I’m always looking for fun ways to teach history, and help my children learn more about the great men and women who helped form this country. Home School in the Woods has several fabulous products that help bring history to life. Recently, we’ve been reviewing a selection from their Time Travelers U.S. History Studies series.
After checking out the available options, I selected The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression. My children have studied a lot about Colonial Days and early American history, but my elementary kids were not as familiar with this period of time in the early 1900s.
What Is Time Travelers U.S. History Studies: The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression?
A digital download designed for grades 3-8, the file I received contains student text, teacher guides, and all the masters needed to help students create an interactive lapbook.
The sheer amount of files always causes me slight panic. There are a ton of goodies in each file, and in my opinion, they are not labeled for user friendliness. It takes a bit of time to . When you first download and extract the file, you will see several options in the folder.
You want to click on Start. You’ll be taken to a webpage that looks like this:
It’s basically a digital version of a CD. You click on the image next to the page you want to view and can access everything you need. There are also blackline masters and images of finished products in the digital download, but they are not intuitive to use.
I definitely recommend using the web browser version pictured above to help you navigate through it all.
As students work through the lessons and learn more about this period of time, they create several different interactive components. When students have completed all of these mini-projects, they compile them into a lapbook at the end.
It’s a fun, easy to store way to represent their knowledge and allow them to share it with others.
The heart of each lesson is the text. Written directly to students, these lessons are rich in information and delightful to read.
My kids really were interested in learning history through these lessons. They didn’t find them dry or boring at all, as is often the case with standard history textbooks.
The Hands On Projects
One thing I love about Home School in the Woods is their emphasis on hands on learning. This is a great fit for many learners, and helps cement the information. In this product, your students will have the opportunity to create many hands on projects.
They get to learn about art and architecture from this time period. They created a model the Falling Water prairie house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I appreciate that since this is a digital file, I can print off activities for the whole family. My younger kids don’t pick up as much as the actual history, but they do enjoy sitting in on lessons and creating their own projects.
Using creative writing to put together their own newspaper is a project that’s integrated through many of the lessons. A couple of my children especially enjoyed summarizing what they’d learned into newspaper articles and advertisements. These writing assignments seemed more “real life” for them as opposed to simply writing a paragraph or a paper.
There was a copywork component throughout as well. I appreciated that this used quotes from historical figures from this time period.
How We Used This Product
Each week, we worked through a lesson. We didn’t complete every single assignment or project. But, we dove into the topic and completed many hands on projects.
Before teaching, I spent a few minutes looking through the activities. I selected a couple for each week, based on the supplies we had on hand, the length of time they would take, and the interest I thought my kids would have.
Typically, we spent about two hours a week – over the course of two days.
Then my kids stored their finished pieces in zip top bags and a folder in their “school drawer” so they kept everything together. We did lose a project or two, but thankfully it was simple enough to print off another.
What We Thought of This Product
My children had fun listening to me read the text aloud and completing the projects. We weren’t able to complete all the projects during the review period, as many require extra supplies. But, we have several picked out to complete later. We’re excited to continue with this project and put our lapbooks together as we start the new school year.
I do wish the layout of the digital downloaded options had been a little more clear. I tend to skip over web browser links in unzipped files, so it took me a while to realize the “Start” was where I needed to go. I was looking for a text file to explain, and I explored several folders before figuring it out. The blackline masters and directions for projects are all there, but you can just use the web versions instead – a format I found much more intuitive.
There’s also so much to get through. It’s important for people using this product to remember that not every project will be a great fit for your children. But, you don’t have to do it all! You can pick and choose and do what works for you.
I love the variety. There are so many options, you’re sure to find pieces that are a good fit.
All in all, I really enjoyed using Time Travelers to teach American history!
If you have a child who thrives from hands-on projects, I definitely recommend this product.
Several different products from Home School in the Woods were reviewed by Crew members. To learn more about their experiences, click on the banner below.