Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Home School in the Woods

Our family gets excited every time we get to review for Home School in the Woods. Their products are detailed, hands-on, and so fun, making them well-loved history materials in our home. We've used their Project Passport titles for full curricula of both Egypt and the Middle Ages and studied the presidential election process with a Lap-Pak. This time though, we were introduced to one of their newest options--the À La Carte projects.

Home School in the Woods is a family business that was started as a way to make history real, understandable, and applicable. Using timelines and realistic illustrations as a foundation, they've created many resources to make learning history an enjoyable process.

While the full curricula options are fantastic, sometimes you just need a filler for another study or more information for a personal interest. Those are the times when the À La Carte activities are perfect. These resources are individual activities that are pulled directly from the larger curricula downloads of History Through the Ages. The projects include timelines, authentic crafts, lap booking, games creative writing, and much more. The hardest part is choosing which activities to get!

My house is filled with little boys, so pirates are a big deal around here. I knew my kiddos would enjoy the Pirate Panoply Game. This simple game teaches all about a pirate's clothing and accessories during the age of exploration. To play, you roll a die and dress your pirate with the assigned numbered article. Roll a 1, your pirate gets his hat. Roll a 5, and he gets his breeches. The first player to get fully dressed wins. This activity is for an unlimited number of players and was first found in Time Travelers: New World Explorers

This was an easy game for everyone and was enjoyed by the little ones all the way through the adults. It's a fast-paced game, too, so it is great for times when you have only a few minutes. The kids enjoyed coloring the various pieces and then mixing-and-matching them while dressing their pirates. Each time is a different combination.

Also part of that study is the Merchant Marauder File Folder Game. Though the two games originated from the same study which is geared toward 3rd-8th graders, this one is more for the older crowd. Players practice their math skills as they shop for items to set sail across the seas. They learn how to find the value of Spanish cobs as they pay with doubloons, pieces of eight, escudos, and reales. The first player to purchase five of his needed items wins.

This game is more complicated than the other. Trying to keep track of all the tiny pieces of cob was confusing and converting the types into what they needed could be frustrating. I would say this game is more appropriate for the 6th-8th grade crowd. The kids and I decided to change it up. Instead of making a player pay for an item, he automatically got it when he landed on it. This took the mathematical learning out of it, but made it more enjoyable for my kids. It was still just as exciting when they landed on an item they needed.

As soon as I saw The Art of Quilling (3D), I knew I needed to get it. My daughter loves crafts--and that's putting it mildly. She enjoys various arts from knitting to origami to drawing to sewing, but she had never tried paper quilling. This download, which was originally for the Time Travelers: Colonial Life, gives a history of the paper rolling art, when it was created, who mastered it, and which types of materials were used. It briefly explains how to do the art and what you can use if you don't have an actual quilling tool. There are instructions and pictures for forming 8 different shapes and tips for embellishment. There is also a quilling pattern included.

I purchased a quilling tool and then handed it and the instructions to my daughter. She was thrilled! She read the page and got right to work. The instructions are clear and easy enough for my new 10-year-old (today is her birthday!) to understand. She has had so much fun rolling the paper strips and creating designs. I do think the activity should include two more patterns though for the price.

All of the À La Carte projects include detailed instructions and tips for both printing and assembly. My only concern with the Home School in the Woods products in the past was the printing hassles. I was so excited to see that they now include the option for duplex printing! It didn't affect these materials specifically, but will make a huge difference for the bigger studies. Now I can say that I love everything about this company.

Home School in the Woods is a fantastic option for history learning. The À La Carte options are inexpensive enough to fit any budget. I'm already trying to decide which to use next. The Passover Seder Game to enhance our Easter study or The Penny Rug 3D Project to please my crafty girl or a Colonies Timeline to complement our current read aloud biography. No matter what, I know that the activity will be high quality and thoroughly enjoyed.

You can connect with Home School in the Woods on the following social media sites:

 You can read more reviews of the À La Carte products on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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