Our mascot Horace the River Otter got his new 2020 World Almanac and Book of Facts just before Christmas. Do you have a new homeschool almanac for the new year?
We recommend six standard reference books (riverhouses.org/books) for every homeschool family — not children’s books but family books that will not only help your students learn but will also help make you a better teacher. Five of these are permanent references that will last for years, but the sixth, the World Almanac and Book of Facts, is one that has to be renewed annually. Here’s our Amazon link to this year’s edition:
Modern almanacs are really one-volume desk encyclopedias, packed with information about everything from science and technology (did you know the top speed of a reindeer is 32 miles per hour?), to world history and geography (did you know the average depth of the Indian Ocean is 12,800 feet?), to artists, entertainers, and notable personalities (did you know Robert Penn Warren was the first Poet Laureate of the United States?), and much, much more.
If you have a fact-devouring student — and many young students go through a fact-devouring stage — there’s no better entertainment than the annual World Almanac. (Did you know the island-nation of Tuvalu in the Pacific Ocean has a population of only 11,244?) And for general reference questions on almost any subject, the World Almanac is usually the best place to start. (Did you know Kalamazoo College in Michigan was founded in 1833?)
To get the most out of your almanac, notice that the major sections are marked with black tabs along the book’s fore-edge, and that these tabs are labeled on the back cover: “Year in Review,” “Economy, Business, Energy,” “Health and Vital Statistics,” “Consumer Information,” “World History and Culture,” and so on. And while open-ended browsing of the almanac can be endlessly interesting, be sure that your students also know how to use the comprehensive alphabetical index at the end of the volume when they are trying to locate a specific piece of information.
We regularly refer to material from the World Almanac and Book of Facts in our River Houses website posts, and as of this month our page references have changed over from the 2019 edition to the 2020 edition. Add a new 2020 almanac to your homeschool library and join us as we teach and learn our way through the new year.
What factual findings and informational investigations have you been making in your World Almanac this Orion Term? 😊
❡ Nota bene: The World Almanac and Book of Facts is available in both paperback and hardcover editions. The paperback is less expensive, but it’s also reduced in size making the type exceedingly small for grownup eyes, although your young scholars may have no trouble with it. I always use the hardcover edition.
❡ Stay in the loop: This is one of our regular Homeschool Books & Libraries posts. Add your name to our free weekly mailing list (riverhouses.org/newsletter) and get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🗞