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:
- Connecticut (9 January 1788) — The Constitution State, the Nutmeg State. Connecticut appears on pages 567–568 in your almanac, and on plate 44 in your atlas. The name comes from “Mohican and other Algonquin words meaning ‘long river place’” (almanac page 455).
❡ What can you do with the state of the week? A thousand things, with your reference library as a starting point. Find the state bird with your almanac and look it up in your bird guide. 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 the 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:
- Belgium (English, French, Dutch, and German) in Europe.
- Belize (English) in Central America.
- Benin (French only) in West Africa.
- Bhutan (English), in South Asia.
These all appear in your almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia as well. For example, you’ll find the main entries for Benin on almanac page 754, atlas plate 97, and history encyclopedia page 562, with illustrations, flags, and other mentions available through the indexes in each volume.
What geographical discoveries have you made in your homeschool lately? 😊
❡ 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.