Monday, October 1

Home School in the Woods Time Travellers {Review}

This review was originally published July 2018 at our Gypsy Road site.

Home School in the Woods
The best way for me to teach any subject in our house is through the door of history.  Math problems, science projects...we introduce tricky ones through a historical context, and this makes the kids more willing to dig in.  We've used several activity and project packs from Home School in the Woods over the years, and recently had a chance to review our third from this particular series, Time Travelers : The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression.  We've also used the Project Passports Greece & Egypt, as well as the Time Travelers American History Civil War & World War II, which you can find in their store.

These studies are designed for 3rd through 8th graders, but can easily be tailored a bit for whole-family teaching.  They include 25 lessons each, and are comprehensive to the era.  The files are digital and downloadable, and include everything you'd need to do a full unit, plus extras!

I start off using this product by going through all of the PDF files, choosing which versions of activities we want to use, and printing everything.  Then I spend some time putting it all together in a format that we've discovered works best for our family.  We have one binder with 'everyday' items, such as the timeline and newspaper, and another binder with single-sided activities that we'll pull a few pages from each day.  I also go through the Additional Resources and choose a few books and movies about the era to supplement our learning.

Within the downloadable files, you'll see multiple ways to print several of the items.  One example of this is in the copywork.  You have the choice of print or cursive, and also the choice of tracing or copying.  Before printing, be sure to decide which option you want your child(ren) to complete, so that you only print the ones you actually need.

The next thing I do is look over the suggested class schedule.  With our travel schedule, some days we don't work on this at all, while other days we will two one or two days worth of work.  Some of the days fit together seamlessly, while others require more time and supplies.  It's a good idea to look over everything first.  

Here is a short video I created that shows what you can expect inside the bundle and how we organize it for easy use!

The day begins with a two or three page reading of the lesson material.  Then, we begin the projet activities that accompanies the lesson.  Everyday, however, we have timeline work, copywork, and newspaper articles to complete!  Each kid has a task that they are responsible for, based on their age and level.  One of them cuts out all of our lapbook pieces because he needs work on fine motor skills.  He is also completes the tracing version of copywork, for the same reason.  Another completes all of our newspaper articles, this time for The Industrial Times (each era has their own paper), and is expected to write at his grade level based on the information we learned that day.

What DOES speak to my boy-crowd are weaponry and food!!  We did every single World War I activity in the bundle, and cooked several of the recipes, too.  We tried our hands at the penny rug and silk postcards, too, but they didn't come out very well!  We also put together all of the lapbook pieces, because the boys really enjoy doing lapbooks.

There are a great number of projects included in this bundle, which is wonderful because we can pick and choose the ones that work the best for our family.  Having all boys, we chose not to create the paper dolls or the decoupage box.  We looked at them and talked about them and how they relate to the era, but then moved on without actually creating them.  If I had little girls, I'm sure these would have been ones we spent a lot of time on since they are well-done and look like a lot of fun.  (Heck, even my mom was happy to come over and play with the paper dolls!)  This particular unit even comes with sheet music of songs from the era...which is great if you have a budding musician in the house!

Included in the download bundle is a fun board game! Get Your Kicks on Route 66 is a simple cut & go game designed for 3rd-8th graders. You print it out (there are directions for both single and double sided printing), cut out the game cards, and go!

Just recently, we also completed the Time Travelers World War 2 set (not a review product; our own dime) - here are some photos from that project as well so that you can see how they compare and contrast to each other. As you can see, there are many similarities between each unit in this series. As a busy mom, I see this as a bonus. Once I took the time to go through and understand how the units work, and created a system that worked for our family, setting up all future units went lickety-split! In addition to this series, we've also used the Project Passport series to study Ancient Greece. This series seems to focus more on ancient history, and they have a new one on Ancient Rome coming out this year.

My one and only complaint about this product is the sheer amount of ink it takes to print it all correctly!  As you can see, it took up most of my ink and I was only about 2/3 of the way through printing it at this point.  A couple of suggestions I'd make are to either (1) use a printing company, such as Family Nest Printing or (2) change your printing settings to a very low quality.  Personally, the next time we print one of these, we're going with option one.

See what others are saying about Home School in the Woods at the Schoolhouse Review Crew
Hands-on-History, Project Passport, À La Carte Timelines and Time Travelers {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

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