Do you know that there will be more than 350 booths in the vendor hall at the 2015 HEAV convention this year?
I have been blessed to work with one of those amazing vendors, Homeschool In the Woods Publishing in preparation for the convention. As a mom of boys, I LOVE using hands-on curriculum and projects instead of dry textbooks to help them learn. Homeschool In the Woods does just that! They graciously donated a downloadable Time Travelers: The Civil War in America study in exchange for my honest review of their curriculum.
The Time Travelers series includes seven different time periods ranging from New World Explorers to World War II.
The curriculum comes in a CD version for $28.95 or a downloadable version for $27.95 (Mac and PC compatible). This history study is designed primarily grades 3-8, but can be easily adapted for older or younger students. The Civil War in America study contains 25 lessons and takes on average 6-10 weeks depending on how many activities you choose and how in-depth you choose to study the time period. It can stand alone as a full curriculum, or (as in my case) you can pick and choose some of the reading and projects and add them as a supplement to your learning.
Each Time Traveler study covers activities including creative writing, recipes, penmanship, games, and more! The curriculum also provides instructions for completing a comprehensive lap book at the end of the study.
I really appreciated the extra tips, provided lesson plans, and clear instructions for each project (with full-color pictures included)!
In Lesson One, we learned about the various circumstances that led to the Civil War while focusing on one of the most pressing issues, slavery in America. We read about the Underground Railroad and several of the people who had a large part in helping slaves to escape to freedom. Tens of thousands of slaves were helped by this system. I found a short video about the Underground Railroad on Youtube that added to our study and then we got to participate in two hand-on activities to help reinforce what we had learned.
The first project was a mapping activity that I printed on cardstock. Ryan colored the Atlantic Ocean blue and then read each section out loud as I helped him tape them to the correct spot on the map. We were able to discuss many of the topics since we had just watched the video.
Ryan’s favorite project during this lesson was making a safe house lantern. Slaves would follow Ursa Major (the Big Dipper) and the star Polaris (the North Star) to guide them on their journey to freedom. Many times homes that were safe houses along the Underground Railroad path would hang these lanterns as a sign of safety to the weary travelers. This was a simple, but fun activity that didn’t cost a thing since we had all the needed supplies around the house.
Plus, you know the project is a hit when the big brother comes up to the school room to see what’s going on and then joins in 🙂 !
Another fun project that we did was make a haversack that contained the items that a Civil War soldier would carry with them at all times. I also printed these on cardstock (the real sacks are made of canvas) and had Ryan lightly color them while we read about each item. Then we taped the description onto the back of each picture and placed the items into our haversack.
These were only a few of the many lessons and projects included in the Civil War in America study. I am excited about completing some of the other activities as we study this time period and I highly recommend this curriculum for those who like to make history come alive for their students!
Please stop by the Homeschool in the Woods booth in the vendor hall to see this fantastic series for yourself!