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We have been adding a little hands-on history learning by using The War to End All Wars game and New Figures of the 20th and 21st Century from the new Á La Carte products by Home School in the Woods as part of the Homeschool Review Crew. As always, opinions are are own.
When I was in school, I do not remember being excited about history. For me, history classes tended to be heavy on reading and lectures and rather light on hands-on learning.
These memories of boredom when it comes to history is why I love finding ways to engage the boys while they learn. Home School in the Woods is one curriculum vendor we have used over the years that helps me do just that.
Hands-On Learning with Home School in the Woods
Home School in the Woods has been assisting other homeschool families bring fun into their homes in the context of history since 2002. Amy Pack, a homeschool mom with her kids all into adulthood now, founded the company after she began creating timeline figures for her own home. Shortly after she released the first group of Timeline figures, she began getting requests for more products that homeschool families could easily use.
Amy continues to be the primary illustrator for all of the products with the company now a family owned and operated business. Her son Jaron is the person behind all the research and writing of their history packages. Other family members handle the behind the scenes operations as well as providing the voice for the short audios included in some packages.
Knowing that some homeschool families want to be the best stewards of their financial resources as possible, Home School in the Woods offers samples to download for many of their large packages before you purchase. This is a great way to see what you will receive with your purchase and give it a test hop with your family.
Aside from Timeline Figures, you will find Olde World Style Maps, U.S. History Studies, World History Studies, and Hands-On History Activity and Lapbook Packs.
The new Á La Carte products offer a variety of projects families can use with their curriculum to help bring specific topics or periods of history to life.
On the main landing page, you can search by Historical Era (Ancient History, World History, Early America, 19th Century America, 20th-21st Century America and Bible Times) or Project Type (Timeline, File Folder Project, File Folder Game, 3-Dimensional, Game, Lap Book Project, Lap Book, Newspaper, or Notebook Project.)
When you purchase, there is the option for different types of licensing. If you only intend to use the materials with your family, then the family license is sufficient. Otherwise, read through the options to pick the one that meets your needs (e.g. using it to teach in a co-operative setting.)
Our Thoughts on the new Á La Carte Products
For someone who wants to dip their toes into this style of learning, the new Á La Carte products are a perfect introduction. You can target exactly what you need and keep the expense down as you immerse your family in hands-on learning for history.
Using New Figures of the 20th and 21st Century
I have the complete collection of Timeline Figures already, but the 21st Century package adds to it for when you want to study key figures and events from modern times. The pack includes 24 Figures / Events for this time period.
For my youngest son, the option to print the figures with a description already typed up is a wonderful choice. Writing is something he struggles doing on paper and this takes that stumbling block away from him! For older boys, the image alone allows for their customization whether on a timeline or in a report.
Using The War to End All Wars File Folder Game
Knowing my boys love to dig into World War II, I thought that The War to End All Wars File Folder Game would be a great way to add some fun to our regular homeschool routing. Setting up the playing board can take a bit of time (especially if your printer isn’t very cooperative!), but then you have a fun game to grab whenever the mood strikes.
The file for this game includes instructions on how to print and set it up as well as how to play the game. A time saver for parents is the brief accompanying text which provides an overview of the information needed to play.
To save on paper, I elected to not print out the instructions on setting up the game itself. This did mean a bunch of back and forth during the printing process. As our current printer is not set up to auto-duplex, I need to manually feed cardstock for the activity cards.
Both colorized and black and white pages are included in the package for printing. To fully customize the game, print from the B&W option and use colored pencils for the different pages before you begin cutting out. Those who have a color printer and want to save some time can print from color pages.
I elected to use a paper cutter to make it quicker to piece together. A word of caution…put the writing side UP on the cards. I didn’t for the first sheets and ended up slicing off too much of the wording.
The game does take a little time to wrap your brain around, particularly if a younger sibling wants to play. My solution is to partner with them until they have it down pat. I like the merging of strategy (working their logic muscles!) and history which this game provides.
Final Takeaway on Hands-On Learning with the new Á La Carte products
Overall, this is a wonderful way to get started with this style of learning. The cost per item is low enough to let you test hop the materials with your family.
Timelines are something many homeschoolers enjoy, whether it is done a large scale on the walls of your house or in a book for each child. Games always help to bring things to life and having the opportunity to pick and choose one that fits your current history learning needs is awesome.
Of course, once you get hooked on hands-on learning with Home School in the Woods, you’ll be ready to ‘upgrade’ to the full packages.
Do you incorporate hands-on learning opportunities in your homeschool?
Have you used any of the materials from Home School in the Woods? If so, which is your favorite?
Hands-On History Fun with Home School in the Woods: Past Reviews
Check out our past reviews from Homeschool in the Woods here:
Olde World Style United States & World Maps
Hands-On History Lap-Pak: The 20th Century in America
New Testament Activity Pak
Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages
Home School in the Woods Ancient Greece Study
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit Home School in the Woods post on the Homeschool Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this resource.