Sunday, January 23, 2011

Please help us canter the country!

After "Galloping the Globe" with the kids for the last year and a half, we started "Cantering the Country" a couple of weeks ago. I have ***SO LOVED*** both of these curricula, and had so much fun teaching the kids and learning so much new stuff myself.

For example, one of the people we learned about for Connecticut was P.T. Barnum. We read a children's biography of him out loud over the course of that week, and oh boy, was he an interesting character! We were in stitches reading about him. I for one certainly liked him better than Noah Webster, the other person from Connecticut that we read a biography of that week.

One of the books we read when learning about Maine this week was "Lost on a Mountain in Maine", which is a true story. We also read about Abbie Burgess, another real-life heroine. Other subjects we covered that the boys loved were whaling and logging, and Solomon enjoyed reading poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow most of all the kids.

Anyway, all that to say that of all the available books for homeschooling, this series has been our favorite by far. And I would love for my readers to help me surprise the kids with something! 

I got the idea for this after a couple of people have left me comments from their neck of the woods/world, offering to furnish us with any info we might like from where they live.

I would LOVE for you all to send the kids a postcard from whatever state you live in, and maybe share an interesting tidbit or two that likely would not be found in a book about that state. Something that only the locals would know.  

You can send your postcard anonymously, if you prefer. We will put them up along our big map of the United States. I will also put up a map here on my blog, with a dot (and a name, if included) for all the places that sent us a card. 

View Cantering the Country in a larger map

If you are very ambitions and extra supportive of our homeschooling efforts, you can instead send us a letter with a brochure of a local attraction, or other things that you think we should have to make our learning complete! 

And if you live overseas and would like to get in on the fun, we would be thrilled to hear from you, too!  The kids often consult the globe and talk about the countries we learned about, so it's not too late to give us your input, or even just a postcard with a pretty picture of where you live. Maybe one of my Aussie readers would like to mail some Vegemite?!? The kids are dying to try the stuff. :)

Please send your mail to: 
The Anderson Kids
c/o Faithful Word Baptist Church
2707 W. Southern Ave, Suite 105
Tempe, AZ 85282

Thank you all in advance. Can't wait to see if we will hear from you!


  1. Awww. That is so cute. I will certainly try to get a postcard in the mail to you this week. I live in Mississippi. It might not get there as soon as I'd like...something about those 80 hour work weeks do me in (we have no kids - as if I could do that if I

  2. We will definitely send along a few tidbits about our state (Maine). We are currently having weather with highs of 8 and lows of -20, so this would be a nice project to help keep us busy. My girls enjoy writing to other homeschool families :)

    BTW, we were able to meet Donn Fendler a few years ago, as he came to speak at our homeschool/church. He was a very nice man with such an amazing story to tell. Not sure if you would be interested or not, but if children write to him, he will usually write them back :)


  3. My first grade class participates in a postcard exchange with classrooms from the other 49 states plus Washington, DC. As each postcard arrives, the children learn facts about the state, then we put it on the big map on the wall. This is my fourth year to participate in this, and the kids love it. It's a great way for them to learn geography. Anyway, I design my own postcard and have it printed for free on Vista Prints. I will be happy to send one to your kids so they can learn about the great state of West Virginia.

  4. That sounds so fun. We live about 6 blocks from a hotel. We picked up some goodies for y'all while we were out ! So expect something in the mail from sunny Florida.

  5. I will see what I can do on the vegemite front! I know you can get small sample packs so I will look into getting some of that for you. Hopefully I will be able to send it you because I know some countries have funny ideas about sending food stuffs

  6. I just put the Long Island,New York postcard in the mailbox. It's 15 degrees out there-so I put on my gloves,heavy coat and snowboots. It's suppose to be 3 degrees in the morning! Psalm 118:24(KJV), Proverbs 31:21-She is not afraid of the snow for her household...;

  7. I was so hoping you'd do something interactive with your blog readers! I was home schooled for many years, and absolutely loved it, so I have to admit I am extremely excited to have a tiny bit of participation in this home school activity! Now, to collect some relevant information from the PNW for you.... :)

    - Andrea

  8. Oh how exciting. My kids will be really excited to do this.

  9. Alice, US immigration allowed my mom to bring Vegemite into the country for me (I'm Aussie living in the US) and I was able to send some to my husband who was then my boyfriend, too. They should let it through.

  10. When do you need this stuff by?

  11. Great idea! I'll talk to my wife and see if we can come up with anything. We just started homeschooling our oldest this year.

    By the way, I spent two years in Papua New Guinea and I ate Vegemite one time. It's terrible! Now, PNG beef crackers are very good, your kids should be trying to get some of those...

  12. Would your kids want anything from Canada? Also I do have a question for you and would love some advice if you can offer it. I know you speak more languages than just English and I was wondering if you teach them to your kids. I speak English and French and my husband speaks Italian and English and I would love for my future children to know all 3. Do you have any advice on introducing another language?

