One of the things I find a lot of joy in is seeing M learn U.S. Geography. We are not following a boxed curriculum but instead have pieced together a few key things for homeschool geography that is working for us. I find that this approach is one that she is enjoying and because of that, she is absorbing the material deeply and really learning! We keep it simple and fun which is best for all of us.

All of the things that we are doing could be used for all elementary ages (or teaching multiple ages if that is where you are at). M is in 4th grade this year, so we use a combination of independent study learning and games. For younger kids, the same worksheets are suitable. If you have younger kids, you could just work on finding the answers together. These ideas are great for homeschool geography or to supplement other geography programs for fun.

Here is what we are doing to learn the states:

Individual notebook pages

We are using individual notebooking pages printed from the U.S.A. Activity Pack from The Crafty Classroom. Each day that M does a geography notebook page, she takes out her books, pencils, crayons, and goes to work.

The resource books she uses are:

National Geographic Kids Beginner's U.S. Atlas 2020, 3rd Edition National Geographic Kids U.S. Atlas 2020, 6th Edition The United States of America: State-by-State Guide

These books are the resources for her to find the answers to fill in her notebook pages. M is in the 4th grade. Because she is older, we have chosen this to be an independent task. She likes the quiet time of just looking at the books and filling in the notebooking pages herself. First, she reads through a bunch of the info they have in the atlas about that state and chooses a fun fact that she finds memorable. She uses this for the facts and notes section of the notebooking. M really enjoys the pictures in these books and loves spending some quiet time really making her notebook pages look beautiful. After we complete all 50 pages, I will laminate them back to back and put them in a binder. For now, though, we are just storing them in the front pocket of the 3-ring binder.

If you have younger kiddos or are teaching multiple ages at the same time, these notebooking pages and the atlases are still really great. I love how they can be used independently or with help from mom or teacher. The notebook pages will reflect your kid’s skills at their grade level, so they can still get out of the task what they need to. I think The Crafty Classroom did an excellent job of making them simple enough for littles but detailed enough for the older elementary too!

Drawing

We have been using Draw the USA which is a fantastic book that teaches step-by-step how to draw all of the states and the USA as a whole. M has been working on tracing each page with tracing paper. Each time she does this it only takes a few minutes. It is amazing how just drawing/tracing over these pages is teaching her the placement of the states, where states are located, the abbreviations, and so much more. I just adore how simple and effective this is.

Gameschooling

Admittedly, I am pretty new to game schooling. I am so sad that I didn’t know about it sooner in our homeschool journey. Now that I am on the bandwagon though, I am just so happy with how this has calmed our homeschool days and sparked some new joy into our routines.

We have found some pretty fantastic games that are specifically helping us with U.S.A. geography. M knows she is playing learning games, but she doesn’t care at all because it means quality one on one time with me while the babies nap.

Ticket to Ride is a super fun game that has quickly become a favorite. In this game, you build train routes between major cities in the USA. M is getting super familiar now with those large cities and where they are on the map. These are not capital cities but major cities. Even though we haven’t visited many of the cities in the game yet, she is learning to know what state they are in. Awesome! I hope you get a chance to check out their Amazon reviews. Lots of people are chiming in about how great this game is.

There are lots more geography games on our wish list. The reviews on these other games look pretty fantastic too!

