My family adores history, and we love hands-on projects even more. We are HUGE fans of everything Home School in the Woods offers, and now they have many of their hands-on history projects available Á La Carte! If a big colossal unit seems like too much, or you just want to add a little special something to another history curriculum you already love, then THIS IS FOR YOU!
If you aren’t familiar with the company, then you’ll want to know that it was created by Amy Pak and her homeschooled family. I had the opportunity to meet some of her grown children at a conference some years ago. They are truly delightful people. Just as importantly, the homeschooling materials they produce are stunning, tremendously fun, and extraordinarily educational. In fact, my family is using their materials as the center or core of our homeschooling.
For this review, we were given a list of Á La Carte projects to choose from. My children and I have used a lot of the choices already, so it was a bit hard to narrow it down. In the end, we decided to focus on World War II. It’s a time period we haven’t studied extensively so we thought we’d make a little mini-unit out of these materials. I completed both of our projects with my 10 and 12 year old sons.
Each Á La Carte product represents just a tiny slice of the much larger unit they are usually a part of. They are best used in combination for a small unit study (like we did), or individually as a supplement to your other studies on the subject. The whole menu of Á La Carte products includes file folder games, lap books and notebooking projects, newspapers, timelines, and much much more.
All of the projects come to you as digital downloads. You’ll need to print the instructions and pages on your own. Complete step-by-step instructions are included.
Can I tell you something? I think these Á La Carte products are sort of like a gateway drug into the whole Home School in the Woods line up. Once you get a taste, you’ll likely want to come back for the entire unit. Or maybe that’s just my family and me. We are fans after all… short o fanatic!
The first project we reviewed was A Timeline of World War II. Like all of the timelines, this one comes with absolutely gorgeous hand-drawn figures. Amy Pak does all of the artwork herself. She is amazingly talented. You’ll also get the printouts with the lines predated, and a teacher’s cheat sheet. Your job is to print, cut, and glue everything together. A timeline is fantastic for keeping the events you are studying in order while gaining the bigger perspective. Pair this timeline with another curriculum or a stack of library books all about WWII, and you’ll have a great resource.
The second project we reviewed was The Frontline News Newspaper. These newspapers are a fantastic way to incorporate writing into your history studies.
Your student gets to play journalist and practice their creative writing skills! What could be more fun? The newspapers are full of advertisements to complete and headlines to prompt your student’s writing. They fill in the stories with the information they’ve learned from their studies. They will write about things such as the Munich Pact, the battle at Dunkirk, the Raid on Pearl Harbor, Germany’s attack on Britain, the D-Day Invasion, The Battle of the Bulge, Auschwitz, and SOOOO much more.
We’ve completed other Home School in the Woods Newspapers. Typically, when you purchase the entire study for any given subject, you get numerous pages of study guide materials that help you write out these Newspaper articles. Those aren’t included with this Á La Carte newspaper. While they aren’t necessary at all if you have another curriculum or a stack of library books to source for information, we did miss those guides. Sometimes the headlines were a little obscure, so it made finding information to write the article a little tricky. I’d like to see the Pak family include those in those guides with these Newspapers (at a higher price point of course) or perhaps offer them as their own Á La Carte product.
I recommend these Á La Carte products. They can be the perfect extra little something to bring any history study alive. And who knows, once you try one of these bite-sized projects you just might be hooked into trying a full unit.
I have to recommend a few other Á La Carte products that I know you’ll love as we’ve already completed them as a part of our other studies. If you are studying Early America, the Get Your Kicks on Route Sixty-Six file folder game was HILARIOUS! Oh did this game bring out the competitive spirit in my family. You should have heard the laughter and shouts. We love pulling this out from time to time just for the fun of it. Another tremendous Early America project is the Roaring 20s Lap Book/Notebook Project. This mini-project puts the events of that time period together in a film-like story strip. It’s a unique project that we enjoyed greatly.
Run over to Home School in the Woods right away and check out all of their great products. I’m sure you’ll love them as much as we do!