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Washington DC as a unit study leading up to a vacation?

Renthead Mommy

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We are meeting very good friends in Washington DC in May for a long week. They also homeschool. We get to do DC while her husband is at the professional conference (and my husband gets to come with us, as it's not his part of dental professional! Yeah!).


For NY regs I'm supposed to cover geography and US history. We are sort of doing them loosely. In talking about our trip today I thought maybe I should change our spring plan and use Washington DC as our geography/ US history for this spring. My friend thinks it a great idea and wants to go over with her kids "whatever I come up with". So now I need to come up with something!


Does anyone know of or made a unit study for DC? Or have any suggestions of books or anything that would work? Anyone ever seen anything like "DC for kids? Maps of DC for kids? A kids' history of DC? Anything like that?


The kids are in 2nd, 4th and 6th grades. I've never done unit studies before, so I really don't even know where to begin looking for unit studies. The other problem is I'm currently without internet, and having to do everything from the library. Which is hard to do and I don't get to often enough.


Any suggestions for either history or geography would be great. I won't be checking the boards again for a few days, but please post anything that you think will be helpful.


Thanks in adavance!



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you beat me to it. I was going to recommend the Jr Ranger programs too - there is a great one for the Mall and monuments - practically a workbook - definitely a unit study. They are excellent and free. We also have National Park Passports that you can get stamped at all the National Parks and there are many of them here in DC. We've also done the National Treasure Movie scavenger hunts.


With kids, museums get old (overdoing those leads, at least in my kids, to museumitis!) - you may want to take time to explore outdoor activities like Rock Creek (excellent Ranger-led programs), Great Falls or Georgetown (mule boat ride) and Fletcher's Creek/Georgetown for kayaking on the canal (George Washington himself designed the Canal!) and/or crayfish hunting; Great Falls also has a cool geologic feature - a granite island that is only accessible by a bridge. It can be quite scary crossing over in rain as it's a narrow gorge. It's not the Grand Canyon or Hawaii but a great learning experience nonetheless. Oh and it also has an old gold mine for you gem hounders. Another option is renting bikes to cycle the Mall (it's much bigger than you think).


Any questions - please feel free to ask away - as we are in DC. Did I mention not to burn out the kids in museums??? We've had lots of friends stay with us and the kids always prefer to hang out at our house and visit the local parks (which are spectaculary beautiful at that time of the year) rather than the museums! Just do it small doses :tongue_smilie:.


PS - One other cool thing is the National Cathedral - great views for a fairly flat city and around 4 in the afternoon the sun will hit the Rosetta at the right time and a beam of colored lights shines across the whole Cathedral. Breathtaking - and I hear nothing about it. Also what kid doesn't like crypts??? Even better is that there is a mexican restaurant around the corner - Cactus Cantina. It all revolves around food and drink for our family!:D

Edited by jlovebaker
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