Welcome to 5 Days of Homeschooling for Free, a 5-part series. For the next 5 days, I will be sharing a subject by subject list of free resources you can use in your homeschool! Today, we are looking at a fun way to use state maps and travel guides for teaching U. S. geography. Other articles in this series cover math, science, history, and writing. Let’s get started!
Most of these kits provide lovely full-color books filled with pictures and descriptions of the best the state has to offer in field trips, historical landmarks, state and national parks, and more. The road maps are an invaluable tool in learning the lay-out of the land and of course the cities and towns. Sometimes the maps also have interesting facts and tidbits to help you learn even more about the state.
I’ve compiled links for the travel guides and roads for all of the states and our nation’s capital for your convenience. We have travel kits and maps from most states in large storage box. Each state is given their own file folder where all of the travel guides and maps are kept. We use these to help us plan fun field trips when we are traveling, and when we are learning about a particular state in our homeschool. At the very least, be sure to order the kit for your own state.
How to use travel guides and road maps in your homeschool:
Use them as a jumping off point to create a state unit study (learn how to plan unit studies yourself). Choose a state and read through the vacation guide, finding major points of interest. Learn more about each place. Use your map for a scavenger hunt of the places you just learned about. Plot each place on your map. Discover the state and national parks for your chosen state learn more about them. Find them on the map. Plan a virtual vacation — where will you go? what’s the best route to take to make all of your stops?
Other learning opportunities:
Learn about the importance of tourism to a state’s economy. Have your student design a travel brochure based on what was learned from the kit. Use state road maps to learn about how to use maps, including latitude and longitude, map legends and symbols, and compass rose. That should get you started. The possibilities are endless. It’s likely you will be inspired by each individual travel kit — they are all a little different. Some will just send a travel guide booklet. Others will send an entire packet of brochures about sites around the state.
State-by-State List of Travel Guides and Maps
Arizona (visitor guide – includes map)
Colorado (vacation guide – includes map)
Florida (travel guides and map)
Georgia (travel guide)
Hawaii (visitor guide)
Illinois (travel guides)
Indiana (travel guides and map)
Iowa (travel guide)
Louisiana (inspiration guide)
Maine (travel guides)
New Hampshire (visitor guide and map)
New Jersey (travel guide and map)
New York (travel guide)
North Carolina (travel guide and map)
North Dakota (travel brochures)
South Carolina (vacation guide and map)
South Dakota (vacation guide and map)
Vermont (vacation guide)
A couple of other great tools for teaching U. S. Geography we have found very useful that also happen to be free:
Globalmania: Globalmania will enable your students to master world geography in just 7 months and you can begin using it today. You will receive Globalmania instantly when you subscribe to the Knowledge Quest newsletter.
Seterra: Seterra is a challenging educational geography game with more than 100 different exercises. Learn about countries, capitals, oceans, flags and cities in Africa, Europe, South America, North America, Asia and Australia, using outline map exercises!
NotebookingPages.com: the sample set you can receive for free by subscribing includes some state notebooking pages. You may want to go ahead and purchace the State Study Complete Set after you see them though. We actually have the Lifetime Treasury Membership because we use and love all of their notebooking pages. Use discount code = discount10 to save $10 on your $20+ purchase at NotebookingPages.com. This discount is for individual purchases only and cannot be used on a Treasury Membership.
Download these free printable passports.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out more homeschooling for free resources with these 10 Math Resources Worth Your Time.