SaleBestseller No. 1
The World Game - Geography Card Game - Educational Games for Kids, Family and Adults - Cool Learning Gift Idea for Teenage Boys & Girls 8-12 with Map
  • Flags, Capitals & Location - Show the country on the map, recognize the flags of the world or name the capital city. All 194 countries & a world map included.
  • Family Board Game - Find the strongest fact about the country and win. Train your memory and brain while having fun.
  • For Kids & Adults - For all stages of knowledge. One of the best educational board games for kids 8-12. Smart birthday / Christmas gift idea for teen boys and girls.
  • Up-to-date Geography Game - An award-winning world learning card game. Can also be used as flash cards or trivia. Country's data is updated regularly.
  • Fun & Educational - The more you play the more you know. Take it on a travel or road trip. For 2 to 5 players ages 8 and up.
Bestseller No. 2
The World Game - Fun Geography Board Game - Educational Game for Kids & Adults - Cool Learning Gift Idea for Teenage Boys & Girls, 2-5 players
  • Family Board Game - Race around the world, pass famous landmarks and win. Train memory and brain while having fun. An award-winning world learning game toy.
  • Flags, Capitals & Location - Show the country on the map, recognize the flag or name the capital city. Cards hold over 1500 country facts.
  • Fun & Educational - The more you play the more you know. Learn about the world while having fun. Take it on a travel or road trip. For 2 to 5 players.
  • For Kids & Adults - Action packed game for all stages of knowledge. One of the best educational board games for kids 8-12. Smart birthday gift idea for teen boys and girls.
  • Up-to-date Geography Game - All 194 world countries included. Cards can also be used as flash cards or trivia. Country's data is updated regularly.
Bestseller No. 3
Sweep the World Card Game – Interactive Geography Game with all Countries of The World – Educational, Competitive & Fun Game for Kids, Teens & all ages - Learning Game for The whole Family
  • 😇 Fun game night: Gather your friends and family and have an amazing game night with our Sweep the World card game! Our geography games are captivating, competitive, but yet educational, the ideal recipe for an entertaining game night with your loved ones.
  • 🧠 Competitive card game: With our Sweep the World geography game, you will have an amazing time. The game requires to make as many matches as possible with the opponents’ cards, getting everyone in a competitive race for the win.
  • 👩‍🎓 Educational and interactive: This interactive geography game is not only fun and competitive but also can help you learn interesting facts about the world’s countries. The cards contain information about population, geographic location, and the respective country’s flag colors.
  • 👨‍👨‍👧‍👦 For the whole family: Our card game is an excellent choice to bring the whole family together and enjoy quality time. Sweep the World game can be played with 2 to 10 players, so you can play it with your friends or family, from children to adults.
  • 🎁 Amazing gift: If you have trouble finding the right gift, our Sweep the World game may be the ideal solution. Interactive, educational, and competitive, our family games make an amazing holiday gift to be enjoyed with your loved ones.
Bestseller No. 4
QUOKKA Who Knows Geography Better? | Kids & Family Card Trivia Game | Fun Learning & Educational Questions for Children & Families | Suitable for Boys & Girls 5+ Years Old
  • EDUCATIONAL FAMILY GAME: Family card games for kids and adults centered around geography, fun and inclusive way for multiple generations to come together and enjoy quality time; It's a fun educational game for kids ages 8-12 and adults
  • GEOGRAPHY CARD GAME: competitive learning card game for the family sharpens geography knowledge; Players answer questions about countries, capitals, landmarks, and more, enhancing their geographical expertise while having fun
  • HOURS OF ENTERTAINMENT: This kids learning card games includes 500 fun questions – no two games are ever the same! Each round of geography games lasts 15 minutes
  • FRIENDLY COMPETITION: Geography trivia challenge game introduce an element of friendly competition that motivates players to absorb knowledge and apply critical thinking skills, make learning an enjoyable and rewarding process
  • BONDING and COMMUNICATION: Engaging in a geography-focused educational games promotes open communication and strengthens familial bonds; Players discuss, share, and exchange information about the geography concepts embedded in the game
Bestseller No. 5
? WORD TEASERS World Geography - Geography Game for All Ages - Fun & Interesting World Geography Trivia Game - 150 Geography Trivia Cards
  • GEOGRAPHY TRIVIA GAME: Take your mind to new places with this fun trivia card game! Challenge your geography knowledge with 150 questions about countries around the world. Identify countries through world history, languages, location & more!
  • 150 FUN QUESTIONS: Make it a game night with the Word Teasers World Geography trivia game! Find out who knows the most about world geography by challenging friends and family to play along!
  • COMPETE AND LEARN: Instead of just getting the answer on the back of the question, read a fun fact and details about the country or location and learn more about the world around you!
  • GREAT FOR QUALITY FAMILY TIME: This trivia game is great for family game nights! Friends and family of all ages can enjoy this fun trivia card game at the dinner table, on road trips, or in classrooms!
  • PERFECT GIFT: Word Teaser card games make great gifts for any occasion!

Puzzles

I think doing a USA Puzzle really does help understand where the states go. Every time M does it she gets faster at it. It has been an important part of our homeschool geography. At first, she used the box to see where the states were located. Now that she has done it a few times, I can see which states she is remembering and which ones she is still working on. The reason we picked this specific puzzle is that the pieces are shaped like the states, and almost all of the states are individual pieces (some of the small eastern states are grouped together). I also really like that the capitals are included.

