Thursday, March 26, 2020

Home School In The Woods (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

In the past, the kids and I have used selections from the Project Passport Ancient History series from Home School in the Woods.  However, for the last few weeks, the kids and I have been learning about American History and the Early 19th Century study from the Time Travelers U.S. History Studies .

If you are unfamiliar with history studies from Home School in the Woods, they are period focused studies that have multiple components to help students learn.  Through the course of the study,  students are presented a wide variety of activities: notebooking, lapbooking, crafts, copywork, creative writing, cooking, maps, timelines and more.   This particular unit study over the Early 19th Century contains 35 various activities for the kids to complete as they learn about the invention of Morse code, the Erie Canal, the Louisiana Purchase, the California Gold Rush, the Alamo and more.

 The Time Travelers U.S. History study is a digital file that is completely contained on your computer.  Once purchased, a user downloads a ZIP file containing all the files for the study which is then extracted to their computer. This installs all the files necessary and means once installed the unit study can be accessed and printed without the need for internet access.   Once installed, the unit study is loaded up as an easy to use webpage which gives quick access to all the files needed for each lesson.   Early 19th Settlers contains 25 lessons that can be done over the course of 5-10 weeks.   Every 5th Lesson is considered a "Craft Day" which allows for the student to focus on completing projects for the previous 4 lessons as well as to concentrate and review vocabulary  and important facts/dates learned before moving on.

Each lesson contains Text Pages and Project pages. Each lesson begins with a briefly written lesson written in an interesting, story style format. This format is reminiscent of "living storybooks" or a Charlotte Mason style format.
The second component of the unit is the  lesson projects. These follow the text pages and contain activity choices to reinforce the topic just discussed.   These Project Pages tell what activities will be completed for the lesson including which pages will need to be printed out.  They also contain step by step instructions for completing each project.  A Photo Gallery is also included also gives a visual aid of the final outcome of the projects and placement of components for the lapbook to help assist with the projects.

We have been using the study as more of an enrichment curriculum for the last few weeks to go along with our current history curriculum.  Because of this, we have been shooting to complete 2 lessons each week and using the 5th lesson (Craft Day) to catch up.

For each kid, we are using a 1.5 inch binder with a pocket in the front cover for them to keep the components together.  They can then tuck their lapbook in the pocket and all other work is hole punched and kept together inside.  The study has printable binder covers as well as a printable strip for the spine of the binder that's available in both black and white or color.

Garrett's Binder.

The kids keep their timelines, writing samples,the song book which contains the lyrics of various songs important to the time period and the Westward Weekly, which is the creative writing project that allows kids to paraphrase what they are learning as if they are a reporter writing for a 19th century newspaper. 

The kids also keep a ziplock bag with their Factfile cards in the back of their binder where they can keep them together and organized for easy access.

Here's a close up of a few of the Factfile cards..

The lapbook portion of the unit is filled with small mini books, popups and more that help reinforce the material learned in each lesson.   We used different color folders for our lapbooks: blue for Ashleigh and red for Garrett.  The cover features a panhandler from the California Gold rush. We even used some gold leaf for the gold in the pan on our covers.


Inside the lapbook, the kids keep their activities such as minibooks and popup folders.  The folder is designed to have four surfaces inside in addition to a center map. 

The map sits in the very center of the lapbook.  Using clear overlays, the kids create a map with multiple levels showing things such as the growth of the United States as it expands westward and major trails used to travel throughout the west. 

 Other activities include copy work using the McGuffy's Eclectic Third Reader.  We've really enjoyed this portion of the activities as it has given Garrett an opportunity to improve his handwriting (he hates writing).

We've also enjoyed the Westward Weekly writing assignments.  These are creative writing exercises where the kids get to summarize what they have learned from the lesson as if they are writing for a newspaper publication. 

Ashleigh's favorite portion so far has been the hands on crafts.  The projects created with this unit study are things that the student can actually keep and use, keepsakes and souvenirs if you will, from their learning.  So far, we have only made the Field book, which Ashleigh is really looking forward to using in her nature studies.  Unfortunately, we had to skip making the coon skin cap (using fake fur of course) for now because we have been completely locked down for a few weeks now and was not able go to the fabric store.  However, we do plan to return to that project as I am ordering the materials for that as well as a quilt project to be completed in lesson 16 as well as the materials for the Wheat weaving and the Serape Coaster  which will involve the kids creating a loom and shuttle to weave yarn much the same way Mexican and Native Americans in the 19th century did.

Ashleigh and her field guide
I've yet to find a product from Home School in the Woods that we haven't loved and this study about the 19th Century is no different.  And with the upcoming 2020 Presidential elections quickly approaching, I have a feeling we will find ourselves purchasing and using the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak created for grades 3rd-8th to help both Ashleigh and Garrett to learn and understand how our election process works.  Some of the members of the Crew have been reviewing this Lap-Pak with their families these last few weeks, so be sure to read their reviews.  You can also find more detailed information about this product by reading Home School in the Woods blog .

#hsreviews #HSitW #homeschoolinthewoods

For more information about Home School in the Woods and their many


Members of the Crew were invited to review their choice of twenty different products offered by Home School in the Woods targeting various grade ranges and periods of history. Be sure to click the banner below to read their reviews today.
Home School in the Woods Collections - Lap-pak, Timeline Figures, History Studies & Activity-Pak {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

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