Monday, July 10, 2017

Make-A-State (A Homeschool Crew Review)

You might recall that the kids and I have reviewed a few different products from Home School in the Woods and both times that we have, the kids have enjoyed it.  There's something about combining lapbooking and notebooking together, which their products do quite well, that helps keep the kids invested in their learning and involved in the materials.

For the last few weeks, Ashleigh and Garrett have been learning about the state of Alabama using the latest offering from Home School in the Woods Activity-Paks  series, Make-a-State Activity .  

What is Make-a-State Activity?

The Make-a-State Activity is designed to allow students to take a hands on approach to learning about each of the 50 states while combining notebooking with lapbooking to create a folderbook about each State.  Over the course of designing their books, students learn basic facts such as the State Motto, State Flower and Bird, the State Song, Native American tribes from the area, basic geography of each state, famous people, and the state government leaders, among so many other things. 

Make a State comes in two versions, either a physical CD version or a digital download.  For this review, we were offered the digital download edition, which once installed on your computer allows the user to print out instructions on how to design the lapbooks and how each element of the lapbook should be arranged in the folder.  

Each State offers twenty activities as well as two bonus activities.  

  1. Key State Facts
  2. Origin of State Name
  3. State Motto
  4. State Symbols
  5. State Song
  6. State Industry/Agriculture/Climate
  7. State Wildlife
  8. Regions
  9. State Geography
  10. State Government
  11. State Seal & Flag
  12. State History
  13. Famous People From…
  14. Native Tribes
  15. State Landmarks
  16. Sports Teams
  17. State Quarter
  18. Recipes
  19. State Vocabulary
  20. State Timeline
  • BONUS 1:  State Pages
  • BONUS 2: “Name That State!” File Folder Game

How We Used It/ What We Thought:

Currently, US Geography is not one of our current curriculum studies, however, the kids are able to locate each state on the map.  However, just knowing the states isn't enough - one should know not only the name of all the states in our country but should also be able to name the capitol city, recognize the flags of each state and be able to name some basic facts about each one.  

Since we don't have a curriculum, I figured we would just start from the beginning with Alabama and work our way though each state, one at a time. 

Because we used the Digital Download version, everything is downloaded to the computer.  All information is presented via the internet browser, although outside of the initial download, no internet access is needed to access and print the PDF files needed to complete the lapbook.  Instructions on both how to create the lapbook as well as how to assemble the various activities are included with very easy to follow instructions. 

Clear, Easy to Follow Instructions Provided
Each of the 20 activities are fairly simple, allowing children to focus on a small amount of information at a time. Each activity also organizes well into the folderbook which is something I really liked - other lapbooks we have used seem a bit crowded. 

While the Bonus "State Pages" do provide an amount of the information that is needed, students will still have to make use of either the internet or books in order to find much of the information.  I like this aspect of it, because that means the kids are starting on learning how to search for the information and research it themselves. The kids are still a bit young to do much of their own research just yet (although, that's just around the corner for us) so for Alabama, we focused on finding the facts that they needed to know together and then had them fill out the various portions of their folderbook.  This allowed us to look up photographs of various national parks, the Northern Flicker (Alabama's State bird), and the Camellia (State Flower).   We also got to learn about people like Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, and we listened to music by Percy Sledge as we learned about Famous People from Alabama.   Also, the kids learned to recognize the Alabama state quarter and have been on a lookout for it ever since. 

The only hickup we ran into was the section about sports teams, as Alabama doesn't have any professional sports teams, so we ended up having to select semi-pro teams to fill out the Sports section. 

We did not utilize the Bonus "Name that State" game just yet, since we have only covered the one state, but I am looking forwards to utilizing this resource as they learn more about each state. 

I really do enjoy this activity pak and will be very happy to have it to help guide us through learning the 50 States.   One thing I do really like is that each folderbook follows the same format with the same elements, so as we progress through each state, the kids will become more familiar with what information will be needed and how to find it on their own.  

#hsreviews  #HistoryUnitStudies  #HomeschoolHistory #lapbook #handson

To learn more about Home School in the Woods, be sure to visit their website. You can also learn more about their products and ask questions at any one of their social media sites at :

Home School in the Woods was extremely generous to the members of the Crew and they gave us several options to choose from for our review. While I selected the Make-a-State Activity pak, other crew members reviewed selections from the Time Traveler American series, the Lap-Paks  and Activity-Paks offerings as well as the Timeline Trio package that Home School in the Woods offers.  Be sure to click the Review Crew Banner Below to check out all the reviews available.

Hands-on History {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

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