Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Lap-Pak Review - Ben Franklin

Earlier this year I shared the Ancient Greece History Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study. Madison got into it, and once I got past my initial overwhelmed moments trying to get it set up, I did too. So when we were given the option to visit this curriculum again, we took it. We have been supplementing our history with a hands-on Lap-Pak about Benjamin Franklin from Home School in the Woods.

Home School in the Woods

Every time I first receive the curriculum from this company, I have to remind myself to breathe. It's a digital download or a CD. I like to buy my curriculum printed, so digital products are already something that makes me nervous. We use the download, and it has a TON of files. Extractions and explicit instructions and hidden folders make me nervous that I'm going to screw something up. But since I'm always encouraging Madison to take things she finds overwhelming step by step, I did the same to myself, and honestly, it isn't as complicated as it seems. The directions are clear.

Hands-on History K-2 Lap-Pak: Benjamin Franklin

NOTE FOR SUCCESS: You, as the teacher, need to treat this as true prep, give yourself some uninterrupted time, and do this all well in advance. You also need a printer at the ready, white and colored printer paper, and white and colored card stock. It will take a while to set up, but it is worth it.

The girls have gotten very into early American history - specifically the colonies, Revolution, and early years of the United States. Ben Franklin is obviously pretty involved in that, so both girls got in on the act this time.

Hands-on History K-2 Lap-Pak: Benjamin Franklin

This really takes you through all the many aspects of the life of Ben Franklin and this time in history. From the "Leather Apron" trades (wig maker, wax chandler, etc.), to Ben Franklin, the printer (and great information about early printing), to Poor Richard's Almanac, to Ben Franklin, the inventor, to Ben Franklin, the civil servant (libraries, postal, etc), to the well known stories (kite flying, anyone?), it's all in there, and it's perfect for K-2 students.

As the teacher, be prepared to help a lot. My girls absorbed the information hungrily and quickly, but they got very frustrated by having to arrange everything "just so", and there was a lot of cutting, pasting, and coloring. The pop up pieces were great, but they caused a few sets of tears from my five year old when it wasn't working quite right.

But overall, once we got past all the heavy lifting, the information is great and the girls both really liked getting to know one of their favorite historical figures. And I started brainstorming some great ways to use this in our co-op next year!

Home School in the Woods offers many visual and hands-on history lines. Other products that are available include products from the Time Traveler's American History Studies and Activity-Paks line, as well as the Timeline Trio.  Since the group is reviewing such a diverse set of materials, I highly suggest you check out the other reviews as well as Home School in the Woods to see the variety of hands-on projects they offer.

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

Homeschool in the Woods also offers a new A La Carte option, so  if you're wanting to try them out, or just do a project or two from their different studies to go along with another curriculum, you now have that option.  They are hoping to add more projects in the future, but in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal, you can currently download this project for FREE with the code alacarte.

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