As you guys have no doubt figured out, we do politics at my house. I work for a politician, my eldest stumps for one each election, and living in the DC-metro area, our local news is full of politics. We’re excited for the presidential election like some of you are excited for the Super Bowl. That’s why I was excited when I got the chance to check out Home School in the Woods‘ HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections.
This product is suggested for grades 3-8 and is a great, in-depth look at US Elections. Whether you’re a homeschooler or your kid is just really interested in the elections process (or maybe you’ve never paid attention before!) this gives you a fantastic wealth of information on how it all works.
I was initially a little hesitant about the fact that this is a lap book. We know people that lap book everything they learn and love it, but we’ve tried lap books before and they have resulted in a good deal of crying. However, our last attempt was when the boys were a little younger, so putting two years on them and having it be a subject they’re really interested in made me feel brave.
I used the download version (there is also a CD) and I initially had a little trouble figuring out all the pieces and how to print everything, but I did get it figured out (in about 10 minutes- it didn’t take long) and we were able to step through each lesson. We printed the lap book components in one shot, which if I had it to do over, I wouldn’t do. I’d print each day’s component as we did the lesson. We’re only halfway through, so I still could, actually. If the papers get out of order at all it can be confusing, so that’s why I’d do it one at a time. We printed the whole reading text as a book, although you also have the option to print it as notebook pages.
Each lesson has a narration, and I enjoyed the reader’s excited, engaging voice. We’ve got a few other lessons on CD where the reader has lulled me into a mid-afternoon cat-nap, which is not conducive to getting things done! There are about 60 minutes of audio that are the read-along text, so you could honestly knock this out in a day if you had nothing else to do and your kids really enjoy lap-booking. Since my kids only really like doing a few components of the lap book at a time and this is a supplement to our regular history, we’re breaking it up into pieces, which the website version makes really easy since the audio and lap book component are listed together in sections. There are 21 “projects” and we’re doing 2 at a time, which works out since there’s also a front cover (22! evenly divisible by 2!) so we plan on taking 11 school days to finish this, or a little over 2 weeks. As I mentioned, you could easily make this shorter, and you could also stretch it over 21 days, if you wanted. I really appreciated that there was an entire section on suffrage. I think that it’s important to realize what a right and privilege it is to vote. We’re getting ready to start on “The Presidential Platform”, but some other topics include raising money, caucuses and primaries, the electoral college, and three branches of government. This product really does a fantastic job of covering all aspects of Elections from soup to nuts.
We’ve been doing each component and then putting it into a folder with the plan to assemble the lap book when we’re done with everything, so I don’t have a completed project to show you, but here is a sample of what it will look like when we’re done:
There are directions on how to assemble everything, so don’t be intimidated at all. Each of the folder pages has a front and a back (there’s a lot of information!) and you could certainly assemble as you went, we just opted not to do it that way. Their favorite component so far has been the “who do we vote for” spinner, even though I didn’t print it on different colored paper (which is what the instructions say to do). I’ll update this post later when we’re all finished so you can see our actual lap book. We are definitely enjoying this lap-pak and plan to continue all the way through lesson 21 so that by the time the actual election comes around we are well-versed in how the whole process works!!
Riley’s preference was to listen while he colored.
I reviewed this product with my 6th grade and 4th grade sons. My 2nd grade daughter was very interested in having a “project book”, so I’ll have to look into some other Home School in the Woods options for her! Both boys are very confident readers, but they like listening to the audio files and working on the lap book component while they listen. I’ve enjoyed listening along, too, and refreshing my own knowledge of our electoral system!
I was one of many reviewers for this product, so you can read about how others used it by following the link below:
I did receive this product free of charge, but all opinions, as always, are my own.