Children’s Atlas of the U.S.A. ~ A Master Books Review

We love to have books that are fun to read and we learn from them. We got the chance to review the Children’s Atlas of the U.S.A. from Master Books and we were thrilled!

What Is It

There are 112 pages to this book. While we got the digital copy, we love to hold things, so I printed this book out (Thank you HP Instant Ink!).  I just wish I had used a thicker paper when I printed, live and learn. After a short introduction and a table of contents, we have a two-page spread on every state in the U.S.A. At the end of the book, we have the District of Columbia also listed, along with a glossary and index.

Each two-page spread will name the state, show it on the map, and give us a map of just the state with the major cities. There is a sidebar that lists the state’s preamble, statehood history, population ranking, capital, state flower and bird, nickname, and highest point. We also have the state flag, seal, and an interesting fact.

The first page will share with us some interesting state history facts. The second page shares with us Wonders in God’s World for the state. Both of these pages are full of beautiful color pictures. If this is anything like the Children’s Atlas of the World, which we own in the physical form, I know that those pictures are so much more beautiful on the printed pages versus my printing. We honestly still loved the pictures.

How We Used It

With the current course of study that we are in, we are not focusing on the U.S.A. but that did not stop us from adding this into our studies. We added this book into our daily moring time, only we only used it once a week. We grab the book on Wednesday of every week, read a two-page spread of one state, and discuss. It is that simple. Yes, we could add more. What? We could do some copy work, we could add a more detailed study of the state. We could even do more than one state a week. However, right now, we are using this as an introduction to the U.S.A.

In the future, we do plan to use this more. We will go through all the states one time as an introduction. We will start over again in about a year. The next time we go through this book, we will add a little more extra work. And that cycle will continue until the kids know the U.S.A. and some facts about each state…and mom and dad also!

What Did We Think

We loved this book! The information in the book is wonderful! We have learned so much, even though we are only a few states in. We love the options that come with this book. You can really use this however you want. I have found my husband flipping through the pages when he thinks no one is looking. The kids don’t think they are really adding another subject to their day, but they are learning each time we open the book.

This book will be used for many years in our homeschool. From learning state by state, or by adding this in as we learn about the history of the U.S.A. There are endless possibilities, just let your mind, or your children’s mind take the lead for how to use this!


Brookdale House ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Brookdale House Review

How do you teach your kids the United States? You know, the names of the states and where you can find them? How do you make it fun and not boring? Well, we draw them…yep, Using Drawing Around the World: USA from Brookdale House.

Brookdale House Review

What It Is

This is a simple program that will help your children learn about the United States. This program, while simple is very effective in the repletion it uses. Each week you will work on one or two states all while refreshing what you have already learned in the previous weeks.

The first day of your four days of using this each week starts off with the children learning the state(s), what shape they are, and the facts about them. They will also find them on the map and start memorizing that as well.

Each of the rest of the days has your child drawing the states on the map first tracing the outline of those states next you have the chance to challenge your child and have them draw the state free hand.

Finally, on the fourth and last day of the weekly study, your child will list the states and abbreviations that they know, all the way from the beginning. This is the test each week!

Brookdale House Review

How We Used It

We had both boys using this program together. Monday would be the day they sat down and looked up the information together on the internet and the map we have hanging up. Ray Ray even pulled out our geography book to look at. They would find the information and each write it down.

The drawing was where I saw the difference in the boys. Moe Man loves to draw and really enjoyed the drawing part of it all. This is where he found himself memorizing the states. Ray Ray is my facts boy, he remembers the states by their facts!

Each week, I would quiz the boys during the week to see how much they remembered. I would see if they could remember the names and capitals of the states, as well as the abbreviations of the states. After we got that bit down, we would find them on blank maps. The maps that show you the states, but not the names. While this is not listed in the program, this is something I really like to do with them, it is a me thing!

What We Thought of It

I love Brookdale House, and all that they have to offer. When I heard they had this…I was happy! I wanted the boys, and the girls when they are older, to know our states. I know that it is hard for Moe Man to memorize, but I know that with Brookdale House, that he can. This company knows how to make memorizing facts fun.

