Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Home School in the Woods a Homeschool Review Crew Review

This coming school year I plan on teaching my kids geography and revisiting the states again. It’s been a few years since we’ve touched on the states and both of my kids are now much older and I'm excited to really dig into state history much deeper. 

Home School in the Woods has a new selection in their Activity-Paks series with their Make-a State Activity product. I knew that this would be a fun way and creative way to teach geography. Home School in the Woods is a hands-on history company with a multiple selection of their product lines.  

In the past we have done a Lap-Paks with the Knights and their Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages.

 I received this as a downloadable product (they also have this available to purchase as a CD if you prefer a physical copy) that comes as a zip file that you need to extract the files once it’s downloaded. Once it was all extracted I started with the “start file” from there it opens up in a web browser, but you can save it all on your computer.   

Afterwards the files are in PDF format.  There is a master copy of the elements that is used with all the states. Then there are several components that are specific for each state. Each state has the state motto, flag, seal, quarter, and map. There is much more as you can see from the list above.

 There is also some basic information for each state.

There is an Introduction file that gives you a brief overview for the Make-a-State Activity. It also has recommended resources that can be used like books, websites, and some suggestions for looking for videos at your library or online. We have some great videos at our local library for our state of Kansas. 

This is for ALL STATES! I like that its all available in one place.

There is a detailed file that will help you put together your lap book. If you’re not familiar with lap books and the fold techniques this is extremely helpful. The projects are in a suggested order. There are colored photos of all the finished projects.

Obviously, you are going to need access to a printer. You can print the paper on colored paper, card stock, or just plain white paper. The files are in black and white. If you print off any resources online you could easily find colored or black and white pictures to add to your project.

There is a bonus included that is so fun “Name that State Game”. This can be used for children of all ages. 

Home School in the Woods has something NEW and unique. They are now offering
 A-La-Carte Projects. With this you don’t need to purchase the entire unit and are able to select a few projects for topical studies. 

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal project you can try your first A-La-Carte for free with the code: alacarte with The Erie Canal.

How did I use Make-a State Activity in my Homeschool?

My kids don’t like making lap books anymore. We use to do a lot of them for several years when my kids where much younger. Which makes me a bit sad! However, my kids love notebooking. This is the nice thing about the product is that I can use this as a notebooking project and have the kids put the activities in a notebook.  My main objective this summer was to focus on our state of Kansas.

After I downloaded everything I spent some time looking it over and comparing some of the books that I have on the state of Kansas. I also had a few of the recommended resources. I knew that our local library had a few videos on sunflowers, wheat, and a few topics on the history of Kansas available. I took advantage of those resources.

This was mostly done with my 11 year old son. My 14 year old daughter with special needs has been having some medical issues and I just had her listen to the videos and listen to some of the reading. My son dug in pretty deep with the state of Kansas history and it would have been too much for her.

My son’s favorite part was doing the timeline. I needed to print out another page for him as he keeps adding more to the timeline! He loves history and he spent a lot of time reading on the history. He even researched our small town’s history that we moved to 2 years ago. He added his own component to the notebook pages on our town. 

I have a comb binder and we make our own notebooks for these activities. I let my son do all the cutting and folding.

We learned about the state bird, flower, fish, and the insect. The state insect happens to be the honey bee. My daughter and I happened to be beekeepers so he got to learn about the insects that he really dislikes. He wanted to learn about all aspects of the state of Kansas. Now maybe we can get him to suit up! Okay, well that may be wishful thinking on my end.
I wasn’t able to do the suggested recipe as we don’t eat pork. I have a state cake recipe book in which we made cake instead!
We have a nature center that we visit often and we spent some time back in their museum as they cover all aspects of the state of Kansas. They also have some information on the Chisholm Trail and other intriguing historical facts. Little Man had to do some homework back there searching for his own information.
As you can tell we have spent a lot of time on our state.
We also started learning the other states with the “Name that State Game”. This was really fun as you have to learn to recognize the state by its shape and the location. We have only played this a few times. I plan on having him color a new one and we are going to laminate it before the school year begins.
My son typical spent 3 days a week working on the project. He did however spend a bit more time reading than I expected him to do on our state. He still has some more information that he wants to study on the state of Kansas. Next fall I will start on the other states. I don't think we will be as detailed but, I may find that my son wants to go more in depth with the other states.

I plan on reading up on the Timeline Trio reviews to see how they were used.  I know that this is something that my son would really enjoy. I really want this set!
Another hands-on history product is the  Time Travel American which includes:
*New World Explorers
*Colonial Life 
*The American Revolution
*The Early 19th Century
*The Civil War
*Industrial Revolution through Great Depression
*World War II
Other reviewers have been doing other projects from Home School in the Woods so don’t forget to pay them a visit.

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