We recently went on a bit of a "road schooling" adventure, flying over to the mainland and road-tripping our way through six states on the West Coast and then hopping over to Alaska before heading home. It was an experience filled with memories that will last a lifetime. We visited museums, state and national parks, science centers, beaches, farms, historical landmarks, and both big cities and small towns. Throughout it all was the common thread of learning more about our nation as a whole, but the individual state that intrigued the girls the most was Alaska. Capitalizing on their deepening interest in the states we had just explored, we've been using the Make-a-State Activity from Home School in the Woods to expand on their knowledge using a hands-on flair!
About Home School in the Woods
They have multiple product lines, including things like:
About the Make-a-State Activity Pak
The Make-a-State Activity is part of the Activity-Paks series. It consists of a CD or downloaded set of files that contain twenty projects that combine to make a lap book about a single state, along with all the necessary instructions on how to make it happen. The projects are mostly themed templates/masters of different kinds that are printed on paper and/or cardstock, and then cut-out and completed with details from any U.S. state of your choice, then taped or glued into a file folder that you assemble specifically for this purpose, eventually resulting in a "lap book" that cohesively brings it all together into a great little package presentation. While many of the activities require state-specific research, writing information, and/or coloring or drawing on the given lines and spaces of a generic template, several of the project files have state-specific details and illustrations already on them, such as the state quarters and basic state maps.
Project topics include: key state facts, origin of the state name, state motto, symbols, song, industry/agriculture and climate, wildlife, geography, government, seal & flag, history, landmarks, quarter, sports teams, vocabulary, and timeline, recipes, native tribes, famous people, and regions.
Also included in the Make-a-State Activity CD or downloaded files are two bonus materials:
1) "State pages" - files for each of the 50 states and Washington D.C. which consist of a single page loaded with basic information about the state, including key facts, dates, and a super brief overview of history. This is meant to get a student started, but they will still require books and/or online resources to fully complete the projects. Thankfully, there are some suggested resources if you're not sure where to look for information.
2) "Name that State!" File Folder Game: a printable game that can be assembled in a file folder and used to practice state and capital knowledge and recognition in a fun way.
Once I finally got everything printed up, the directions were comprehensive and easy to follow and the completion of projects (and later the lap book assembly) went smoothly.
We chose to focus on Alaska for this lap book and we were excited to get started! After the initial printing and prep, we spent some time on this nearly every weekday.
The projects varied greatly in the amount of time it took for us to complete them. If you plan to schedule this lap book's activities into your school routine/schedule and want consistency, I would recommend devoting a certain block of time to it (such as 20 or 30 minutes a day, for example) vs. planning to do one of the twenty projects each day. Since it is summer and we don't have a busy schedule right now, my daughter just worked on this at her own pace.
Big Sis enjoyed this product and said that she wants to do one for all of the states that we have been to thus far. I will share her own review with you here now, per her request.
"They make it really fun by using a lot of different activities in the projects, like reading, writing, research, pasting, cutting, and putting it all together into a colorful lapbook that you can look back on later and be proud of. It's not just one thing. It's not monotonous so you don't get bored of doing the same thing for a long time - like only writing. I also like that you can make it colorful and that they have things like pouches in the lap book that you put things in. There was a lot of drawing. Personally, I love drawing! Some people may not like that though, so maybe they could find pictures to print or cut-out from a magazine instead. That's what I did for the state symbols project in our lap book. My favorite projects for this lap book were the 'my name is Alaska' one, the newspaper, and the tourist brochure. My least favorite thing was all the cutting that was necessary, but that's because we cut out all twenty project materials (to prepare in advance), so I would suggest that you cut out one project at a time when you go to work on it each day."
You can also find Home School in the Woods at their website to explore their wide variety of product offerings and learn more about the company, or visit them on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube!
I'm a homeschooling mom of three, enjoying our time in Hawaii and hoping to share some of that experience with you, including ideas, reviews, resources, and information.