Review of Home School in the Woods: History Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections

This has been an exciting and sometimes stressful year for my family. While it's just started, the news of the upcoming elections has led to many questions from my kids. In an attempt to answer some of them, we've looked to homeschool curriculum to guide us in teaching things from a perspective that shares our family's values. We recently reviewed the History Through the Ages Hands-On Lap Pak: U.S. Elections download from Home School in the Woods, and it has been a big help in our mission to inform our kids on our government and election process.

First, this is a lapbook. Your kids can expect to do lots of copywork, cutting, coloring and pasting. What I really liked about this product is that it has you do all of the individual pieces and set aside in a plastic bag for assembly all at one time later. This has been nice for my family, who often has a hard time finding supplies after the fact. Knowing that everything is saved in one place and that we can help the kids assemble the product last has been a big relief for us.

Second, there is so much information to be learned here. While I intended on only using this with my 6th grader, we have taken to reading the learning text over meal times, then clearing the table and having my 6th grader do the "lapbook" work while we discuss what we learned as a family.  From the very start, I could see that this product accurately taught the history of our government and the founding principles. It also addressed modern phenomenon such as fundraising and the political party system. It is honest about what is happening, but not in any way derogatory or discouraging.

Families should really enjoy this lapbook. I'm honestly not even a big fan of the lapbook process, simply because we do get disorganized from time to time. From the way the materials are laid out (with a few option for printing order), to the way it's taught, to the final assembly instructions, I've been convinced that lapbooks can and should be used in the classroom even if you modify them a bit to your own style. (An example would be that we glued many of the materials that could have been assembled with gold brads. We just didn't have gold brands on hand, and it turned out fine.)

If you can embrace the overall spirit of a lapbook, from the creativity to the learning materials, I would not hesitate to recommend this product to anyone -- even those who don't enjoy lapbooks. My husband has commented many times that he has really appreciated the way the learning text was presented, and my kids have been very interested in the election cycle as a result.

You can find other lapbooks from Home School in the Woods on a variety of topics. With this year being an election year, however, I think that this lap-pak is the perfect product to start your experience with. It's timely, accurate, and engaging -- just the type of extra-curricular study busy families in the U.S. can benefit from!

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