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My kids really enjoy completing hands-on learning projects. There’s something about creating a finished product that really helps them learn the material better. That’s one of the reason we love Home School in the Woods.
We’ve tried several different products from this company, and we are always impressed by the quality. They truly offer a fun way to learn history, through hands-on fun. There are so many different product lines to choose from, so making a decision was a bit tough. This time, I opted for us to review a Hands-on History Lap-Paks.
There were several to choose from, but since it’s the time of year for Primary Elections, I picked U.S. Elections. I knew it’d be a great introduction to the US government topics I plan to cover in the upcoming school year.
What Is This Product?
I received a Zip file with several folders inside. The unzipping process is easy, and I appreciate how quickly these files downloaded, even on my less-than stellar internet.
You’ll receive a folder containing each of the following:
- Images of all the final products
- (2) MP3 files, which offer an audio version of the included reading pages
- All of the PDF pages and directions needed to complete the study
While it can be a bit overwhelming at first, once you figure out where everything is at, it’s easy to work through. A good place to start is with the “Introduction and Directions” sub-folder inside the PDF folder.
This contains the directions you need to get organized and get started learning about the U.S. Elections!
In addition to the hands-on projects, this file contains a reading book with plenty of information about federal elections in the United States. I really appreciate this, as it meant I didn’t have to go searching all over the internet, or drive to the library for an appropriate source for my kids to use while completing projects. Everything was right there!
What Else Is Needed?
Since this is a hands-on project full of multiple projects, there are some additional materials you’ll need to complete it. You will need a printer, since the files are digital. The nice thing about this is you can print an extra for the toddler to color while the others are working. 😀
Most of the needed supplies are common school things, like crayons, scissors, a stapler, and glue sticks. You’ll also need some cardstock for printing on, file folders to make the actual lapbook, double-sided sticky tape, brads, glitter, and some other supplies.
The instructions page lists materials needed for each project, so you’ll always know what to set out.
How We Used This Product
This is a massive product, with 21 hands on activities to complete the lapbook. We worked through a couple of projects each week, and made a big dent in them. The kids learned a lot about the election process.
But, we still aren’t ready to assemble the whole lapbook, so we’ll keep working on this as we start school again in the fall.
The reading was a bit high for the kids I was using this with, so having the audio version was nice. They could follow along while listening.
Here’s a little more information about two of the projects we completed:
The Three Branches of Government Project
This included a tree with three “branches.” Each was labeled for a branch of the government, and when you flipped it open, you could see a chart detailing that branch. You could also read additional information about the roles of this branch.
The Election Day Project
For this project, the kids learned more about the actual voting process. The hands-on component resembled a voting booth, complete with fabric.
The pamphlet inside shared facts about the electoral college and the two parts of the legislative branch.
What I Thought of This Product
I enjoyed the variety in this set. There were several different types of projects to work on, which meant everyone had a couple they REALLY enjoyed.
It led to an interesting discussion about how I remember going down to the local school with my mom when she cast her ballot. This product talks about going to your polling place and getting one of those “I Voted” stickers.
Since I’ve been eligible to vote, our state has been 100% absentee ballot. So we get our ballot in the mail and mail it back in. There are no cool stickers…
Since our ballots showed up right at the end of the review period, it added another “real-life” example for the kids. We talked about primaries and the importance of knowing what/who you are voting for.
Overall, I enjoyed working through the US Elections Hands-on History Lap-Paks from Home School in the Woods.
A New Release!
The company has also recently released a new title in their Project Passport series. Ancient Rome is now available, and it looks really neat! If you’re studying world history this year, their Project Passport Bundle includes 5 different sets of projects to work on. So much hands-on history fun!
To see what other families thought of the Hands-On History Lap-Paks, Project Passport, or the other lines of products from Home School in the Woods, please click on the banner below.