Review: Drawing Around the World: USA from Brookdale House

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My boys have a thing for geography.  I’m not sure what exactly draws them to it but they love learning all about the states, where they are, and interesting facts about them.  They gobble up that information like crazy. Memorizing it all can be a bigger challeng.  When the opportunity to review Drawing Around the World: USA  from Brookdale House came up I thought we could have a lot of fun with it.  I was right! This simple and straightforward geography program presents the states and facts about them all through drawing.  For this review we were provided with a nearly 300 page digital download of the program to print and use.

Brookdale House is a provider of Charlotte Mason homeschool method resources.  They mix fun and learning into every lesson making learning easy.  Repitition is often key. They have programs to help teach children in a variety of subjects including writing, grammar, Bible, history and others.

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The lessons in Drawing Around the World: USA are short and incorporate drawing to help the child learn all about the 50 states plus Washington DC.  This program is designed for grades 4-12.  These lessons take just a few minutes each day and it doesn’t take long before the children can actually draw the states from memory.  This amazed me!  I once watched a show about states and the host challenged adults to draw states as he named them.  Most people couldn’t even begin to do that.  But my kids can now! The method depends on daily repetition and drawing the states many times over.

The children draw, write, and research information about each state.  There are website suggestions to help you find the needed information and facts that really made this whole study more interesting.  The program takes 27 weeks to finish if you are working at it 4 days per week.  The children draw maps by hand as well.  In the beginning they start with a blank U.S. map and fill in just one state. As the weeks go on they draw more states until the entire map is full.  Afer the first day I explained this to my children.  Neither of my boys believed that they would ever be able to do the whole map.  They can’t yet but we are certainly heading in that direction.  When we finish the program they will be able to draw all of the states and include the capitals.

You can see some sample pages here…. Sample Pages

I love how simply everything is put together.  Every week we followed the same lesson plan:

On Day 1:  Children learn about the new state or states recording basic information and drawing the state and capital on the map.  Previously learned states are also drawn out again.  I thought this might get tedious for them but I haven’t heard ny complaint yet.

On Day 2: On day two the child draws the new state and capital again as well as the previous states.  My guys challenged themselves to complete better more accurate drawings each time. 

On Day 3: Same as Day 2.  This is where the repition comes in.

On Day 4: Write down the names of the states and their capitals from this and other weeks and then draw them all on a U.S. map.  This is done from memory.

That is all there is to it.  The learning happens day by day.  Both of my 3rd and 5th graders used this program with ease.  They worked together and had a lot of fun comparing their drawings and giggling at the differences.

We learned a lot of fun information during this study.  Yes I said WE!  I learned too, as I often do.  The information about the various inventions and discoveries made in each of the states is just fantastic.  A lot of states surprised me.  One of the first things we learned is the fact that 99% of all blueberries in this country are produced in Maine.  I’ve never associated Maine and blueberries before but there you have it.  I just enjoy facts like those and so do my children.

Overall

This program is great!  It’s fun, easy, and the children (and mom) learn a ton!  You can’t go wrong!

 Brookdale House Review
 

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