Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Geography/History Guest Post


Each year more families make the decision to actually live out the little bit of life we are seeking through our postcard exchange. Instead of sitting here looking at the postcards and researching the places on their computers, they hit the road and actually make it a lifestyle to visit all these lovely places. Tonya from Live the Adventure and her family live, travel, and homeschool in their RV. They live what we are attempting to bring into our homes through the postcard exchange. Tonya has a very lovely blog about their adventures as they travel from one place to another. She has been so kind to share with us what it has been like for her family to live this adventure. Please enjoy her guest post, and visit her blog here.


Hi There! I’m Tonya from Live the Adventure  and today I’m honored that Debbie asked me to share a little bit about our life with you on this week’s edition of the Postcard Exchange/Geography Lesson.

I’ll start with a little bit of background about my family. My husband and I homeschool our three children who are now 13, almost 15 (next week) and 16 and have done so for 11 years. For the past four years, we have traveled with my husband’s job and since last year, we have lived in a 30 foot class A motor home. We make it a point to thoroughly explore our surroundings, wherever that may be. I guess right now you could say life is like one big field trip.

It does have its moments, both ups and downs and part of the downside would be that I just don’t have room for all the wonderful books and resources that I had at home. Since I have to be especially selective in what I choose to have on hand I thought I’d share a few of those with you. Even though my children are older, I think you’ll find that these apply to a large age range.

Two of my children are auditory learners and loved the CD’s from Audio Memory. We used and loved both Geography Songs and States and Capitals. Set to music, these CD’s make learning capital cities effortless. The kits do include worksheets that can be used to enhance your study, such as maps that you can label and color.

Another wonderful resource is Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel.  This book shows a family from many different countries outside their home with all their possessions. Though you will see side bars with information, I found that in this case, a picture truly is worth a thousand words.

Finally, I’d like to mention a resource that I think is really a bargain, The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide by Maggie Hogan and Cindy Wiggers.  I believe this huge resource is all that you need to teach geography for K-12 students. You’ll find the pages packed with fun, hands-on activities, a sample unit study showing you how to create your own geography study using a great book as a base, reproducible maps and timeline images. Plus, if you’re worried about when to teach what, you’ll find a scope and sequence suggesting what your child should know in each grade. This book is an outstanding value!

While these are a few materials that I use in my own home, there is no substitute for getting outdoors, out in your community or in your state exploring the world around you.

Take a walk around the block and later ask your child to map it from memory. In the middle of summer, take a creek hike. Walk in the creek bed taking notice of different features you would have missed if you were walking along the bank. (Make sure this is safe to do in your area. Take along a walking stick in case of snakes and to check the depth of the water if the creek bed isn’t dried up).

Go letterboxing. Go for a Sunday drive and notice the animals, trees and flowers that are native or common to your area.

Go hiking to the highest point in your state. Explore the lowest part in your state. What do you have near you? Do you live by a swamp, bayou, river, deciduous forest, wildlife refuge?  Explore what ever is unique to your area. You don’t have to go far away to have an adventure. I guarantee there’s one waiting near you!

Thank you Tonya for taking the time to share with us about your family, the materials you find useful, and the great ideas for exploring our world.

There are so many families just like Tonya living this lifestyle you can find many of them listed at :

FOTRlink120 Each with their own reasons for living on the road, and with their own experiences.

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  1. Great post! Thank you for all the wonderful resource recommendations! I'll definitely be looking for some of those. And I love the ideas of exploring our own neighborhoods and parks.

  2. Great guest post and thanks for all the links! I have dreams of traveling the country one day, but I think we need to start small and make it to our state capital for starters.

  3. Loved reading about what you guys have been doing! Thanks for sharing :-)

  4. We love exploring our state and when the kids get a bit older, we hope to see more of the country.