Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Home School In The Woods - The 20th Century In America - Review

I'm not sure that I really appreciated the subject of history until my adult years. I couldn't tell you why that is, but I sure find it fascinating now. As a homeschooling family, we read a lot of what many people refer to as "living books". These include a wide variety of historical selections, both fiction and nonfiction. When I found out that I would be reviewing this product by Home School In The Woods , specifically The 20th Century In America history lap pack, I was so excited!

There are two versions of this lapbook, the download version, which is what I received, and a CD version.Even before I had this downloaded, I was taken in by its visual appeal. You can see from the photo above, that it's colorful and inviting, with many of the booklets in fun shapes and designs. Some even have moving parts. Cool!

These are just a few of the topics you'll learn about here:

*Global Conflicts
*Presidents of the 20th Century
*The Space Race
*Modern Missionaries
*Social Movements
*Science and Technology
*Medical Advancements
* Art Movements

That's only a sample of what's in here.

There is a LOT of printing involved here, as there are 22 different activities to be completed. Make sure you have plenty of time and ink as you get started with your printing. Everyone has their preference in approaching this, so you can decide if you'd rather print everything at once, or one at a time. As for me, I first thought that I would do all at once, but quickly decided to print as we go.
They could not have made it any simpler for you, with plenty of detailed instructions for printing and eventually putting it all together. There are also color photos so you can make sure you're doing it correctly. Being a visual person, that is very helpful for me.

This really is a history curriculum, and a complete study of the topic. As such, and because we are so close to the end of the school year, we have not completed all 22 activities. There is so much great information in here, and I prefer not to cram everything in a month or so and rush through. Also, my daughters wouldn't get as much out of it that way, and I know that it would quickly turn this into a tedious task. This is just too great of a resource to do it that way. So we're working diligently at a steady pace, and enjoying the hands on part of it.

                                             A small sample of just a few of our favorites.

 As a little side note, I found it interesting that this lapbook is put together a bit differently than most that I'm aware of. With the completion of each project, instead of immediately securing it to the lapbook base, you put all of the pieces in a ziplock bag and put it all together at once  when every individual activity has been done. I actually like that aspect, because I think it will be fun to review what we completed once all activities are finished. And, because there is so much to do, and the fact that this will take some time to complete, it's easier to store without the pieces or the base itself getting bent or even ruined.

I meant it when I said that there are plenty of detailed instructions included. Before we got started, I printed off the welcome and introductory part first. There is a lot of helpful information there, including the how to's and such. I was really impressed with the extensive list of suggested resources that can be used with this. You could choose to do this study as is, or extend it as much as you want. There are pages of individual books, book series' and music that you might purchase or borrow from your library to enhance your study. You'll also find a list of the materials you'll need to complete the lapbook. So, much of the work is already done for you.

The suggested age range is grades 3-8 and I would say that the middle to older end of that spectrum is the ideal. I'm using this mainly with my 3rd grader, but my 2nd grader has been sitting in too. Fortunately, the inviting designs of this appeal to both, and of course, the hands on work - cutting, coloring, etc. . .are right up my kids' respective alleys.

What we're liking:
Well, it's just a really fun way to learn about this time period in history. We are a family that loves to read, but even so, it does brighten up a lesson to do some hands on activities that blow the dust off of what could be a dry subject. My daughters enjoy the cutting and coloring that go along with the included text. And the writing that is involved can be tailored to their age. I also like that we can choose age appropriate books from the suggested list as well as add our own, and expand on a particular lesson, or aid in its understanding. And we can have some lovely background music that relate to that theme as well. I wouldn't have necessarily thought of including that in a lesson.

With most products, curriculum, etc. . ., you might have lists of what you like and don't like. I've been thinking about what I don't like, and really, there's nothing I can say that I dislike. It has so many things we like, and the instructions are so detailed and clear, and the age range allows you to work with potentially all of your children at once.
The only thing I found tricky was getting the text printed properly when using both sides. There was a little learning curve for me.
And to repeat myself from earlier, there is a substantial amount of printing with this product. So have lots of paper and ink available.

Our overall thoughts about Home School In The Woods ? We like it a lot. It's a great study alone, or in conjunction with other resources. The age range fits well, and the directions could not get any better. At the end of it all, it's great to have a really nice project to show for it all. Best of all, it points to God's hand in it all. I'll recommend this one.

Home School In The Woods

Hands on history lap pack - The 20th Century In America

Ages: Grades 3-8

Price: Download version - $21.95  CD version - $22.95

This company has other interesting subjects available, and you can check out what the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of them.

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