Ooh, I've wanted these for so long!
Of course, I'd never say, nor would I believe, that the purchase of certain materials is required for a successful homeschool. If you've got a house full of the usual house stuff, a roving eye for adventure, a swift internet connection, and a library card, I'd say, and I'd believe, that you're all set to homeschool.
However, there IS a bunch of other stuff that I want...
And that's how, after combining my CAGW salary with a better-than-usual month (and therefore a lot of hard work) in my pumpkinbear etsy shop, I used up the majority of my crafts/homeschool budget on this gorgeous set:
This is the full set of geography map puzzles from Montessori Concepts. Their prices are terrific, although I had my heart in my throat after purchasing these, since they didn't load a purchase confirmation or send me an email receipt, nor did they charge my credit card for several days afterward, leading me to believe that there was some hacker out there masquerading as a Montessori supplies company in order to steal the identities of low-income homeschooling families.
You can imagine my relief when the giant box showed up on our doorstep, holding what has come to be both girls' new favorite toys.
The set includes North America, Africa--
--Asia, the United States--
--South America, the world--
--Australia, and Europe:
The puzzles are huge, although the practice of putting the peg at the capital makes some of the pieces surprisingly fragile (I, myself, broke the Alaska piece due to the fact that the peg marking the capital is only millimeters narrower than that narrow leg of Alaska), and some of the pieces are small enough that our foster kittens were constantly in danger of swallowing one.
Sydney, especially, really enjoys puzzles, and since I'm getting the idea that she may be a more physical, tactile learner than her sister, I'm happy to add these to our geography studies, combined with pin maps, map labelling, cultural studies, geography-relevant history, and, in the future, hopefully lots and lots of map copywork.
And yes, in case you're wondering, I DID have to move around nearly every stick of furniture in my house to find a place for these maps. Currently, they live on top of the overhead projector cart that we bought to sit in the living room and hold the overhead projector and our reference books. I moved the overhead projector to the basement, to a large wall shelf that I converted to a homeschool supplies shelf. The giant surplus bins that were sitting on that shelf are now piled on the floor next to the shelf, and lord knows where they'll end up, or what will be displaced when they do find a home. I'm already looking forward to this year's summer garage sale!