Friday, March 27, 2020

Artists Activity-Pak: A Home School In The Woods Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

With all that is different in the world right now, getting the chance to review curriculum is something that hasn't changed and for that I'm really thankful.  Even though we already school at home, all of our normal extras have been eliminated and the things we were looking forward to have been at best postponed so new and different things to do are all the more welcome right now.  Today we're looking at the Artists Activity-Pak from Home School in the Woods.  You might remember that we reviewed the Make-A-State Activity-Pak a few years ago and this is a similar project focusing on Artists and their art forms.  Home School in the Woods has been around for a while and have quite a collection of Activity Paks including people in history, composers, and, a particular relevant one, the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak.  As we head into who knows what over the next 6 months, this would be a particular useful way for our kids to learn, no matter what kind of circus this year turns out to be.

What We Received:

In this review we received a large file containing several printable files.  All the files combine to create a lapbook full of information and activities.  It is intended for grades 3-8 and allows for deeper research and involvement as the teacher deems appropriate. The Artists Activity-Pak includes the following elements:
  • Art Gallery Game
  • Sketch Book
  • Art Exhibition
  • Art Media
  • Art Movements
  • Art Vocabulary
  • Paint Like Masters
  • Directions/Instructions for each element

How It Works:

Lapbooks are simply a file folder containing several mini-books and activities that facilitate research and learning on a specific topic.  As you look over all of the individual projects, it may be a little overwhelming, because there is no set order to complete them.  Every mini-book involves quite a bit of cutting, coloring or handiwork so it is a good idea to evaluate when you want the Lapbook to be completed and how much time each week you want to spend on each mini-book or activity. Some of them included painting activities (Paint Like Masters) that involves activities over more than one day.   You could print out all the elements in one sitting if you wish, but since some of them required different colored paper and the directions for each were on separate sheets, it was simpler for me to print one at a time.  To keep up with printed pages and finished mini-books, I kept everything in the file folder when we weren't working on it. Once all the elements are completed, you then create the Lapbook by attaching each element to the file folder in the prescribed position. Once it is complete you then have an entire unit of information to interact with, study from and inspire you to create your own art.

What We Thought:

I used this with my 9 and 6 1/2 year old (because she never wants to be left out and she's super smart so why not!?)  Home School in the Woods Activity Paks are typically heavy on teacher/parent involvement and this one is no different.  There are a lot of directions and moving parts that my kids would likely get lost in if left to work entirely on their own. Still, they did most of the cutting and coloring so it's not as though Mom did it all and they just watched.  As we worked on the Art Vocabulary and Art Media activities, we had the opportunity to discuss all kinds of concepts and new terms.  They asked some questions that I didn't know the answer to so, of course, we googled it!  As we started the Art Exhibition activity, there was a lot of opportunity to discuss the different artists and what they remembered about some and then learning about others.

Since crafty activities aren't always my thing, I always hesitate to do these types of reviews or programs.  It is most certainly a hands-on activity from every angle and for my aged kids, it is not something I could just hand over and say "Figure it out!"  Still, from coloring to cutting to gluing, there was always something to do.  The kids love that! They were involved and never drug their feet over digging in, except for when it came to sharing with each other!  Our experience was that it is a great educational activity for kids, it just takes some mental prep and organization from a parent to keep everything straight.

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Home School in the Woods offers a ton of activities that the Review Crew families chose from.  Browse through all of the reviews to see what other activities looked like!

Home School in the Woods Collections - Lap-pak, Timeline Figures, History Studies & Activity-Pak {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

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