Hi and welcome to our Road Trip USA week on North Carolina!



Here are some of the things we learned about this week:

  • Located North Carolina on our wall map
  • Read our National Geographic Atlas and located Raleigh, NC using the map coordinates.
  • Worked on our 50 States and Capitals song
  • U.S. Presidents: Andrew Jackson, James Polk, Andrew Johnson
  • Famous People: John Coltrane, Miles Davis and listened to some jazz!
  • The state flag of North Carolina
  • Bird: Northern Cardinal
  • Flower: American Dogwood
  • State Mammal: Eastern Squirrel
  • Berry: Strawberry, and also blueberry
  • Food: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Read: If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War by Kay Moore


And here is what I  managed to get pictures of:

Here is my white board. We use it for a quick review of our state facts, I usually cover it the first day, then again the next. Then we cover it up and review again a few times to drill the info.



We curled up in the living room and read some more of If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War by Kay Moore. The Road Trip USA study is going through some of this series of books and so far I’m finding them really well written for younger kids.



Of course our state worksheet is done each week. I usually let them color this while we’re coving the state facts for the day. Does anyone know how to get a kid to stop holding their pencil like Strawberry Shortcake is below? I’ve tried everything and she just goes back to this hold. Ugh!




Of course we added our Cardinal and Squirrel to our animal wall. You can download the free United States Animal supplement here.



I’m not sure what it is, but the kids love using the map coordinates to find things on our states each week. And considering that Turbo is a guy I’m surprised he’s willing to use a map at all! LOL! Just kidding honey Surprised smile



We also added NC to our state bulletin display. As you can see I’m running out of room quickly and will have to make some changes soon!



And the Teeny Tot got involved this week and insisted on adding North Carolina to our Trend USA Wall Poster.



At the end of each week we made sure to add the North Carolina state flag to our Travel Journal. (The travel journal and flags are all included in  Road Trip USA.)



Since it was a review week, we played some games then added our Mississippi and N. Carolina mini-books to our southeast notebook page.



We finished off our week at the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop! The Krispy Kreme doughnut company was founded by Vernon Rudolf in Winston-Salem, NC in 1937. He sold his first doughnuts for 25 cents per dozen after borrowing the ingredients from a near-by grocer. Since then Krispy Kreme’s have grown and are available in several U.S. states as well as internationally. Visit the Krispy Kreme website and see if there’s one in your area!



P.S. Some of my close friends will laugh at the fact that this was indeed my kids first time at Krispy Kreme, and for most of them this was their first doughnut ever! As you can see they were a hit, and the Teeny Tot and Tinker Bell ask for “Krispy Doughnuts” all the time now! If anyone has a “healthy” doughnut recipe I’m all ears…

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And that wraps up our North Carolina study! If you’d like to come along with us on our Road Trip USA journey, click the image below to learn more!




  1. Hi Erica! Your post was so cute! I was born and raised in NC so it will always have a special place in my heart. I’m very glad you were able to go to a Krispy Kreme. My husband’s and my first rental was near the KK in Winston Salem……a little secret, whe. The ” Hot and Fresh” sign is on, they give you a free donut that just came out!

    Where did you get those printable state worksheets?

  2. It’s been so long since we’ve been to a KK. Not that we don’t love donuts, but around here Dunkin’ Donuts are plentiful (and have my favorite sweet tea!).

    My daughter (age 9) still struggles with thumb-crossover. She’s had the most success with the Writing Claw pencil gripper, which prevents crossover. She’s also used The Crossover Grip, which has a lip so the thumb can’t go across. It is somewhat bulky, so my daughter prefers the more natural feel of the Claw. Hope that helps!

  3. Fun post Erica, my daughter Clare does this same grip on her pencil. I have been struggling with it also. I don’t really have any great ideas for you. Clare says that it is just more comfortable to hold the pencil this way. Uhggg. Anyway, I appreciate the comment from Stephanie above and will look into the products that she suggested for correcting this grip problem. I will also check back and watch for other suggestions on how to fix the grip issue. Thanks for all you do with your blog. It is very fun to follow. Heather

  4. Hi Erica,

    I discovered your website a few months ago and am just loving it to pieces. You are a blessing and inspiration…especially to a newer homeschool parent. I have kids the same ages as your 3 youngest. The pencil grip was a huge issue when I got my son home with me mid first grade. We actually didn’t even do a “formal” handwriting program because of it. I purchased the blue wood montessory geometric shapes and metal insets. Each day our lesson was holding the triangular prism in the pencil grip position (found instructions online) & then correct grip during the inset excersies. Didn’t hold him to it too much during other subjects because I didn’t want to stress him out. By the end of first grade he no longer held it incorrectly. We had to “mentally” overcome the bad habit & make a conscious effort.

  5. I talked to my daughters kindergarten teacher and he said to use golf pencils you know the real little ones, but I don’t know if he means when they’re just starting out or to correct a grip problem. hope it helps:)

  6. I’m a Elementary Ed graduate and mom of two and I still hold my pencil a little different. I rest it on the “ring finger” of my right hand, so your daughter may end up switching her grasp, but she’ll be successful either way. Thank you for all the printables! They’re a big hit with my little ones!

  7. Hi Erica! Teeny Tot looks like she is just loving her donut! We are from the south and KK is big here. My kids love the “butter” donuts.. you know the ones with the chocolate on the outside and white creme in the middle…. Their grand pap gave them their first one, and they are totally hooked! I tried to just give them half because I thought they were kind of large donuts…I have four kids too.. and let me tell you they all ganged up on me over those donut halves! My 3 year old little boy squinted his eyes at me and pointed his finger and told me I better give him that donut…I usually hold strong, but I saw the look in his eye and well I gave him that donut..and I backed away…LOL.

    I think Strawberry’s grip is called the quad-pod grip… I used to work with occupational therapists, and I remember them saying that this grip was okay too, and it was best not to stress them out to change it… I think they were more concerned if the child looked like he/she were holding the pencil like they were going to “stab” (sorry) someone.. But this was a long time ago so they may say something totally different now :(((. I think this is just a natural kind of grip for some people. I hold my pencil this way. I think two of my children will always hold their pencil this way and the other two will use the tripod grip. I tried the pencil grippers with my two that hold their pencil like strawberry and they would just “slap” that extra finger right on top of the gripper…ARRH….so I finally gave up… HTH.

  8. I also use this type of grip when I write. I switch back and forth between this grip and the standard grip as my hand gets tired either way. It really has no affect on my penmanship. I have one child who uses this grip and I’ve tried to get her out of it and so far nothing has stuck. Be sure to let us know if anything works.


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