exception! My son was fortunate enough to be able to compete in the National Teen Bible Quizzing Competition in Mt. Vernon, OH . Hey, this sounds like an opportunity to travel across country and learn about the United States! The ultimate geography lesson, right?

I thought I would journal our trip for you in hopes of showing you some fun things to do with kiddos, and if you are a fellow homeschooler or just a parent who likes to teach their children, a few fun resources we used to educate our children about the United States.

Our trip started in Eastern Oregon on a Wednesday evening. We traveled through most of Idaho…..mapping our route as we went using a few great resoures. First, a road atlas, highlighting the route as we went. You’d be surprised how this simple exercise can help your kiddos read maps. The second resource we used was this little gem:

 The Star Spangled State Book. It comes with a color reference book and a student workbook and cd with reproducible pages. Each page of the resource book has interesting facts about a particular state as well as information on the 3 largest cities, capitol, etc. The student workbook contains copies of these same pages but with blanks for the students to fill in as well as portion of a blank United States map for the students to find the particular state and shade it in. It also picks a few states for you to review in the process. The bottom of the page of the reference handbook has a fun game to play that gives you clues about previous states you have studied for you to test what you have learned.

I have no idea why this picture keeps rotating this way - sorry!  But you can get the idea of what the inside looks like.

We also used a children’s atlas to learn more about the states we were traveling through and various books about each state that we had checked out from our library. I will also show you another really cool resource we used in a later post, so stay tuned!

Since we had traveled through Oregon and Idaho often, we just put the petal to the metal to get as far as we could that first evening. Our trip then took us through a short jont thru the Beehive State…..can you guess which state this is???? If you guessed Utah you are correct – and no it is not nicknamed this because it has a lot of bees….it was to represent the resourcefulness of the people who live there.

Our first real destination was to stop at Independence Rock (sometimes called Register Rock) in Wyoming.

 This was a common meeting place for the pioneers to stop on their journey west. They would sign their names on this HUGE rock, its mass being equal to an area of 24. 81 acres and standing 136 feet above the ground at its highest point.

The pioneers also would look for friends’ and loved ones’ names who had passed previously. We climbed up on the rock and found lots of names and dates….some new and lots old. Here is a sampling of some of the “signatures”.

Pictures don’t do it justice. Just an amazing place to take you back in time and help you think how the pioneers felt, searching to see if their loved one who had went ahead of them, had made it that far.

Ok, that’s enough for today. Where do you think we headed next? Come back tomorrow and see!

1 comment:

  1. How lucky those kids are. You guys are the best parents. Can you even imagine how much more we would have learned had we had those experiences? Wow! I want to see all those signatures.