Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Are you looking for a hands-on program to help make your history studies come alive? If so, Home School in the Woods may have what you need. They have many comprehensive products, including their updated U.S. Elections Lap-Pak that is aimed for Grades 3-8.
For this review we are covering their Time Travelers U.S. History Studies: The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression. We specifically chose this product as it perfectly ties in with the historic timeline we were already planning to cover this year.
However, there are other Time Travelers U.S. History Studies to choose from, such as:
- New World Explorers
- Colonial Life
- The American Revolution
- The Early 19th Century
- The Civil War
- World War II
This product is a downloadable file and geared towards Grades 3-8. However, when I say file, I really mean a zipped folder of multiple files. This may seem overwhelming at the beginning, but these files are very well organized. So despite the large number of documents available, it’s not hard to find exactly what you’re looking for.
The files provided give you everything you need:
- Introduction and tips to understand how the files are labeled and how to use the product.
- Educational lessons where you can print the text for each lesson, or read directly from your computer.
- Printable documents to create mini books and create a lap book.
- Additional activities to enhance and bring what the child is learning alive.
- Images and instructions of how to put the lap book together.
- Additional resources including a list of books, videos and audio to enrich your studies further.
A weekly schedule is provided so you don’t have to think. All is required is that you download and print the appropriate files for each lesson and you’re good to go.
The lesson plan is split into 25 lessons, which includes five lessons set aside for projects and pulling the lap book together. However, there is an emphasis that you adjust the schedule to fit your needs.
The subjects covered, which each have a mix of activities, include:
- Railroads, Gold, Snow and Fire
- Wars in the West
- A Gilded Age
- Innovations & Inventors
- Immigration in America
- Work Conditions Worsen
- The Arts
- America Continues to Grow
- Interesting People
- War on the Islands!
- The Progressive Era
- Other Happenings (covered over two lessons)
- World War I (covered over two lessons)
- The Roaring 20s
- The Stock Market Crash & The Great Depression (covered over two lessons)
The curriculum is completed with a Depression-Era Dinner. Who doesn’t like a party to experience the time period you have studied and an opportunity to share what you’ve learned with others?
How We Used It
We loosely followed the provided scheduled, but skipped ahead to start filling our lap book with the work we had completed. There is flexibility to adjust this schedule as you need, depending on whether you are using this product as a full curriculum or as a supplement.
I printed out the timeline with key figures and pinned it to our wall. This gave my girls a visualization of history through time. After this school year I will fold it and transfer it to their history folder so it can be used as reference for years to come.
After I had printed out all the relevant pages, all of my girls shared the cutting out and coloring responsibilities. Even though this product is for Grades 3-8, my seven year old twins also joined in this activity and listened as I read the informative lessons. However, it was my eight year old that completed the minibooks and gave the final touches to the lap book. If she was doing this on her own, she probably would have read the lessons to herself.
We personally like covering history as a family, and we could do this with this study by creating a lap book and filling a 3-ring folder together. We did this so when we cycle back again to this time period in the future, the twins will already have a valuable resource at their finger tips.
I was very impressed with the detail provided in this product. It is very comprehensive. My girls do appreciate the hands-on aspect to make history more exciting, but there was a LOT of time consuming with cutting. Granted, these are skills that my girls need to continue to develop and the end result was worth it. The lesson plan provided made it easy to look ahead and see what was suggested for each week. Following this plan also allows you to spread out all the cutting and gluing.
We learned a lot during this time period, and we still have plenty to cover. As all my girls did this together (at different levels of participation), it led to many family discussions on the topics discussed.
As we carry on our history studies this year we will refer back to the work we completed during this review, as well as finish up areas that we didn’t have time to complete or even start.
I really like how everything is well organized so you can easily pull out specific topics within this time period and cover them in more depth. On the other hand you can even skip over events or specific tasks that your family has no interest in. It’s quite flexible.
This is shown by how much of the lap book we were able to complete, yet we also have the opportunity to go back and reinforce each lesson with penmanship, creating a newspaper, games, facts, recipes and additional projects for our notebook (3-ring binder).
For us the detailed timeline and lap book are key for our family for visual reference, for now and in the future. However, several of the extra activities are also going to come in very handy when it comes to helping my girls to remember what they’ve learned, especially as there is a lot of detail in this study.
Once my printer has recovered I won’t hesitate doing another one of these studies. Allowing history to come alive while accommodating different learning styles gets a big thumbs up from us.
To review what other families thought of this product and other products from Home School in the Woods, including the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak, please click on the banner below.
Hi there, we’re Micheal & Katherine!
We’re passionate about helping families strive for health and wellness, and living a non-toxic lifestyle. To us this also means homeschooling, choosing joy, exploring, making everyday count, and doing our research. We know it’s not an easy journey, but we’re doing our best and trying to make the right choices for our family.