• Write to famous people, sports figures, or legislators from the state.
  • Imagine you are interviewing a figure from the state's past. What would he or she say? Write it up as an interesting article or story.
  • Keep a journal of interesting sites, events, and people from around the state.
  • Create a mock advertisement or radio ad for the state tourism department.
  • Interview interesting people from your area or write about current state/local events. Submit it in article form to a local paper. You never know—they may print it.
  • Create a current-events scrapbook.
  • Write a children's short story or tall tale about a local historical event. Share it with a co-op or homeschool group.
  • Using ideas in this unit, write a report, or choose and write one type of essay: cause/effect, compare/contrast, persuasive, or personal.  

Math

  • What are the dominant businesses and industries in the state? Find out the percentage of jobs and revenue they bring into the state.
  • Follow local and state business stocks and create an imaginary investment portfolio. 
  • Visit the tax office to find out how local tax dollars are spent. 
  • What careers are students interested in pursuing? What are the current local or regional wages for those types of jobs?
  • Create a budget based on those wages, factoring in local living expenses. 

Science

  • Visit a state science museum, observatory, or botanical garden.
  • Check out local or state park nature centers; most have programs for students of all ages.
  • Volunteer at a park, zoo, or nature center.
  • Attend an astronomy group's stargazing events, join a birdwatching group or photography club, hike nature trails, or go on a fishing trip or whale watching tour.
  • Research the effects of building and industry on the environment and wildlife.
  • Are there any endangered species in your area? Find out how they became endangered and what efforts are being made to preserve them.
  • Research the impact regional weather and climate has on residents, animals, and the environment. 

Volunteer Work/Humanities

  • Volunteer for local charities such as a food bank, Habitat for Humanity, or a soup kitchen.
  • Find out how these organizations raise funds to support their efforts. Is there any way that homeschoolers can aid their efforts.
  • Organize a group of homeschoolers to conduct a food or clothing drive or a fundraiser for charity.
  • What issues unique to your area do residents face? For example, is the area dependent on seasonal tourism, casino industry jobs, farm or factory work? How does this affect the residents as consumers and taxpayers? How does it affect their general lifestyle?

Resources

  • Search the Internet.
  • Visit the local library or bookstore for texts, videos, and maps. Libraries often have separate sections reserved for state books and resources.
  • Visit the County Chamber of Commerce or Visitor's Center and check out state and local historical sites, groups and societies. They have maps and pamphlets with guides and/or historians available for programs, field trips, and general info.
  • Switched-On Schoolhouse State History Software, available for all 50 states.  Alpha Omega Publications, 804 N. 2nd Avenue E., Rock Rapids, Iowa 51246, 800-622-3070
  • Other curriculum suppliers carry books, videos, and resources with state information.  

*This article published on October 13, 2010.


Karen Lange is a still a homeschool mom at heart, even though her three children have graduated from homeschooling. She is a freelance writer and speaker and an online writing instructor for homeschool teens. Visit her Web site at www.hswritingcoop.bravehost.com, or e-mail her at writingcoop@yahoo.com

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form without prior permission of the author, Karen Lange.

This article was originally published in the May/Jun 2009 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. Sign up now to receive a FREE sample copy! Just click here: http://homeschoolenrichment.com/magazine/request-sample-issue.html