Tour the United States and travel the countries of the world with the River Houses.
Many homeschoolers review the U.S. states and the nations of the world each year, and the recommended River Houses reference library includes a current world almanac, a world atlas, and a history encyclopedia that make these reviews fun and easy. We are going through the states in the traditional order of admission to the Union (almanac page 453), so this week’s state is:
- South Carolina (23 May 1788, the 8th state) — The Palmetto State. Capital: Columbia. South Carolina appears on page 586 in your almanac, and on plate 42 in your atlas. Name origin: “In 1619, Charles I gave patent to Sir Robert Heath for Province of Carolana, from Carolus, Latin name for Charles. Charles II granted a new patent to Earl of Clarendon and others. Divided into North and South Carolina in 1710″ (almanac page 455, in telegraphic style).
❡ 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 the famous state residents listed in your almanac either 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:
- Cabo Verde (Portuguese only), in the eastern Atlantic off the coast of West Africa.
- Cambodia (English and several other languages), in Southeast Asia.
- Cameroon (English and French), in west-central Africa.
- Canada (English and French), in North America.
These all appear in your current almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia as well. For example, you’ll find the main entries for Cambodia on almanac pages 758–759, atlas plate 87, and history encyclopedia pages 592–593, 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: 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 skills in critical reading and analysis.