With summer here lots of people are thinking about swimming, vacations, and barbeques, however if you are a homeschool parent you most likely are also thinking about the upcoming school year. Today I get to share with you an amazing hands-on history curriculum we recently had a chance to work with from Home School in the Woods. This unit study, The Civil War, is part of their Time Travel American series.
Before even opening up the curriculum I was excited about all the hands-on aspects, but also nervous. Using a hands on learning curriculum usually means that there are lots of things as a teacher to keep track of. What to print, what to prepare, what to teach, what to buy and how does it all go together. Home School in the Woods has tried really hard to take the complicated out of enjoying a hands on learning curriculum. One of the ways they have done this is to provide a lesson plan schedule in calendar form to view all lessons side by side. Now it is easy to look ahead and see where those needed materials I just bought will be used.
Besides just a general overview, Home School in the Woods have also provided much more detailed lesson plan sheets. These sheets literally break down what supplies are needed, what to print, what projects are being covered this lesson and what they should look like, for us visual teachers. Below is a sample of what is shown for one project of lesson one. Notice all the pictures for us visual learners, as well as a detailed list of supplies and detailed directions.
Besides the calendar and lesson plan sheets, Home School in the Woods has provided all the activity sheets, binder covers, lapbook pieces, text readings, and teacher keys. Really everything you need besides the paper to print things on and the craft project supplies.
This unit study is set up to be completed in 25 lessons. You as a homeschooler have a choice to spread those lessons out over many weeks, or dive head deep into the material to complete them all in a 5 week school session. The joy of homeschooling…choices. Because my kids and I do not do well with focusing on one thing for a long time we plan on spreading this out over many weeks. When the time comes during the week for history, the kids get excited knowing that there are going to have lots of fun activities as well as lots of exciting things to learn about.
Right out of the gate the first lesson brings the kids through…
- Practicing their penmanship with some civil war leader’s quotes.
- Beginning a timeline of events and people
- Making a Map of the Underground Railroad
- Beginning a Newspaper to record what they are learning in a fun, creative way.
- AND last but not least, crafting a lantern and learning about what seeing one meant for a runaway slave.
And that is just the beginning!
Sure having a hands on curriculum is going to take more work from me to keep the learning going (i.e. printing papers and gathering craft supplies) but in the end I know my kids are going to look back on learning history and smile. Smiling about history is something I honestly can say I never have done because of how I was taught, until now. With such a well put together curriculum as this, there really is no substitute for the time savings and help Home School in the Woods offers to us homeschool parents to make learning history fun and easy.
The great news for our family, and yours is that Home School in the Woods already has many different unit studies in this series. So if learning about the Civil War is not for you right now, how about New World Explorers, Colonial Life, or even World War 2.
Are you not ready to take on a full unit study yet, but still want to take advantage of Home School in the Woods’ great hands-on activities? Good news is that they are now offering A-la-Carte projects! These would be perfect to add that hand-on element to a curriculum you already have, or a specific project you are working on. Right now if you check out the A-la-Carte projects they are giving one away for FREE. Yup, free. Use the code alacarte and get the Erie Canal project free, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the canal.
One final push to get you to check out Home School in the Woods. If the projects and games are not your speed then still look at their Lap-Paks. This product line lets your kids work hands-on building a lapbook about many different history topics. One we might be checking out in the future is their Knights Lap-Pak.
Interested in what other homeschoolers think of The Civil War unit study or any other products that Home School in the Woods offers? Click the picture below to be brought to more reviews.