Thursday, February 18, 2016

A TOS Review: Home School in the Woods

I know it is only February, but this election year, November is already in the front of my mind and a main topic of conversation in our home. My two middle children (ages 7 and 11) are not as politically minded as our oldest two, but they still like to hear the conversations and ask lots of questions. So when I found out that Home School in the Woods had a lapbook called History Through the Ages Hands On History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections up for review, I knew we wanted to get it!

U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak  Review

Home School in the Woods is a family owned and operated company. They are veteran homeschoolers who have taken their personal experiences, experiments and research to develop timeline-themed learning and lapbooks. What is a lapbook, you ask? Well, lapbooks are a way of tying in all the information you have learned on a subject into a presentable, artistic and fun keepsake for you to look through again and again. All it takes are a few file folders, some construction paper, a printer, some tape and glue, coloring and writing utensils, and a little creativity. Everyone can have a hand in a project, or each student can make their own - giving it their own sense of style. It works for a variety of ages, which is ideal for larger families like ours.

We used to do lapbooks a few times a year, but I had somehow gotten away from them. Canon didn't remember many that he'd participated in, and Caleb had never done one with me here at home. So I was excited to jump back in, especially with the topic at hand!

The elections lap pak (we used the downloadable version) came with about 13 pages of reading material. It was a great jumping off place, and just enough information to fill Caleb up. Canon and I spent a little more time on different subjects, with Connor jumping in here and there to add his knowledgeable insights (he absolutely loves talking politics!).

The lap pak provided a Project Directions section that allowed you to know which project you could put together to coincide with your reading. This was very handy and I referenced it every day as we worked.

Along with the reading material and project directions, the lap pak came with all of the printable activities to cut and add to the lapbook. Some were fairly simple - just a foldover type cutout with a picture booklet on the front and a space to write out a definition. There was also a preprinted definition you could use if your child didn't like to write. I used some of each, given that the age span of the boys is significant. Other projects were a little more interactive. Caleb loved the piggy bank with the coin that slid in and out. Canon liked the National Elections page that looked like confetti rained down on the candidate.

There was plenty of cutting and pasting to go around! Mom even jumped in on a few projects to cut out more intricate pieces. We had a really good time putting these things together, and I think the boys benefitted from the small motor development. I'll admit, I get away from the "fun" activities at times to fit in all our curriculum, so this was a nice change of pace for them both. When we finished, I asked them how they liked doing a lapbook again, or for the first time for Caleb. They both said they had fun and when would we do another one? Success! We will definitely be purchasing another lapbook, and soon!

I am so glad we had the opportunity to review this product. The boys learned a lot about our government, and I know they will be paying a little more attention to the election with the knowledge they have gained helping them understand it all. If you are wanting to prepare your kids for this year's election and have some great conversations as you go, I highly recommend this lapbook.

To see what other bloggers thought of the product, just click here:

U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak  Review

Here are some great ways to learn more about Home School in the Woods and their many homeschool products:

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