"Enjoy the LITTLE THINGS in life for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."


What blog is about Intro

Come on in and sit awhile while I talk about the "Little Things" in life. I will share my journey of everyday life.... homeschooling, raising my children, homesteading, gardening, health and wellness, and real life.

Monday, April 19, 2010

MFW State Studies: How We Are Doing It

I love the principles that are taught in My Father's World Curriculum, but I want to stress that as with any curricula choice that you must find that way that it works for your family. We are doing that now and the last couple of months of homeschooling has been so different for us. We have found what works now and have begun the journey of homeschooling and actually enjoying it. This is a quick overview of our week 12 in Adventures. We are way "behind" because I put the curricula down for a while to really avoid catastophe. I spent some time listening to God and that has made all the difference. He message to me was something like this, "Stop trying to follow someone else's plan and follow Mine (God's). I want you to raise your kids to serve Me. The academics will happen, if you get the Biblical principles right. Teach them and love them. Stop panicking. Stop acting childish. Work on teaching yourself what you did not get taught, so you can be a better mother to guide your children. Follow the kids lead academically and they will enjoy it more and give less struggle. Look at the root of the problems and not the moment."... and the just compact about two months more into that and you get the picture. ;)

Without further ado here is a glimpse of our Week 12:
We started the state studies and bird studies finally! Momma did not want to do it.... but Momma has ended up liking it... Momma felt ill-prepared, but Momma gave up on the library and ordered two great books to use instead that save me time and money. The books are:

Smart About the Fifty States: A Class Report (1)which is written and illustrated by 5 students in "student style". It really shows a good overview for each state and highlights the things that interest the kids in a fun format that we are all enjoying on a two page spread. It is a great example of what a mid-elementary level child would be doing for State Studies.

Our Fifty States (National Geographic) (2) by Bockenhauer & Cunha is gives a more in depth look at the states. Each state gets four pages and has great pictures to look at with a good amount of detail that makes it so that we do not need books for every state. This one covers it all. It covers the history, industry, landmarks, agriculture, and other facts that are interesting to know. Each state has a small photo of the flag, bird, flower, state map, and location on the U. S. map. This book would be appropriate through all their school years.

And Friday my husband came in with a fabulous find! The Young People's Atlas of the United States (3)by Harrison & Van Zandt is an oversized book with a misleading title. When I saw it I thought, "We have several atlases." until I looked at this book and now I can not wait to start using it this week, also. This one is even better in some ways for the mid-elementary age. It has a two page spread for each state with less details, but more small pictures. Each state has a photo of flag, bird, flower, state map, and location on the U. S. map, as well as, the state tree.

Other things we will be using for our State Studies:

We will NOT be using the State coloring book that is recommended. It looked a bit "busy" to me when I looked online at it, so I chose not to order it. We will use the free pages at http://www.crayola.com/ as these are more kid friendly in my opinion. Right on the page they give details about the colors to use for the flag, bird, flower, etc.

We also used the INTERNET for a closer look at map pics, etc. I would find the picture, then hold down the "Ctrl" key while pressing the "+ =" key to zoom in on the pic. Afterwards you do the same to zoom out using the "_ -" key.

We will not be using the library because that is just exhausting to me. Iwill be returning the books we have checked out called Let's Discover the States. Although these books are good, I just do not want to deal with due dates, planning library trips, searching out books, and checking out the appropriate book in this series each week. I would like to say that if I had the series here at home I would use it.

I did order the state stickers, BUT I only ordered one package. Bad move because I need a set for each child. What I think I will do is make a small poster (arghhh.... don't like posters on the wall) and as we study each state we will add the state sticker to it. It just does not seem fair to let Savannah stick a sticker on her page when Sierra is working just as hard.