The boys loved sitting down together and working on this. Moe Man loved to be able to find the information on his own and loved to be able to remember what he was learning. Ray Ray loved doing big kid work. And I loved watching both of them memorizing on their own terms.

Brookdale House has many options for learning. Check out some of these other programs the other Review Crew families reviewed.

 Brookdale House Review

Crew Disclaimer

Learning Through the USA ~ Minnesota

Welcome to the lovely state of Minnesota! We want to share a little about our home state with you here at Hopkins Homeschool.

Learning through the USA ~ Minnesota

Photo Credit: Some rights reserved by J. Stephen Conn Flickr


Here in Minnesota, we are called The North Star State or The Land of 10,000 Lakes. But we have a slight problem with that one…we actually have more than 15,000 lakes here in our state! I am sure that is quite a few, but it is great for those of us who love to go fishing…like our principal loves to do!

While out on the lakes, we love to watch our state bird, the Common Loon, and try to catch the state animal, the walleye for supper.

Learning through the USA ~ Minnesota

We became the 32nd state on May 11, 1858. Our state capital is Saint Paul. Saint Paul is on one side of the mighty Mississippi River, and on the other side is Minneapolis. Here in Minnesota, we call these two large cities the Twin Cities.

Learning through the USA ~ Minnesota

The flag of Minnesota is royal blue in color and has our state seal in the center. The state seal shows a farmer and an Indian riding by on horseback. Above this picture is a banner that says L’Etoile du Nord (The Star of the North), our state motto. A wreath of Lady’s Slippers, the state flower, surrounds all this. And surrounding this is 19 stars, showing that Minnesota was the 19th state to join the Union after the original 13.

Learning through the USA ~ Minnesota

Minnesota is located in the Midwest. We are just below Canada and next to the Great Lake of Lake Superior. Wisconsin, Iowa, South and North Dakota all surround us as our neighboring states.

We have a little bit of everything here. I am sure you have heard of the Mighty Mississippi River. Well that great river starts right here in Minnesota. At Lake Itasca State Park in Northern Minnesota, we are able to actually walk across this great river. Also in northern Minnesota we have the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. This is one of the largest wild areas in the USA. Of our over 10,000 lakes, a minimum of 1,000 of those are located right here in the Boundary Waters. These lakes are almost all connected which makes this ideal for those who love the water!

Learning through the USA ~ Minnesota

 As you travel down the North Shore Scenic Drive, following the shores of Lake Superior, you can stop off and see the beautiful Split Rock Lighthouse. This lighthouse had guided ships along the rocky shores for over 60 before becoming a part of the state parks. Stopping here you can learn about Lake Superior’s history.

Learning through the USA ~ Minnesota

On your way down the shore, you need to stop by Duluth. This is the harbor city where the large ships come in from Lake Superior. Duluth has a beautiful lift bridge. The best part about this, is stopping to visit, walking the docks and watching a ship come in and go under the bridge. The guys on the ships are so friendly and happy to see people, they love to stand out and wave as they come in. All of us kids love it when we are able to go up there and listen to the horns of the ships and see just how large they really are!

Learning through the USA - Minnesota

Photo Credit: Some rights reserved by the naked fauxtographer Flickr

Once you make your way to the Twin Cities, you will be able to stop by and visit the State Capital building and see the gold horses on the roof. Or if you like the arts better, you can stop by the Walker Art Center and see the large Cherry on the Spoon.

Learning through the USA ~ Minnesota

You can’t visit Minnesota without trying some of our food. We haven’t had it, but our grandparents and great grandparents have talked about the Scandinavian lutefisk for a holiday treat. You can skip that and head over to Austin and try some canned meat, Spam. But our favorite food is our Minnesota Wild Rice Soup! There is nothing better on a cold winter day. Here is the recipe we have made.

Now, before I get lost in a Minnesota good-bye (we can say good-bye and still be visiting over an hour later!), I wanted to share my Study Minnesota Pinterest Board with you. You can find worksheets and links to more information here.

We are glad you stopped by our lovely state and hope you learned something new! We sure did! Now to leave you with our state song, Hail! Minnesota.

I am linking up over at and the Learning thru the 50 States link up. Want to visit other states? Head on over and check them out!

Have you ever been to Minnesota? What is your favorite place to visit?


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