Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Time Travel to the Civil War {A Home School in the Woods Review with FREE Discount Code}

If you're looking for history resources that can engage across a variety of ages and learning styles, take a peak at Home School in the Woods, whose Civil War Time Traveler American study has has recently been taking my children and I back to the Civil War era.

For visual folks, I am including a preview video about theTime Travelers studies below before I describe what we received and what we think about jumping into the Civil War with Home School in the Woods.

Like all
Time Traveler American studies, the Civil War one is recommended for children in grades 3-8 (but in our experience, suitable for even younger children to join in with!) and comes either as a CD or digital download.  My family received the digital download version which allowed us to easily download a zip file which we placed in a folder on our computer and, then, used by accessing a start.htm file which brought up as easy-to-navigate online menu with clickable icons. 

These brought us to other pages where we could access specific lessons:

From the folder on our computer, we could also access other automatically organize folders that allowed us to access pdf's offline.

From that, we could also easily access specific files.

Like many
Home School in the Woods studies, this one requires some initial prep - all at once when beginning the study, or little-by-little as you make your way through the study. 

Basically, you need a lot of ink and paper to print projects, as well as text and directions if you wish.  You also need to gather items for crafts and projects
, such as

At first, the preparations may seem off-putting, but, honestly, everything is laid out so well that it comes together relatively quickly and easily, and, since each necessary printable item comes as its own pdf you can pick and choose what you wish to print and what you wish to read onscreen.  (Admittedly, this has a drawback, too.  I do not like downloading loads of separate files to print and would love a second option on each lesson or set of lessons where what is currently offered as separate pdfs would be grouped into larger ones to expedite downloading and printing files all at once.)

To get you acquainted with the study, the first items in its menu include:

  • Acknowledgements / Copyrights and Usage / Bibliography 
  • Introduction 
  • Tips to Consider Before Starting
  •  Teacher Helps (which guides you in preparation and organization, gives you a Lesson Planner schedule to help you see an overview of the things being taught, offers a list of Additional Resources to pull from, and includes printables for 3-Ring Binder Covers and Teacher Keys for the timeline.

Then, come 25 lessons worth of Text Pages, Project Pages, and Masters, grouped in sets of five by lesson.  The Text Pages offer the "meat" of the learning, and are easy to read to self or, as we did, to read aloud. Project Pages give directions, lists of supplies needed, printing instructions, and illustrations for each project and activity. Masters include all necessary printables for projects.
There is also an Other Resources section at the end of the main menu which includes some visuals and directions to help you with the projects, activities, and lapbook. Included are:
  • a Gallery of Project Photos (final photos of what projects should look like at the end) 
  • All Master Pages in numerical order
  • Lap Book Instructions
Catch up days for projects are built into lessons 5, 10, 15, and 20, and the entire study concludes with the assembly a a lapbook on Day 24 and a Jamboree on Day 25 to celebrate the end of the study.

Completed as directed, the lessons will provide a complete, engaging and memorable study.  The study, however, can also become flexible for those that wish to pick and choose which parts and projects will work best for their families.  I know one of my children prefers the text,  Another likes cutting.  Another likes creating hands-on manipulatives like open-the-door maps.  And, I like that I can pace the study around whatever comes up in life, some days reading text and doing projects as directed, other days just working on projects or doing a copywork sheet for handwriting, and still other days just cuddling on the couch to read text as a quiet time or bedtime story.

Items you will often need for lessons include:
  • white printer paper
  • transparency film (or acetate)
  • colored printer paper
  • colored file folders
  • white card stock
  • lamination sheets (optional—for protection of game boards)
  • colored card stock
  • a 1- 1/2" or 2", 3-ring binder (per child, or family in our case)
  • glue sticks and liquid glue
  • a larger binder for the teacher
  • double-sided sticky tape
  • colored pencils
  • corrugated cardboard

Other items are sometimes called for, too, like tin cans, a nail, and a hammer.

Nothing, I found, is too hard to come by.

We've Been Enjoying Traveling Back to the Civil War with Time Travelers

Time Travelers American History Study: The Civil War

As I already explained, I appreciate the flexibility of the 
Civil War Time Traveler American study.  I also appreciate how well written it is.  I do not get bored at all when reading the included text to my children and I actually learn some things alongside them.

Further, I like the variety of projects included in the study as different ones appeal to each of my children and their learning styles.  Plus - praise God and the graphic designers at
Home School in the Woods - some of the projects even surprised me by getting my reluctant writer and my child with dyslexia excited about writing.  That's right , while focusing on history, I found I had to quell an near argument about who got to write the first article for the newspaper project.  My children vying to write?  That's a big win!

Another win for me is how easy it was to tie this resource into prior learning and recent activities.  Just before we began the study, my youngest two children and I went to an annual Civil War encampment and drill.  This had my children's appetites whetted for more Civil War learning, which the
Civil War Time Traveler study readily provided.

