Every student in our state is supposed to study our State's History. I hate the thought of spending a ton on a State History book that the schools use. So I was very excited to get the opportunity to review, State the Facts: A Guide to Studying Your State from Laurelwood Books.
When the boys did their Ohio History "credit", I was fortunate enough to find an old Ohio History textbook at our library. But I had to do a lot of extra work to make it usable for them, including creating comprehension chapters for each chapter. It made all my lesson planning sessions twice as long as they needed to be. Lydia has been approaching this point in her studies, so I was trying to figure out a way to study Ohio, without using that same textbook. It really was dated, and was not written very well.
The State the Facts: A Guide to Studying Your State ($13.95) is a consumable workbook that allows your student to basically write their own state history book. This book has the majority of the work done for you. Written for students ages 8 and up, the State the Facts: A Guide to Studying Your State combines the benefits of studying your state (history class) along with penmanship, writing skills, and helping them to develop good research skills.
The workbook starts out by encouraging your student to discover who their local Congressman or Senator is. They are provided with questions to ask and even a script if they are calling this person. It's really a nicely written script, that could also be easily be typed up in an email if they are unable to call the office of these government officials. Lydia and I used the internet to research this information. Most of the questions she was able to find the answers to by visiting their official websites. She did try to call one official, but never received a call back. So she emailed them, but also did not receive any information back. We left those blank for the time being, until we can send the information out again. There could be a delay in responses due to work loads.
Every page of the State the Facts: A Guide to Studying Your State draws students to look up information, either in reference books or by looking at reputable sites online. Some of the various research topics include the state flag (including looking at all flags that were flown representing your state), state symbols, famous men/women, inventors, authors, comparison of past events versus current happenings, geography, weather, tourism, ecosystems, and natural resources. There are even pages on planning field trips to go out and explore your state together.
I would suggest that you gradually go through each set of pages in order to get the most out of the information they are researching. You could easily stretch out your state study over a couple month period. I really wish I would have had State the Facts: A Guide to Studying Your State for both the boys when they were studying Ohio History. It would have made my planning so much easier, and the boys would have enjoyed their Ohio History much, much more.
I really like the fact that the pages were not busy and full of distracting pictures. Lydia does not do well if a workbook page is too busy. She was able to concentrate more and she loved that she was able to look up the facts on her computer. She was able to use colored pencils to draw her state symbol information, but she could also add pictures to turn it into a journal style booklet. Students are really only limited by their own imagination.
Even though she hates handwriting, the fact she was able to do her own research kept her distracted from the required writing. But if you do have a delayed writer or a student who struggles due to fine motor delays, you could easily help them write in their answers as they are doing their research.
State the Facts: A Guide to Studying Your State has been one of my favorite additions to our homeschool so far this year. The ease of use is awesome. I simply need to assign her pages. The most work that I have had to do so far, is helping her plan a field trip she would like to see in Ohio. I call that an independence success. She has been excited to share the information that she has been learning. The amount of time she spends each day on State the Facts: A Guide to Studying Your State depends on how indepth she decides to explore the information she is assigned. Some days it's as little as 20 minutes, while others she spends up to an hour.
State the Facts: A Guide to Studying Your State has really allowed her to feel an independence and like she has some control over her schooling.
I know I will definitely be ordering Caty a copy of State the Facts: A Guide to Studying Your State when it's her turn to start studying Ohio History.
Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were given the opportunity to try out various books offered by Laurelwood Books. Take some time to visit the Review Crew blog and see what other wonderful resources they have to offer. These include Patriotic Penmanship, several readers and workbooks to help your students with Latin, Historical Fiction Study Guides, and Scripture Scribe copywork. See how other families used these materials in their homes.
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