This article is in collaboration with Home School in the Woods.
Teaching history can be daunting. What is history? Dates and dead people? Dates and names are meaningless without a frame to hang them on—a framework that makes history real. So, where can a parent find such a framework without having to do all the work? Enter Home School in the Woods with their hands on history activities!
When she was homeschooling her children, Amy Pak dreaded teaching history because she found it when she was a schoolchild. Then, she discovered timelines and began using them to teach her children history. When she couldn’t find pictures she liked, Amy started to produce her own. In 2002 she began selling kits of the timeline pictures she had drawn. Then, Home School in the Woods branched out into other hands on history studies.
Home School in the Woods developed several types of hands on history resources for homeschooling families. They sell all the resources as digital downloads and allow the purchaser to print as many copies as needed for their immediate family. Teacher and school licenses are also available. The download comes in a ZIP file, and instructions are written clearly. All products are compatible with both Mac and PC.
This year, Home School in the Woods gave the Homeschool Review Crew the option of choosing from the following products.
The Printable “Essential Timeline Library
The Printable “Essential Timeline Library” includes 1,444 timeline figures from the entire sweep of history. Also included in this package is a printable timeline notebook with suggestions for use. On the Home School in the Woods website, on the Resources page, are several links for help using the timeline, including how to match the figures with some popular history curricula. Included in this collection are:
- A folder with all the timeline figures previously sold on CDs, organized into four different eras of history (Creation to Christ, Resurrection to Reformation, Napoleon to Now, and America, plus a Bonus collection)
- A folder with all the figures in a format to print as a whole page
- A printable timeline
- Suggested placement guide for the figures
- Three add-on paks
The Maps Combo-Pak includes both World and US maps.
Project Passport World History Studies
The Project Passport World History Studies include 24 stops, each with several suggested activities, some of which are completed during one visit, while others are added throughout the study. Each study includes detailed instructions for fifty or more projects. In addition, each stop includes an article about the history being studied on that stop. The studies that are currently available are:
- Ancient Egypt
- Ancient Greece
- Ancient Rome
- The Middle Ages
- Renaissance & Reformation
Time Travelers U.S. History Studies
The Time Travelers U. S. History Studies are similar to the Project Passport studies but have lessons instead of stops. These studies include:
- New World Explorers
- Colonial Life
- The American Revolution
- The Early 19th Century
- The Civil War
- The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression
- World War II
Hands on History Lap-Paks
The Hands-on History Lap-Paks include step-by-step instructions for creating a lap book about the given topic. Also included are photos of finished lap books. These lap-paks can be used in numerous ways, including supplementing other history courses or as a stand-alone study. They include:
- Wonders of the World
- The 20th Century in America
- U. S. Elections
- Benjamin Franklin
Hands on History Activity Paks
Another available project type is the Hands-on History Activity Paks. These also result in a lap book and one or two other activities per course. Again, everything needed to print all the projects is included, with clear directions. The topics covered are:
- The Old Testament
- The New Testament
The Project Passport, Time Travelers, Lap-Paks, and Activity-Paks sets target grades 3-8, except for the Benjamin Franklin and Knights Lap-Paks, which are geared for younger children (K-2).
The creators of Home School in the Woods seek to glorify God through sharing the love of history that He has given them. Their goal is to make learning history fun and easy for both parents and children.
The Homeschool Review Crew reviewed Home School in the Woods last year as well!
Special thanks to Emma Filbrun at Lots of Helpers for writing this introductory article.