Lapbooking is so much fun. I love watching my boys create projects that demonstrate what they have learned and they make teaching so easy. However, I am nowhere near creative enough to come up with all of those neat ideas on my own, so I am really thankful for companies like Home School in the Woods. We have used many of their products before and for this review we got to check out their HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections study. I was really excited about this since it was such a timely topic at the moment.
Now, here are some things to know about lapbooking if you’ve never done it before. First, your lapbook does not have to look exactly like the examples you see in the instructions. Those are there as general guidelines, and they are very helpful when putting your own lapbook together. However, one thing I have learned about doing these things is that each lapbook is specific to you and your kids and you can make it however you want. For example, these are what some of our projects currently look like:
Notice that I did not print my projects out on all different colors of paper. That’s because I buy my paper at our local Dollar General store and they only offer white paper. But that’s okay, because I just have my kids color their projects in. However, I do suggest that you invest in one pack of card stock because some of the projects really need to be printed on thicker paper. A single pack of card stock can last you for a couple of lapbooks.
Now, let’s get into Elections. There are a couple of options for how to print the text, including making it into a pretty cool booklet, but ink is expensive, and since I was doing this study with my son, I just chose to read the text out loud from my computer. The text is very well written and set up in easy-to-manage chunks so that you can spend 20-30 minutes a day working on this and do 2-3 projects if you want. I felt it explained everything very well in a way that made it easy for kids to understand.
After giving an overview on the history of governments in general and learning a little about the American government, students go on to read about topics like voting rights, how campaigns are run, the election process, political parties, what each office actually does, term limits and much much more. The cool thing is, the learning is broken down into bite-size pieces, which makes it great for kids that are easily distracted or easily overwhelmed by too much information at once. Also, doing the projects appeals to other learning modalities. And, having a lapbook to share with the family and others at the end of the study is pretty cool.
You can definitely make this a much larger learning experience by checking out books from the library and using the internet to do more research, and for older kids (like mine) that’s what we did. In fact, there are other suggested resources included with the Lap-pak. If you wanted to, you could use the Elections Lap-pak as the basis of a unit study on elections, especially right now since we are in the midst of the Presidential campaign. If you are looking for a fun way to work some civics instruction into your homeschool, I would highly recommend you check this out. The Elections Lap-pak is available as a CD or a download.
To see what other members of the crew thought of this product, click here: