America the Beautiful

Katharine Lee Bates

O beautiful for patriot dream

     That sees beyond the years

Thine alabaster cities gleam

     Undimmed by human tears!

                America!  America!

    God shed His grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood

    From sea to shining sea!

Slowly, but surely, we are beginning our study on the US.  Before, when we ventured out on our journey around the world, I really didn’t know what we were doing and just jumped into it (which is kind of my style but a bit easier with only three kids and zero nausea) and it worked out and I love the way it turned out, even if it did take MONTHS longer than I expected.   This time, we’re taking our time, doing a shorter journey, and, in doing so, I decided to just do a US introduction for the first couple of weeks.  So, the past two weeks we have been learning basic facts about the US….number of states, finding different states using our map legend and navigating north-south-east-west, etc., which oceans it lies in between….

Our first project was a salt-dough map, using flour, salt and water

We traced an outline of a US map on a piece of cardstock and then filled it in with the dough.

This was a project I did alone with Tallinn as Addie was a little tuckered from her learning and Cardiff isn’t quite ready, although he had some fun with the dough, too.

How could I resist an opportunity to capture those cute-ever-growing hands?  Man are they quickly getting so big!

While we’ve been waiting for the dough to dry (it is finally dry and we’ll paint it soon), we got to work on another project.

First, the kids attempted to draw the US on their own….

If you notice my most excellent cartography skills on the white board, you will see why my children’s versions are so imaginative 🙂 (they might even be better cartographers than me).


Tallinn's finished map

 I let them use their own artistic talents to fill in the maps, while I attempted to fill in each state using my USA map place mat from Crocodile Creek.  They have such fun products!

My finished map.



Cardiff's map....remember, he's three!



Addie's finished map.

So there you have it.  We are back.  Sort of.  Navigating our way again, with stops to change diapers, deal with tantrums, soak up afternoon naps and just sit together with a book.   Thanks for joining us at our new-and-maybe-not-so-improved-life-with-four-kids pace!


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