When I first began homeschooling, I knew I would need to use curriculum choices that were hands-on. Grasshopper is not one to sit and listen to me read to him all day. I need resources that will be engaging, and full of activities. I also wanted to make sure that these activities would reinforce what was being taught. Projects needed to make the lesson real and memorable. A curriculum with activities that were more or less just busy work or an assignment just for the sake of doing a project was not what we wanted. It was difficult for me to find a history program that fit this criteria.
Why Hands-on Activities?
Before I dive into sharing what we’ve found, let me explain to you why I wanted hands-on activities. Grasshopper is a kinesthetic learner. This means he learns best through doing things rather than just simply seeing or hearing. The other reason I like hands-on activities is because of his ADHD. When a child has ADHD they simply cannot sit and focus. He learns best when he can keep his body moving. It doesn’t need to be big movements, simply moving his hands will help him stay focused tremendously.
When it came to history, I was having a hard time finding a program that would fit our needs and was still affordable. This year we are studying ancient history. I have a lot of books that are great resources, but I am not a creative person. I am not one of those moms who can come up with a project or activity to reinforce the lesson on my own. Like I said before, Grasshopper isn’t going to retain much if I’m just reading books to him.
The History Program We Found
Homeschool In The Woods was the solution to our problem. We are currently using their Project Passport Ancient Egypt Study and Grasshopper is loving it! In fact, he was disappointed we had to skip it today due to time constraints. They offer many different studies including:
- Timeline Materials (these can be used to supplement just about any history program you’re using)
- Map Sets for Geography
- Time Traveler’s U.S. History Studies
- Project Passport World History Studies
- Activity Paks – Old & New Testament, Artists, Composers
- Lap Paks – (there’s even one about the U.S. elections that would make a great study right now)
Why We Love Home School In The Woods
One of the first things I love about this program is its affordability. The download version of the Project Passport study, for instance, is only $33.95. I do need to print the materials, but at this price, I’m happy to do it! The project passport course will take 8-12 weeks to complete, so you may purchase more than one study to get you through the year. Even if you find yourself purchasing 3 different studies, it’s still less than the hundreds you might spend on other programs.
Another favorite aspect of mine is that they are a Christian company. Biblical references are incorporated throughout the history lessons where appropriate. I love that I am able to use this as a way to point back to the Bible and the events recorded in the old testament.
Homeschool in the Woods also works well with all learning types! That’s right, it’s great for kinesthetic learners like my son, but also great for visual and auditory learners. The studies are complete with projects, text, and even audio recordings!
Let’s talk about the projects. Like I said I’m not a very creative person, but if I have step by step instructions I can do about anything. The directions to me as a teacher are fantastic! They are super easy, complete with pictures of what the finished project should look like! Bonus, showing a child with ADHD what the finished project should look like is a huge benefit for them. It helps them not feel so overwhelmed and gives direction.
I also love the flexibility of their studies. You can pick and choose which projects you want to do based on what your kids would enjoy. Each and every project are not a requirement so pick what you like and go with it! So far we’ve done everything because Grasshopper really enjoys them. Also provided for you is a list of additional resources if you want to take the study further. If you find your child getting really into the subject, pick a few books from their list of suggestions and add them in.
Then of course there are the projects. So many wonderful hands-on activities. Here are a few projects used to help engage your child in their history studies:
- Timeline activities
- Writing a Newspaper
- Making mud bricks (with and without straw)
- Lap book
- Scrapbook of Sights
- Make Souvenirs
And that’s just to name a few! Homeschool In The Woods is filled with hands-on activities to teach history to your children. Grasshopper is loving the activities and is asking to do history class these days.