Saturday, July 8, 2017

Make-A-State: A Hands-On History Review

Home School in the Woods
One of the beautiful blessings of homeschooling is having the time to dive into a subject and explore it from every direction.  Our latest review is designed for in-depth exploration with hands-on activities to engage all the curiosities.  Today we're talking about Make-A-State from Home School in the Woods, which is one of their latest products from their Activity-Paks collection.  Home School in the Woods is a family-owned company that publishes history curriculum that connects with the learner visually to enhance the understanding and feed the desire to know more about a given subject. 
Hands-On History Activity-Paks: Make-A-State

Make-A-State is a collection of printable pages and activities (either a digital download or available on CD) that combine to create a fun Lap Book on each state of the nation.  Included is step-by-step instructions on how to assemble each activity onto the Lap Book as well an information sheet on each state that you can draw from for the activities.  This is handy especially if your student is old enough to assemble it partly or completely on their own.  

Since we only had time for one state, of course we picked our home state of Oklahoma!

Below is a list of all the sections of information that you include in a complete state Lap Book.
  • Key State Facts
  • Origin of State Name
  • State Motto
  • State Symbols
  • State Song
  • State Industry/Agriculture/Climate
  • State Wildlife
  • Regions
  • State Geography
  • State Government
  • State Seal & Flag
  • State History
  • Famous People From...
  • Native Tribes
  • State Landmarks
  • Sports Teams
  • State Quarter
  • Recipes
  • State Vocabulary
  • State Timeline
These 20 activities incorporate things like coloring, creative writing, vocabulary, handwriting, and mapping in addition to the strong history study component.



As a Bonus, Make-A-State includes the "Name That State" File Folder Game that is designed to help you learn the states and their capitals, as well as match information to each state.  Especially with this unifying game, the life of this curriculum could be very long.  Studying one state a week using only this program provides at least a year solid of material.  Depending on what other outside information you draw from and other curriculum you include, this could turn into a long-range study across a couple of years or more.
Hands-On History Activity-Paks: Make-A-State

From our time spent with this product, I felt it was high quality and a great hands-on component to history study.  With younger students, like my 6 year old, there is more prep work for me as the teacher (printing, cutting out, directing, etc.), but the older the student the more independent they can work.  So, the age of your student(s) will likely dictate how much of your time is spent in lesson planning and that can be a deal breaker some years.  Still, I see it as an affordable and lasting curriculum that likely won't grow outdated over the life of your homeschooling years.

Of course, state history isn't the only history you will be studying and for those times, Home School in the Woods has a long list of other options in a similar hands-on and activity-based approach.  Their Lap-Paks series includes topics like Knights, U.S. Elections and Wonders of the World and the Activity Paks series include Artists, Composers, and the New and Old Testament.  The Time-Travelers American History Studies include New World Explorers, The Civil War, and World War II.  For a really neat project, check out the Timeline Trio that could be a treasure to keep long after the learning has moved on.  Last, but not least, the company is making available singular activities and subjects in their A La Carte area that could be great for tacking onto another curriculum or study.
HISTORY Through the Ages TIMELINE TRIOTime Travelers American History Study: The Civil War

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