The ideal timing of the study was not lost on my children.  They even mentioned it when giving their thoughts for this review.

My just-turned seven year old said:
"We went to a Civil War reenactment recently, and I wanted to learn more about the war. 

I have been learning more, like the Confederates won a battle that no one actually died in at Fort Sumter.

I like cutting things out while Mommy reads to me.  I want to finish the whole thing."

My recently 10-year-old said:

"I really like this review.  We had been to a Civil War reenactment recently, so this was a good reinforcement and perfectly timed.

These are some things I have learned, liked, and done so far:

We've been doing the timeline when my mom is reading to us, and it was really fun to do that, because we got to color and cut while she was reading to us about what we were coloring and we got to figure out what everything was as she did.

I really liked the pull out map with the flip doors.  It's fun to hold, open things, and review.  I kind of like just doing that.

I like the newspaper, too.  I like how it shows you the form of what it would be like, but then you can write what the newspaper says in it.  I don't usually like writing, because it is boring and I am not good at it, but I wanted to do more of the newspaper.  There's even a picture of 12 runaway slaves in the newspaper.

A little fact I re-learned is that they called Harriet Tubman "Moses", because she was freeing her people.

I want to continue doing this study.  It makes it so you can actually imagine you are in the time period with all the things."

My oldest, at 11, said:
"I have listened to CD's, been to reenactment things, and read books about the Civil War before, and this study is good, because it is both teaching me and reminding me of things I have already learned.

I liked the story part, because I am more into stories than hands-on stuff.  My mom reads the story to us from the computer, and I like how it tells stuff that I didn't know before, like that Stonewall Jackson owned a valley before and the only time that anyone died at Fort Sumter was not actually during the battle.  I wish my mom would just print the story out so I could read it myself without waiting.

I also like the newspaper.  It is easy to do. 

I would recommend this to other people, because it has both hands-on and reading things.  Some of us like some things, and some of us like other things."

We have all agreed that we will continue to use this study since we are not yet done with it as we've been working at a slower, but steady summer pace.

After hearing my oldest's comments, I am going to show him how to navigate the menu to access all the texts in the study, so he can read ahead as desired without waiting for me to read to his siblings when they are enjoying hands-on projects.  For, as my son said, he quite enjoys the way the text portions narrates history, and I want him to keep enjoying it at his own pace.  Likewise, sine my younger two are enjoying cutting, coloring, pasting, and creating, I will leave those portions of the study to them.  Games, however, will be for everyone when we get to them - as will any portion of the study that all my children say, "me, me" to.  The beauty of this Time Travelers study is the depth of learning it encourages along with breadth of included projects which make the learning more accessible and memorable for children of multiple ages and learning styles. Without question, this resource is one we'd recommend to others who like history, flexibility, and hands-on learning options that require prep, but also ensure pay off.

Get a FREE Project to Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Beginning of the Erie Canal

Home School in the Woods now offers handy A-La-Carte projects, which are super if you'd like just one or two things (not an entire unit) to go with something that you are already studying. Currently, there are 50 A-La-Carte projects available and more will be coming.

You can get a taste of these projects for a limited time by ordering the Erie Canal one FREE using the code alacarte at checkout. 

Learn More

Home School in the Woods also offers a wide variety of supplementary and stand-alone studies.  For a peak into he superb hands-on lapbooking and project-based learning that these studies provide, take a peak at the opinions and photos of 100 Review Crew families.

Hands-on History {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

Each family reviewed a study from one of the following series:

Time Travelers American History Study: New World Explorers
Time Traveler American studies, like the Civil War one we are doing, each include include a brief introduction, informative text, engaging project pages, a helpful lesson plan schedule, and more.

Other titles in the series are:
  • New World Explorers
  • Colonial Life
  • The American Revolution
  • The Early 19th Century
  • Industrial Revolution through Great Depression
  • World War II

Hands-On History Activity-Paks: Make-A-State

Activity-Paks provide a meaningful, hands-on supplement to your curriculum that can give your children a better understanding of specific areas, such as:
  • Make-a-State
  • The Old Testament
  • The New Testament
  • Composers and Artists

Each pack includes Lap Book pages, projects and extra activities.

Hands-on History K-2 Lap-Pak: Knights

Lap-Paks can be used as stand alone studies or as supplements to other studies and cover topics such as:
  • U.S. Elections
  • 20th Century in America
  • Wonders of the World
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Knights

HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections  is one of these that we reviewed previously.

Timeline Trio is for all those who want to easily create beautiful timelines to make history come alive while seeing the big picture.  The bundle  includes:
  • collection of history figures
  • a “Record of Time” timeline notebook
  • a placement guide.

You can find Home School in the Woods on:

Home School in the Woods 
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