  13. Thank you all, we are so excited!!!! :)

    There is no "deadline" for sending your postcard. We will be going state to state for the rest of this school year, and all of next. There is just so much wonderful stuff to learn that we are taking our time.


    thank you for the heads-up about Mr. Fendler. Solomon is eager to write to him now.


    thank you! If you tell me how, we'd love to send a postcard to your class in return, if you like.


    wow, you are on the ball.


    I'd hate for customs to reject your package. :(


    and I thought it was cold here! We have about 70 every day right now, and about 40 at night.


    thank you, can't wait! Glad to hear you enjoyed being homeschooled yourself.


    thank you!


    thanks for the info!


    there is no "deadline".


    thank you. I've heard mixed reviews about the vegemite.


    yes, we'd love anything from Canada! As far as tips for foreign language learning, the experts agree that it is best to either use only one language at home, and another in public, or to have one parent use one language, and the other parent another. Not sure how that would work with three languages, but I know it's possible. Maybe if you live in an English-speaking part of Canada, both you and your husband could use English in public, and you could use French and your husband Italian at home? That only sounds confusing to adults!

    There are many good books on the subject, such as "How to raise a bilingual child" (which also talks about being trilingual). If you look for it on Amazon, it will suggest other, related books. The earlier, the better, but I didn't start learning German until I was almost 8 and I speak it like a native, and didn't start learning English until I was 11 (at which point I almost flunked 5th grade because I was so bad at English).

  14. When you get around to Rhode Island I suggest reading all about Roger Williams. He's the founder of the state and one of the first proponents of religious freedom. He also started the first Baptist church in America.

    I also suggest reading about my home town of Bristol, Rhode Island ("America's most patriotic town".) We have red, white and blue center street lines all year round and host the Country's oldest and biggest Independence Day celebration and parade (every single year since 1777)among other things.

  15. I live in the area where the manatees and whooping cranes winter. I have finished 18 years of homeschooling (last one graduated this last year) so I am clearing out tons of homeschool goodies - I will see about putting together a manatee (and other FL goodies) package.

  16. A card is on your way from Alabama. I drew the state flower on the front for your kids and wrote some tidbits inside about Southern language and an interesting weather event that they may want to look up photos from.

  17. I'll bite.Sounds like fun...will send one from Cape Town, South Africa.:-)

  18. katy-ann, thanks for that heads up! I'll have to try and find some vegemite that's not in glass.
    Rick, did you eat the vegemite on toast with butter? I find that people who aren't Australians LOL tend to put waaaaay too much vegemite on whatever they are eating and then complain that it tastes awful. It's all in getting the proportions right :D Or maybe, our tongues get numbed to it at a very early age LOL

    p.s. life is hectic here at the moment but I will try and get some to you

  19. We used the Abeka- My State Notebook(4th grade)$8. We did our Long Island,NY geography/history in 4th grade with library books. Our Long Island north shore beaches are rocky and have huge boulders and cliffs. That's because during the Ice Age(thousands of years ago-triggered by the Great Flood) a glacier,like a huge bulldozer, stopped there. There's a book my children enjoyed at in the Ice Age(Master Books-$11 hardcover) that I recommend as well as the keepersofthefaith web site(articles/book reviews).

  20. By the way, I'm sure I'm far off in the distance of the curriculum being in Washington State - do you have any idea when you will begin to cover the northwest?

    - Andrea

  21. I'm your 'girl Friday' for Kentucky! I think you've had a marvelous idea and what fun for the children! You're going to have them rushing the mail carrier! Do you mind if we perhaps send some other fun age appropriate related things as well?

    I also have a question regarding the racehorse industry, which is our 'bread and butter' in Kentucky and something for which we're famous. Do you or your husband mind if I write about racing/send a postcard with a racehorse on it if I'm careful to leave out any mention of gambling? My husband and I do go to the races just the watch the beauty of one of God's most beautiful and loyal creatures to man.

    I'm so excited for your children and think this is a wonderful idea.


  22. Thank you all, we are so excited! The kids loved getting the cards that have come in so far!!!!

    Andrea, the Northwest is the last area to be covered - if you were going to send a card, you can do so right away, as we will be mounting all the cards around our big US map on the wall in the school room. They will just have all that longer to get excited about "going" there.

    we'd love to have you send us information about the racing/horses. Isaac is very much into horses, he would just love that, I'm sure.

  23. I see "my" dot on your map -- how cool! Thanks for letting all of us participate in your project; it really brightened my week!

  24. How many letters/cards have you gotten so far? Did mine make it there yet? The map is really fun.

  25. Abeka has a Christian biography called-Noah Webster:A Man Who Loved Words(5th grade and older-$10.25). We read it years ago and if I remember correctly we enjoyed it.Glad to see you received the two New York postcards.Another good Christian biography is at Christian Liberty Press-Jed Smith:Trailblazer of the West(5th grade and older-$7.99). Our sons really liked the Jedediah Smith book(he was born in New York).

  26. Keep the Lights Burning,Abbie- is a book on my list to order for our 4 granddaughters(Veritas Press-$6.95-first grade and older). Abbie Burgess had 9 siblings! Our two daughters enjoyed reading that book.

  27. What a great idea!!!! You can count on us for the state of Missouri. We live in the Ozarks and would be happy to send brochures from this fun part of the state!


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