Archive for the ‘Geography’ Category

“Hold the globe up to a funhouse mirror and you’ll get a sense of what the Atlas of the Real World’s all about: Here, you’ll find a series of global maps, all of which reshape countries according to various demographic rankings.

Take housing prices: On that map, Western Europe is as big as — well — a house, but Africa barely registers. India and China rule the rails (hence their plump presence on the trains map), while the U.S. dominates the skies. Which country is just bursting with mopeds? Greece is the word! China was the richest country 2,000 years ago — and according the projected 2015 map, it’ll be the richest country in the world again soon. And anyone who’s nostalgic for the Cold War can take comfort in the nuclear-weapons map: The U.S. and Russia are as massive as they ever were.” – – VSL


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“According to National Geographic magazine, American youths, even the ones not competing to become Miss Teen USA, have an easier time locating the Malaysian island of Pulau Tiga on a map (Survivor was filmed there) than they do New Jersey. Suitably dismayed, NatGeo has responded with a lovely and informative website called Map of the Day.

Here you can see the location of Alan Shepard’s lunar golf game — the astronaut’s ball traveled “for miles and miles and miles” — and find out where the first baseball game was played (it was played in a small town in the hard-to-locate state of New Jersey). Follow Cortez through the Yucatan, and De Soto in Florida. Then try to guess the historical event that MotD will peg tomorrow’s map to. The daily doses are accompanied by capsule histories and quick, multiple-choice trivia tests: They’re perfectly sized geography drills for kids and parents both.” – – VSL 


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“What do you get when you cross the U.S. Census Bureau with Don Rickles? A county-by-county breakdown of America’s ethnic groups, and God’s own gift to political consultants, history buffs . . . and insult comics, who can assume that material about Iceland is fairly safe everywhere in the U.S. — except, of course, Pembina County in northeastern North Dakota, where you slag Björk at your own risk, pal.

These PowerPoint-friendly PDFs are color-coded, and the colors themselves are home-country metaphoric: The ubiquitous Irish are clover green. The Mexican red belt reflects the hot flush of sentiments boiling up in our border states. The French are French blue, of course, and red-blooded Americans will be pleased to learn that the Russians are, in fact, yellow. According to the Census Bureau, whites — that is, actual Caucasians — will become a national minority by 2042. But these maps, which are based on the 2000 Census, are a timely reminder that America never was that white to begin with, and that — demographically speaking — the future is nowhere we haven’t been before.” – – VSL


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 I tried to leave two comments on this site; however, I think the spam blocker, blocked them because of all the sites I listed.  So, I will leave this up for a while – – hope it helps someone!!  : )

Although the resources would be considered free, in all actuality, you do have to pay for shipping.  I belong to several on-line book swapping sites.  In all of them, you get points when you ship out books to others – – you can, in turn, use those points to get books for yourself.  The most common cost of mailing a book is 2.13.  Very good deal for a book.  Here are the sites:

A lot of the books I use for the swaps are from the thrift shop, library sales and what I already have on hand (that we have read and are done with). 

Here are some of my favorite Free (or nearly free) resources:


Classical Music/Composers:

Language Arts



Curriculum (with LOTS of FREE resources)

Okay, there you have it – – my faves broken down…..hope this helps!!  : )

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Today was even better than yesterday!!! : )

Yesterday, as the day progressed, Boo was whiny and {starting to be} uncooperative. I understand that she needed to test the waters – – and I needed to make sure that I let her know that what we do is important and necessary – – and that her “attitude” will not be tolerated. But, I had to do so, in HER language.

Boo is the type of kid who especially dislikes “rocking the boat.” She is the only one of my children to whom I can say, “You have disappointed me,” which is suitable ‘disciplinary action.’ She is also very studious. She is very proud of herself – – and wants the numbers to reflect.

I took points away for “attitude.” It spoke volumes.

Our day was wonderful!!

We listened to Alice in Wonderland {Chapter One} at Storynory. We also did our “usual” Aesop’s Fable, A Child’s Garden of Verses and the Science for Modern Living: Through the Seasons. I also had her do another Magic Square. I will probably do another {easy} one tomorrow and Thursday – – and then, next week, we shall try the harder ones. We started Fifty Famous Stories Retold, today, with “The Sword of Damocles.” I loved that story. We also started Around the World in Eighty Days – Chapter One. It was interesting….I sure felt like a dummy.  These are the words I had to look up – – and yes, we are adding Vocabulary study to ATW. LOL!! : )

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 My plan was to start homeschool on Wednesday; however, I have an order that may not get here until the later part of the week – – so I was contemplating a (next week) Monday start up. The problem: Boo wants to start NOW.

For the last couple of months, I have read about different curriculum’s, put together a 20 week schedule and a daily/weekly schedule, decided on the books, etc. I was right on track….until, after some additional research, I reconsidering a couple of the decisions I had made early on.

I’ve been participating on postcrossing.com for about eight months – – and knew that I would integrate it into our geography studies; however, I wasn’t sure what else I would do (in geography). Then, on a trip to the thrift shop, I found “Around the World in Eighty Days.” Instantly, I knew I had found what I was looking for…..the problem was, it is a Great Illustrated Classic dumbed down version, which did not occur to me until I started researching some of the read-aloud sites. Plus, I had been reconsidering how I would approach Art Appreciation. I had already ordered three packs of six postcards through Dover – – I would use pack of cards for one six week study per artist. Then, I saw several artists that had both the six pack AND a twenty four pack of postcards – – mind gears are turning – – I decided to order one of the twenty four pack and two of the six pack for one artist. I would be able to present two to four cards per week for our artist study – – PLUS – – I would be able to use whatever duplicates (at least six) for geography, too (postcrossing).

Finally, I also ran across storynory.com – – they have the entire unabridged version of “Alice in Wonderland,” read by the wonderful Natasha!! How could I possibly pass that up?

I went back to Dover and purchased the unabridged version of “Around the World in Eighty Days” and “Alice in Wonderland,” one twenty four and two six pack of Paul Cezanne postcards, and several 60 percent off clearance sale classic books (Cinderella (.80), Mother West Wind’s Animal Friends (.60), Hercules (.40), King Arthur (.80), Native American Myths (1.40) and Dr. Dolittle (1.58).

So, what is a Mamma to do? She improvises.

For History, I printed off “The Stories of Albion and Brutus,” which we will read and discuss. Since it is the first story, we may not have a lot to discuss – – but, the boys will be here tomorrow, too and my Honey is a history buff….so, we’ll see. For Literature, we will read and discuss “The Ants and the Grasshopper” (from Aesop’s Fables). Then, for Language Arts, she will copy the moral of the story onto the lined section of this page and in the unlined section of the page, she will illustrate the story. (I can do two fables per page.) For geography and Language Arts, we will send a postcard to a postcrossing user, research the country we will send it to, she will learn how to address a postcard and we will decide what to write. For Poetry, she will read one poem from “A Child’s Garden of Verses.” In science, we will read the first section of Chapter one in the book, “Science for Modern Living: Through the Seasons,” (1950’s) which has to do with bird migration. Yesterday at Wal-Mart, I found a “Foamie” birdhouse kit – – so we will do that for art. Finally, in math, she will do a worksheet on magic squares and we will play the game: Re-Arrange. If there is time, we may play another math game.

Whew. That sounds like a lot – – but, it shouldn’t take more than a couple hours. I am pretty excited – – which is probably why I am having a hard time going to bed. But, it IS almost 2 AM, so should at the very least LAY DOWN – – and hope to get SOME rest!! : )

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Several years ago, I needed a good history curriculum for my oldest – – I wanted something short, sweet and to the point.

That’s when I found The Student’s Friend – – it not only is a history curriculum……it also includes Geography. The sweetest deal….it’s all FREE!!!

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 Maps of the World for ATW



Knock-Out Whist

This is a simple plain-trick game, suitable for children. It seems to be played mostly in Britain, and is often called by the alternative name Trumps. Any number from two to seven may play. A session consists of seven hands, of diminishing size.

A 52-card pack is used, with four suits ranking from high to low A K Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2. A player is selected to deal, and deals seven cards each, clockwise. The uppermost of the undealt cards is turned face upwards to indicate the trump suit.

The player on dealer’s left leads to the first trick. Players must follow suit if they can, otherwise they may play any card. Each trick is won by the highest trump in it; otherwise by the highest card of the suit led. The winner of a trick leads to the next trick.

After the first hand, a second hand is dealt, by the next player in order around the table, with only six cards each. The game continues like this, with one fewer card per player on each hand, until the final hand consists of one card each.

The winner of most tricks on a hand chooses the trump suit on the next hand. If there is a tie for who took most tricks, the players involved in the tie cut cards for the right to choose trumps.

A player who takes no tricks at all in a hand is knocked out, is dealt no more cards, and takes no further part in the game.

There is one exception to the rule about being knocked out: the first player during the game who takes no tricks on a hand is not knocked out immediately but is awarded the “dog’s life”. On the following hand, she is dealt just one card, and may decide on which trick to play it. In the course of the play, a player “on a dog’s life” may, when it is her turn to play, either play her card or knock on the table to indicate that she wishes to keep it for a later trick. If she is the player on the dealer’s left, she is not compelled to lead her card to the first trick; she may either do so, or knock, allowing the next player to lead.

If two or more players take no tricks on the same deal, no one having previously used the dog’s life, these players get one dog’s life each. Apart from this case, there is only one dog’s life available during the game. Players who take no tricks in later deals are eliminated immediately.

If a player on a dog’s life manages to take a trick with her card, the player on her left leads to the next trick, and the dog’s life player is dealt a normal hand on the next deal, and treated like the other surviving players. If the dog’s life player doesn’t manage to win a trick, she is knocked out of the game, like anyone else who takes no trick.

The game is won by the winner of the one trick on the final hand. Or if all but one of the players are knocked out before this, the surviving player is the winner.

Advice on Skillful Play

In choosing trumps, always choose the longest suit. From

Clubs 6
Spades K Q
Hearts 6 5 4

make hearts trumps.

In choosing between suits of the same length, do not choose a suit with very high cards in it, as these may well win tricks even if they are not trumps. From

Clubs A Q
Spades 8 6
Hearts 4

make spades trumps.

*NOTE: This is the game that is played in the 2nd chapter of Around the World in 80 days.

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