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A few weeks ago, when I told my children that we were going to review the Colonial Life portion of the Time Travelers American History series they literally cheered. I would like to take credit for their love of history, but it is in large part because Home School in the Woods has made it so interesting. They were excited to dive into this colonial America unit in preparation for our visit to Colonial Williamsburg this fall.
What is Home School in the Woods
They are constantly adding new unit studies to their extensive product line. The newest addition is Project Passport: Ancient Rome, completing the Project Passport Bundle. The downloadable version is available now and the CD version will be available in the fall.
A Colonial America Unit
The Time Travelers: Colonial Life is a colonial America unit study. Students will learn about many parts of colonial life:
- America’s Colonies Beginning
- The Colonial Home
- Colonial Clothing
- Colonial Food
- Family Life
- The Colonial School
- Faith in the Colonials
- Colonial Pastimes
- Villages and Cities
- Health and Medicine
- Colonial Artisans
- Holidays in the Colonies
- Crime and Punishment
- Plantations and Slavery
A lesson plan schedule is provided to help organize the lessons in a logical manner. The schedule spreads the lessons over 25 days. One day each week is set aside as a project day, a day to wrap up any unfinished projects. I like this schedule because it ensures that all of the topics are covered. I printed out one weeks worth of pages at once and this let me see what was needed. It really helped me have all of the supplies ready before we sat down to complete a lesson.
Each lesson includes a few pages of information to be read aloud, religious copy work,and at least two hands-on activities. Some activities will be saved to add to the lap book. Other activities are added to a unit study notebook. The lesson plan schedule lets you see at a glance what to do with each activity.
How I used Time Travelers: Colonial Life
I began each lesson reading the information to both of my children. We stopped and discussed the topics while reading. I always try to find connections to their own lives to make the information feel more relevant. For example, when we were learning about colonial schools, we read that students were assigned days to bring firewood to help heat the schoolhouse. My children dubbed this the original school supply list.
Next we did one activity together. I chose the daily hands-on activity that I thought would be most appealing to both of my children. We worked through the project together, discussing throughout the project. The additional daily projects were made available to them, but not required to be completed that day. This format took us about half an hour a day. If I wanted to check off every activity in order, this would take us about an hour or so a day for 5 weeks. We are going to Colonial Williamsburg in September so I wanted to stretch this colonial America unit leading up to our trip. Once we have gone through the entire unit, doing one activity per day, we will circle back around and complete the additional activities. This will keep more of the information fresh in their minds. I’m saving the “Colonial Spree” party until after our trip.
What I would like to see changed
The Home School in the Woods Time Travelers American History units are delivered in pdf form either digitally or on CD. I appreciate that this format allows me to print only the pages that I choose to include in the lesson, but I wish the units were also available fully printed and ready to use. Printing out multiple pdfs requires me to babysit my printer. Unzipping the files can be complicated because that isn’t something I do often. All of the Home School in the Woods products are high enough quality that I don’t mind going through the extra trouble, but it would be nice if there was an alternative way to get the papers.
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