I have said it before and I will say it again, we love history in our house. I have always loved history. I credit my parents and a great ninth grade Pennsylvania history teacher named Miss Mogart for that. You see, my ninth grade year was 1975-1976 (yes, I am that old). Those were exciting times in America! Three big events were happening in 1976 that brought about national pride. The Olympics were always something that pulled America together, but 1976 was also an election year, AND it was our Bicentennial. Miss Mogart may have been a tough and no nonsense teacher, but she was also one that knew how to take advantage of things to make history fun. We not only covered Pennsylvania history but she also taught us all about elections. She instilled a love of history and an interest in government in me that remains today.
When this election year came I wanted to pass on that interest and love to Joshua and Jacob but wasn't quite sure how to do it. After all, there is a big age difference and they both are special needs to some extent. When I found out that I had the opportunity to review HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections by Home School in the Woods. I THOUGHT that this might just be the thing to use. When I researched the product and looked at some of the samples I KNEW that it would be great for the kids and I was so happy when we were, indeed, chosen.
We have reviewed other lapbooks from Home School in the Woods and have enjoyed using them and we have enjoyed this one as well. What I like about this U.S. Elections Lap-Pak is that it includes everything with the purchase of either a download or a CD, it is recommended for grades 3-8, and it is flexible and can be either added to your regular history studies or can be used as a study on it's own. Jacob was my main worry as his reading level is below third grade but I felt that intellectually he should be able to handle the information if I read it to him. He has soaked up the information and loves it.
AND, when I say everything is included I mean everything that is needed is included in the download or on the CD. There is the "Reading Text" where all of the information for the study comes from. I like that because in other lapbook studies that we have done we have had to search for the information on our own. They include every piece that is used in the lapbook and each section can be printed out separately. I appreciate that because I don't have to print out everything at once (which takes up a lot of ink) and try to store it. I can just print what I need when I need it. They even include pictures of everything so you know if you are putting together the lapbook correctly.
I also love how Homeschool in the Woods gives you choices. The "Main Reading Text" that they use to gather all of the information can be printed out in two formats. One is a neat little booklet similar to what is shown above or you can print it out in notebook fashion to put in a notebook if you want. You can even not print it out and listen to the recording of it if you would like. Yes! I said recording! How may other lapbook companies provide that option?! As I mentioned above, you also have the option of printing all of the pieces out at once, or individually to be used when needed.
I also really appreciated that when I downloaded the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak I didn't just download a bunch of files that I had to sift through myself to find what I needed. There was a start page that was also downloaded that served as a kind of portal to all of the information. Everything is organized under headings. You click one link to print out the pieces needed, one link for the directions on how it is to be put together, another link to see what it is supposed to look like and still another link to listen to the recording if you want. It is very convenient.
So, what is actually covered? Instead of trying to explain everything let me list what is included as it appears on the Homeschool in the Woods website:
LAP-PAK ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:
Definition of “Election”
Different Forms of Government
The American Experiment
The Three Branches of Government
Who Do We Vote For?
Terms of Office
A “Handful” of Political Parties
Caucuses & Primaries
The Presidential Campaign: Platform
The Presidential Campaign: Stump Speaking
The Presidential Campaign: Media — News Source
The Presidential Campaign: Campaign Advertising — Spreading the Word!
The Electoral College
The Electoral Race!
As I mentioned before, my kids are soaking this up. It is amazing that my 10 year old has a good grasp of what monarchy, oligarchy, republic, democracy, and anarchy means. I mean . . . oligarchy? I'm not even sure I could have defined that very well before this study. Joshua has enjoyed putting the pieces to the lapbook together. He is very creative. For some reason Jacob is resisting the coloring part of it this year but that is no fault of the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak. It is just a phase he is going through. Although they may each have their favorite elements, they are both loving the study and have learned so much. It has been a great supplement to our U.S. History studies this year.
I would highly recommend HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections by Home School in the Woods. It has been wonderful for us and I think it would be wonderful for you as well. To find out more about this great product click on any of the highlighted links above. To find out what other members of the TOS Review Crew have to say about it click on the banner below. Happy Homeschooling!