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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Review: Homeschool in the Woods - Time Travelers American History: Civil War

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For the last several weeks we have been using Time Travelers American History: Civil War by Homeschool in the Woods.  If you are looking for a hands on history program, look no further!  This program has been amazingly fun for all my kiddos.  There are writing activities, lapbooking activities, notebooking activities, creative writing, craft projects, you name it!  You can pick and choose from suggested activities or do them all!  It’s designed to do every day (M-F) for a month, it has taken us a bit longer, as we don’t do school every day and some days are jammed pack and we want to do it all!  But that’s the beauty of this program, it’s flexible!

The suggested grade use for this unit is 3rd – 8th.  Though my younger kids (age 4 and 6) have enjoyed some of the activities as well.  We have done most of the hands on projects, the handwriting practice (in cursive) and working on the lapbook and notebook as well.  My son is not big into writing, so the creative writing portion was skipped.  We have had so much fun!

I’ll admit at first it was a bit overwhelming, all the files that come on the downloadable version and trying to figure out what to print and when, so here are a few tips:

What to print:  I printed the Lesson Project pages,  I printed then printed from the Lesson Masters all Penmanship pages that ended in b (a is print, b is cursive) for each chapter, and the other parts labeled M-1- .  After that I printed the project pages we decided to do (based on the Lesson Project pages).  Each project is listed as M-chapter number.  I did not print the Lesson-Text, I read those from my ipad (saved them to ONEDRIVE).  I kept the items in a binder, in order, so they were easy to access.  I referred to the Teacher Keys as needed without printing them.  Just trying to save some paper!

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Above are several of the paper projects we have done.  My kids loved coloring the uniforms in a type of paperdoll project.  We printed them on velum.  They got a kick out of all the badges they made, and the flag as well!  We didn’t always have materials they called for, but was easily able to substitute for items we already had on hand (in most cases).

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Their favorite project was the civil war uniforms, they are far from authentic, but we had a blast looking for coats to turn into uniforms at Goodwill.  We bought the hats on a Civil War field trip, and I made some minor adjustments to the jackets.  My oldest has one too, but isn’t in the picture.  I ordered some brass type buttons that I still need to sew on. 

They provide you with a lesson calendar, but we don’t do so well following schedules.  We have just done a lesson a day and taken it in stride.  The kids have really enjoyed it and are looking forward to continuing! We have made it a little over half way through.

My favorite thing about the unit is the flexibility, and the hands on is great too!  It’s simple to use (once you figure out the what to print part!) and the kids are learning so much! (Well, okay, I am learning a ton too!). 

Homeschool in the Woods has a several unit studies in American History and World History as well!  All units are hands on learning based!  Another great thing about these units is that you can use them across a wide age base!  All units are marked for grades 3-8, though you can easily adapt them for younger or older students as well! 

The unit also comes with a book list if you wanted to add in literature.  We checked out several books from the library, but the unit can stand alone without them (if you don’t have easy access).  Almost all materials were normal items that you most likely have on hand already, or easily accessible or substituted items. 

You can get this unit for $27.95 in a downloadable version or for $1 more you can get the CD.  You can also check out a sample lesson on their website. 

We are loving it and will be looking to Homeschool in the Woods for future history studies! 

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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