Tour the United States and travel the countries of the world each week with the River Houses.
Many homeschoolers like to review the U.S. states and the nations of the world each year, and the recommended River Houses reference library includes a world almanac, a world atlas, and a history encyclopedia that make these reviews fun and easy. We review the states in the traditional order of admission to the Union (almanac page 453), so this week’s state is:
- New Jersey (18 December 1787) — The Garden State. New Jersey appears on page 580 in your almanac, and on plate 43 in your atlas. “The Duke of York, in 1664, gave a patent to Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret for Nova Caesaria, or New Jersey, after England’s Isle of Jersey” (almanac page 455).
❡ What can you do with the state of the week? A thousand things, with your reference library as a starting point. Look up the state bird in your bird guide or trace the state’s outline with your atlas. Read the almanac’s one-paragraph history aloud each week. Using each state’s official website (above), find and copy the preamble to that state’s constitution into a commonplace book over the course of the year. Practice math skills by graphing each state’s population and area. Look up famous state residents online or at your local library — the possibilities are endless and they can be easily adjusted according to a student’s age and interests.
This week’s countries, with links to their official websites, are:
- Australia (English), in the southwest Pacific.
- Austria (English and German), in Europe.
- Azerbaijan (English, Russian, and Azerbaijani), in southwest Asia.
- The Bahamas (English), in the western Atlantic Ocean between Florida and Cuba.
These all appear in your almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia as well. For example, you’ll find the main entries for the tiny island nation of the Bahamas on almanac page 751, atlas plates 42 and 49, and history encyclopedia page 504, with illustrations, flags, and other mentions available through the indexes in each volume.
What geographical discoveries have you made in your homeschool this week? 😊
❡ Read and think critically: Note that the country links above go to official websites, which are not always in English, and which may well be propagandistic in one form or another (thus offering older students a good opportunity to practice their critical reading and thinking skills).