Bestseller No. 1
GeoToys — GeoPuzzle World — Educational Kid Toys for Boys and Girls, 68 Piece Geography Jigsaw Puzzle, Jumbo Size Kids Puzzle — Ages 4 and up
  • Great Toys for Boys and Girls | For the child who is globally minded or looking to learn more about different countries, this large 26 x 12.5 inch floor puzzle is an ideal jigsaw puzzle. Great girl toys and boy toys.
  • Puzzle for All Ages | With large and small connecting pieces, kids of any age will enjoy its bright colors. Designed especially for children ages 4 and up.
  • Unique Piece Design | The puzzle pieces are shaped like countries and groups of countries. Children will learn how our world works together while engaging in a puzzle different than all others!
  • Geography for Kids | Kids will learn geography in a fun and engaging way while discussing the different countries and how they are related.
  • Skill-Building | Choosing and placing puzzle pieces builds fine motor skills. Kids have enhanced cognitive development as they try to solve the puzzle. Plus they learn and practice their vocabulary of different countries.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Imagimake Mapology USA & World Map Puzzle with Flags, Capitals, Stickers | Educational Toys for Ages 5-7 | Jigsaw Puzzles for Kids Ages 8-10 | Geography Toys for Ages 8-13 | 6 Year Old Boy/Girl Gifts
  • LEARNING & EDUCATION TOYS: A Jumbo Pack with 3 Map Puzzle packed into 1 box - USA, World & Europe maps. Unique, fun, and exciting puzzles for kids ages 8-12 helps children learn about the USA map and more than 65 countries of the World along with their capitals
  • COUNTRY & STATE SHAPED PUZZLE PIECES WITH FLAGS & FACTS : This united states map and world map puzzle cut into actual shapes of states and countries. Kids piece them together, understanding shapes and sizes. This helps to foster geography knowledge, spatial awareness, and the best problem-solving toys for boys age 8-12. This jigsaw puzzles doubles the fun as this toys for ages 5-7 includes Capitals and Flag stickers with new Fun facts about states and countries of the world.
  • GEOGRAPHY-MADE FUN: From Montana in the north to Texas in the south, from Japan in the east to Mexico in the west, kids learn the locations of the different states and countries as they play with this Map of the World & Ameri puzzle. This interactive puzzle helps kids retain geographical knowledge in a fun and memorable way. This geography games for kids 8-12 aids in understanding neighboring regions. For instance, placing Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland together enhances their recognition as neighbors.
  • HOME SCHOOL ACTIVITIES - Spark your child's curiosity and help them discover the world with Imagimake's puzzles for kids ages 8-10. These captivating kids puzzle sets ages 4-6 and beyond are an excellent addition to your homeschooling supplies, providing an interactive and educational experience for children of all ages.
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Bestseller No. 3
Mudpuppy Map of the United States of America Puzzle, 70 Pieces, 23”x16.5", Ideal for Kids Age 5+, Learn all 50 States by Name & Capital, Double-Sided Geography Puzzle with Pieces Shaped like the State
  • 70-PIECE PUZZLE: The double-sided 70-piece map of the USA puzzle is perfect for children ages 5 and up to complete on their own or with a little help. The finished puzzle measures 23” x 16.5” and is a great way for kids to start learning US geography!
  • COLORFUL ARTWORK: Kids will love learning the 50 states by name, capital city, shape, location, and state nickname from the colorful and whimsical illustrations of the map puzzle. Pieces are shaped like each state with its nickname on the back.
  • STURDY STORAGE BOX: The 12.5” x 9” x 2” storage box shows the completed puzzle artwork and is an ideal place to keep pieces safe, together, and free from damage. Also makes a great gift!
  • AWARD-WINNING PUZZLE: The Mudpuppy map of the United States puzzle is an Oppenheim Gold Best Toy Award winner.
  • SCREEN-FREE FUN: For over 25 years, Mudpuppy has created quality non-digital puzzles, games, and toys for children and families that facilitate creative play and imaginative thinking. All Mudpuppy products adhere to CPSIA, ASTM, and CE Safety Regulations.

Homeschool geography in real life

I love thinking outside the box for all learning experiences. Some other ideas to learn about individual states are to take field trips to a destination that help the kids discover a historical event or a significant place for that state. We live in Michigan and some of the ways we have learned more about our state was by visiting the state capitol building and also learning some of our state’s history when we visited Colonial Michilimackinac.

What are your thoughts on teaching homeschool geography?

These are the resources we are currently using. Have you found other things that really help your kiddos with U.S. Geography? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to join the conversation.