Earlier this year we shared the Ancient Egypt HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study with you and my children have been enjoying it so much they were thrilled to have the opportunity to review the Home School in the Woods Wonders of the World Lap-Pak.
There are several Lap-Paks available from HSITW. The Lap-Paks are larger than most lap books, but not as intensive as the Project Passport World History Studies (we’ve previously worked on Ancient Egypt and The Middle Ages). So Lap-Paks are great for just a period of time from a week or two up to two months, depending on how deep you want to go with them.
One thing that my children and I love is how hands-on HSITW projects are! Working on projects that they put together and can go back to and look at and interact with help my children retain the information they’re learning, and they’re much more eager to go beyond the work at hand and do further research about what they are doing. This is a win-win situation!
What is in the Wonders Of The World Lap-Pak?
The WOTW Lap-Pak consists of 23 projects that span the ancient wonders, natural wonders, and modern wonders that all come together into one beautiful Lap-Pak:
- Timeline of the Wonders of the World
- The Leaning Tower of Pisa
- The Colosseum
- The Hagia Sophia
- The Great Wall of China
- The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa
- The Lost Porcelain Pagoda
- Mount Everest
- The Grand Canyon
- The Northern Lights
- The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
- The Great Barrier Reef
- Paricutín: The Volcano in a Cornfield
- Victoria Falls
- The Channel Tunnel
- The CN Tower
- The Empire State Building
- The Golden Gate Bridge
- Itaipu Dam
- Panama Canal
- The Netherlands North Sea Protection Works
There is a booklet to print that can be read (there is also the option to listen to it via audio recordings) with information about each of the wonders and provides all of the information needed to answer any questions that need to be answered within the projects.
There is also detailed information on how to complete each project. This can be a little confusing for first-timers to HSITW, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature. At the start of your class, open up the main link that’s provided, and print off the project instructions, then follow through that so you can sit and print off all of the files that you will need, paying attention to the type of paper you need for each page (white, coloured, card stock).
I printed everything we’d need right at the beginning, and I also cut out the pieces they’d need. Usually I’d have my children do that as well, but they have a lot going on right now and I wanted them to concentrate more on the learning rather than take the time to cut (and my daughter is going through a phase where she wants everything to be ‘perfect’ so I didn’t want any cutting errors to throw her off-course. Here’s a photo of all of the projects before they were cut out:
My children then read the text for the project they were about to work on (and usually they also listened to the audio as well), and then began to put the project together. For some projects my children worked together. For a couple the each did their own version, but for most they did the reading and research together, and then one child would finish the project, so most of the time we had two projects on the go at the same time. By doing it this way I kept both children engaged and they could each choose the projects they were most interested in.
My children were so interested in the Wonders of The World that on many days they each did two or more projects so the whole project didn’t take near as much time as I had envisioned. When my children want to keep learning more, I let them do it!
There wasn’t an overwhelming amount of information for each individual wonder, which meant that my 7 and 9-year-olds weren’t put off by the amount of work reading and question answering. It is just enough to get children interested and asking questions…which leads to further exploration of the wonders that they’re most interested in and they can then take control of their own learning.
We all thought the added crafty elements in the projects were a lot of fun! Adding glitter to a volcano, salt for snow, cotton balls for fog, using brad clips for moving parts, and having pop-up cards and moving Northern Lights meant that the projects felt more like crafts than like history!
There were personal stories involved in some of the wonders as between Phil and I, we’ve visited several in the days before we met each other, and the kids enjoy hearing about them. Phil’s been to the pyramids and I’ve been to the Great Wall of China, and we’ve both been to the Colosseum and the Grand Canyon, among others.
To let the kids learn more, they used a book we recently purchased about British History in addition to visits to our local library. There are additional resources provided in the pack, but they aren’t available in our area, but that’s okay; it means that each family’s experience with this Lap-Pak will be unique.
When we are able to make things more personal and meaningful for our children, we do our best to make it happen. With the Wonders of the World, we took a little trip to South Belfast and introduced Tristan and Kallista to the Giant’s Ring and Dolmen so they could get a better understanding of the famous Stonehenge.
They were also able to relate the leaning of Pisa’s tower to Belfast’s Albert Clock, which was also built over a river and leans to the side. The look in Tristan’s eyes when he put this information together was just what I love to see! Connection, understanding, and excitement in education. Those are the best days for me as a parent, and HSITW has provided several of them.
I do often miss home, but being able to provide these experiences to my children in Northern Ireland is wonderful.
Now that the Wonders of The World Lap-Pak is done, Tristan and Kallista wanted to put together a little video for you about it; what’s in their Lap-Pak, how the elements work, what they liked the best…it’s a little long, but they had so much enthusiasm for it that I just couldn’t bear to stop them. Have a look and see it all in action:
Hot Off The Press!
I want to let you know about a new line of product that HSITH has just released. If you’re not looking for a large project but want to add a small quality resource into a study you are doing to enhance it, definitely check out their A-La-Carte projects. They are individual components of the larger studies. You can can use the code alacarte at checkout to get the Erie Canal project on that page for free. The canal is 200 years old this year, so works well. In addition to that, I’ve also downloaded Pirate Panoply to go with a grammar study Tristan is currently doing!
And of course, don’t forget about the full-size activities that HSITW has:
- Time Traveler American: New World Explorers, Colonial Life, The American Revolution, The Early 19th Century, The Civil War, Industrial Revolution through Great Depression, and World War II.
- Project Passport World History Studies: Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt,The Middle Ages, and Renaissance & Reformation.
- Activity-Paks: Composers, Artists, The Old Testament, and The New Testament.
- Lap-Paks: U.S. Elections, 20th Century in America, Wonders of the World, Benjamin Franklin, Knights.
- Timeline Trio
To read more reviews about Home School in the Woods by the Homeschool Review Crew, click on the graphic below and follow the instructions. You will find 100 honest reviews by the Crew on this project, as well as several more. If you’d like to know more or would like to follow Homeschool In The Woods, you can connect with them through their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google+.