"Adding this resource to our study of the U.S., we have realized that there is so much more to know about the geography of our great country than just states and capitals!
Thankfully, author Cindy Wiggers has made it easy to incorporate the often overlooked, but important subject of geography into our already packed homeschool routine. The Trail Guide to U.S. Geography
provides lots of guidance while allowing for (and encouraging) flexibility and this is just the balance most homeschool moms need!
The manual is easy to navigate and I am very impressed with how thoroughly material is covered. This resource is destined to be a favorite with homeschool families for years to come!" —Cindy Prechtel, Editor Homeschooling From the HeartTrail Guide to U.S. Geography
may be used in an individual homeschool, but it is well-suited to use in a group or co-op, with the added benefit of students tackling different activities and sharing the fruits of their studies with each other through presentations and discussion. —Jean Hall, Eclectic Homeschool Online
"This is an EXCELLENT resource for U.S. Geography. Your child will be very familiar with the United States and each state independently when they are through with this course!" —Holly Cameron at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
"Systematically moving through the US, there's something here for everyone, whether you're looking for a few warm up drills or a thorough, in-depth geography course." —ChristianBook.com
"We have been using the Trail Guide to U.S. Geography
by Cindy Wiggers for our geography studies for over a year now. This resource is wonderful! I have decided to do a series of posts in which I show how we use this resource to study the geography of our country.
For years I had felt guilty because we really weren't studying geography in a systematic manner. For me, the Trail Guide to U.S. Geography
is the perfect geography curriculum. Our geography studies are completed together which works really well for my children (7th, 5th, and 3rd grades)." —To Be Busy At Home Blog
"While the curriculum can be completed in a year, I decided to take a slower pace and complete our study of United States geography over a two year period. The Trail Guide to U.S. Geography
is such a rich resource of ideas, even with two years in which to work through the text, I had to pick and choose which activities we would complete for our homeschool. There are just so many ideas in the text and geography is just one part of our school day. We usually spend about 20 minutes on geography studies each day, although some projects take a bit —Samantha at the Curriculum Choice
"If your homeschooled child loves maps, state trivia and geography, or it's important to you that your kids learn all 50 states, their capitals and basic history, The Trail Guide to US Geography
from GeoMatters is designed just for your home school. The curriculum provides everything necessary for a thorough overview of each of the fifty states in an engaging, multi-level, multidisciplinary method." —Andrea Rose at Associated Content
How can I learn more from people who are using this curriculum?
Join our Yahoo users group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/geographytrailguidesIf I buy the Trail Guide with these additional resources can I get a discount?
From time to time, we offer discounts when you buy a bundle of resources that compliment the Trail Guide to U. S. Geography
. See the Specials
section of our Website.Do I really need the World Almanac?
In the Trail Guide to U.S. Geography
students 8th grade and up will gain daily practice using the almanac. Too many students (and adults) are intimidated by the thickness and fine print of almanacs and therefore do not use them. Students will find out from personal usage just how handy knowing how to use an almanac can be.
Questions are graduated by ease of finding the answers. The first few weeks students are using the same section of the almanac. Questions stay in the same section long enough for students to feel comfortable using the almanac. Helpful hints are provided in parenthesis after many questions to assist students in thinking where to look in the index.
Students will also use pieces of information to calculate answers. This improves critical thinking skills. All answers and formulas are included in the back of the Trail Guide
.What other resources do I need to use this book?
- Outline Maps—for mapping assignments (We recommend Illustrated Atlas of the United States—for mapping assignments and daily geography drills. The U.S. map in a world atlas is not sufficient. You need maps for each state. [Note: We originally recommended the Millennium Atlas of the United States which has gone out of print. The Illustrated Atlas of the United States, published in 2005, appears to be the exact same atlas.]
- World Almanac for daily Geography Trails drills for the secondary student (grades 8-high school)
Additional helpful resources:Can I teach more than one student at a time?
- The Captain's Dog by Roland Smith used during the last 6 weeks of the year for literature unit. Students will read about the Lewis and Clark Expedition through the eyes of a dog, map the trail and choose from a variety of additional assignments. You may be able to obtain this book from the library.
- Geography Through Art by Sharon and Jamie Aramini used for all art projects. Categorized by continent and listed in the Trail Guide, which project to do when appropriate to each state study.
- Geography Terms Chart—great visual aid for understanding geography's physical terms. Used as a resource for weekly Illustrated Geography Dictionary assignments.
- USA/World Double-Sided Map—recommended for 2nd or third graders doing the primary level.
Yes, this book was designed to allow teachers and parents to teach a variety of student levels all at once. All students are studying the same topic, but doing assignments at their own academic level. Assignment choices range from research to art to making crossword puzzles, salt dough maps and keeping a geography notebook and much more. Choose assignments for each student that meets their learning style and interest and you'll have a great time learning together. Set aside one day each month to let each student share what he/she is learning with the others.How many years can I use the Trail Guide to U.S. Geography?
You can use this book for at least 3 years. The daily drills (Geography Trails) are written for 3 levels. You can use any of the remaining trails or levels for subsequent years as a simple geography moment each day to keep atlas usage state facts, and geoTerms fresh.