Day 1 = Delaware -- Right away I discovered that it would be best to start them coloring their coloring page and doing the details that were not color specific while I was reading to them or showing them the pictures in the book. I start with book #1, since it is so perfect for their level and read and show the pics, then I move on to the other books. Meanwhile, I pull up the internet pics or lay the book down for them to look at between them as they color. All the while we discuss the state information. For Delaware their was no activity listed other than the coloring page. I felt there should be some sort of "activity" for each state. By "activity" I would mean a special area of study, craft, food sampling, outdoor activity, etc.. I decided that the State Bird would be our "activity" focus. The Blue Hen Chicken is the state bird, so I just found that fascinating. We discussed why and the story that goes with it. In hindsight I would have had Savannah right a brief re-cap writing assignment about that and maybe have Sierra write some words like "blue hen chicken" and possily have them do some art in the form of "chicken scratch" on the writing page. LOL! Darn! I wish I had thought of that then. They would have loved that! Anyway, we just did some discussion and oral question and answer.

Interesting Note: The girls instantly said they want to go there. I think we are going to have to tour the fifty states now!!! And I must say that my kids have been to more states than most at their age and we are planning more soon! .... very soon!

Day 2 = Pennsylvania -- Each day we do the same series of things as listed above. For Delaware we did NOT make the craft suggested in the MFW teacher manual. Instead, I pre-cut some parts out of construction paper for them to assemble a Liberty Bell and had them write the verse from Leviticus on it. Isn't it amazing that our founding fathers put Bible verses on everything!! We also found had some great discussion about Hershey, Pennsylvania and the Crayola Factory in PA. I should have bought some Hershey bars in advance, BUT I have come to the realization that we can discuss it and do it later and that it OKAY!

Day 3 = New Jersey -- Each day we do the same series of things as listed above. For New Jersey there was no activity listed. I had the kids use a decorative paper and I found a couple of food items with Nabisco and Campbell's labels on them. We cut off part of the labels and they taped those to their page. Both of these are major companies in America and I felt it was something very relateable to kids... even if we do not have a great deal of these products in our home. Ritz crackers by Nabisco are a staple here and Campbell's Chicken Noodle or Chicken & Rice soups are, also. So, I had only two labels for each of the kids, but it worked.

Day 4 = Georgia -- Each day we do the same series of things as listed above. For Georgia the teacher's manual suggest making Peach Cobbler. Eeeeekkk! I personally like my fruit simple and my kids do too. And simple is what we need in our lives isn't it. We ate a real peach cut up and that was a much healthier alterantive anyway. The girls especially like the state butterfly on their coloring sheets and we pulled out a couple of books and pulled up a pic on the internet to get a closer look at the Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly.

We also just took a trip to our local State Park for the day and participate in a bird nest study for kids and then, went on a nature walk that all tied in perfectly with this study. The girls even made their own bird nests.

Interesting kid funny: Immediately, upon tasting the peach the girls called it a "nectarine" because they are used to their momma's preferred version of "non-fuzzy peaches" (nectarines). We eat peaches, too, but they are usually the canned ones. I choose nectarines over peaches in the produce section usually; however, we love both. We have a crew of kids with "food texture issues" and the got it from their momma. ;)

Of course, we did the Bible and bird portions in the study throughout the week... reading and discussion. And that is it! That is how we are making this curriculum work for us. We use it as a base, but we are changing what we want and adding or leaving out some things. And we are loving it that way. The very study I was avoiding has turned out to be the most enjoyable for us ALL. I just had to get my hands on some good books, stop all the library craziness, change up some things, and chill out about it all.


  1. I love what you're doing Shannon. We've been changing things up (and loosening up) here too. I was laughing at myself the other day because it's taken me SO many months to feel like we're in a groove, or even to just make it work for us and fit our family. I'm sure it will continue to change but it's feeling more like our life instead of school. Hope that makes sense. I came here to check on you and found you talking about the same sort of thing. Love it!

  2. As a fellow MFW Adventures mom/teacher I enjoyed reading your review. We are just a couple states beyond where you are (and yes, by the world's standard schedule we'd be behind as well...but we had a baby...and we do life...and that's the freedom in homeschooling) and I am enjoying learning these facts about the states.

    My Grace still laughs when she thinks that Delaware's state fish is the Weak Fish. She tells me that is a terrible name!

    God's blessings to you,



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