Monday, May 6, 2013

Home School in the Woods Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013 #hsreviews

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       We are a hands on learning family, when we started homeschooling 4 years ago I really did not understand what that meant and I sure did not know what a lapbook was or a unit study or any of the other creative terms homeschoolers used. Well I sure learned in a hurry, our first one was about  the Winter Olympics that year and the minute my boys finished it they were hooked, what I did not realize was how many companies sold lapbooks and helped out by doing a lot of the work for you. All you do is print, assemble and learn... I had the pleasure of reviewing a wonderful company called Home School in the Woods. They have created Lap-Paks, hands on learning with detail. We had the privilege of being sent Hands-On History Lap-Pak: The 20th Century in America.  

    The boys appreciate the freedom lapbooks have to offer and this Lap-Pak was no different. I was surprised at the detail of the pictures but I should have expected it as they were created in part by Homeschool Mom and Former Graphic Artist Amy Pak, Do you see where the name came from? The Pak family created these hands on studies after beginning to homeschool in 1996 and realizing that most lapbooks had plain and simple graphics, giving no detail and looking as my kids would say "Cheesy". They were in a dilemma, they loved History but needed more, so they decided to create Home School in the Woods. We are fortunate they did because let me tell you these are the cream of the crop and I was lucky to see them up close and personal right after we received ours via email download we visited their booth at The Great Homeschool Convention in Ohio in early April, Oh How I wish I had more money to spend than I did, because I would have cleaned them out, I was particularly taken with  the Civil War one. I know we will be buying that one for the Fall. Good thing Taylor was not with me or I would not have been able to leave without it.

   The stand out for this Lap-Pak for me was obviously the graphics but the plethora of components was exceptional. There was nothing lacking at all. The only downfall for me was all the printing, but that is expected with any product that is digital whether it be downloaded or on CD which is the way these come. You can get the CD for $22.95 or the PDF Zip file sent via email and download it straight to your computer. We made a small investment 2 years ago when we really dove into lapbooks and we purchased a laser printer, it is both economical and fast when it prints. It has truly been a life saver. If your family is like ours and loves to do these types of studies I highly recommend adding the purchase of one into your homeschool budget. They have come down in price significantly and it will be one of the best things you purchased ever for your homeschool.

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   Enough about that, onto the nitty gritty, The  Hands-On History Lap-Pak: The 20th Century in America is geared for grades 3-8, however my boys who are going into 9th and 10th still thoroughly enjoyed these and I do not see that ending anytime soon. The nice thing about the Lap-Paks is you can tailor them to suit your families learning needs, you can make them so they work for younger students by omitting some of the extra reading and research of you can make them suitable for older kids by adding in all of the extras and anything else you might want to like maybe a research paper like I did. These types of units are great for "on your own" learning. I love handing this type of study to my boys and seeing how different they come out, there is no right or wrong way to complete them. Also it is fun to see how their individual interests shine in the finished project, they can each go off and explore an area that interests them the most for Taylor that is the World Wars or any war really, he loves the history of it all, the weapons, the battles and the end results. For Alyx it was the Space Race and the Missionaries. In this Lap-Pak there is something for everyone, there was also information about the Stock Market Crash, and Political Events.

   We have not finished ours as we took a break for Easter and then I was sick but the boys should be done in the next week or so, we have been working on them at least 3 days a week, usually Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays but we shortened the amount of time each day we worked on them because of all that has been going on, as soon as they are I will be sure to add our photos of our finished books and you can see what they will look like. The great thing about these is you can work on them little by little and it does not impact the end result it is easy to just fit in time to work on them when you can. These are not something that you have to devote your whole day's work time to until you finish, so this way your regular studies do not suffer at the hands of your Lap-Pak.  There is a 33 page book of all the info you need to complete this Lap-Pak but you can add as much extra reading or research as you please to make it what you want, but if you just wanted to complete it with the info provided you could accomplish this with no trouble at all, it truly is that abundant and thorough. Homeschooling continues to amaze me each day as it all what we make of it. It is as unique as you or your kids. so embrace that and run with it. Buy your Lap-Pak today do not delay, visit Home School in the Woods and find your perfect one. Be sure to visit the other Crew Member's blogs by clicking the banner below. We had a choice of 3 different Lap-Paks and got to choose the one that best fit our students.



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