In addition to teaching the continents to my children, I decided that their first two years of school (Pre-K and Kindergarten) would be spent learning the States. Learning their names. Learning where they are located. Learning how many there are. That sort of thing.
I have found some great tools to do this.
During their Pre-K years, I decided to focus on learning the "States Song." We sang it in the car to oblivion, and I offered a special toy whenever a child successfully sang the song by himself.
During our first year of "real" school -- I found a great website for practicing the States.
Step 1: Drop states into "lined spots."
We started this at the beginning of the school year. Isaac completed it a few weeks ago. Sidge, who is eight months younger than Isaac, is now getting about 30-35 right each time.
Step 2: Drop states into "non-lined spots."
Here is a video of Isaac. Who JUST TODAY successfully dropped all 50 states into unlined spots. If I am being honest, I do not think I could even come close to doing as well as he did on this!
Step 4: Click on the place on the map where the state goes with only hearing the state name.
Isaac has just started on this one!
P.S. I'll be adding more as we get farther along in our geography study. But for now, I wanted to make sure to share what is working for us!