February 21, 2017

Bringing Ancient Egypt History to Life with Home School In the Woods {Product Review}

Bringing Ancient Egypt to Life with Homeschool in the Woods {a review}History history history. Our family ADORES all things history. My oldest has had a fascination lately with more ancient history--especially civilizations mentioned in the Bible. We recently were given the opportunity to review HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt from Home School In the Woods. Because of our past success with this company (read my US Elections review) and our love of Unit Studies, I had high hopes that it would be everything we loved--and could feed my boys love of history.

About the Product

Ancient Egypt Unit Study from Home School in the Woods
HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study is a great series of unit studies on a few of the more famous ancient civilizations or time periods. Designed by Amy Pak of Home School in the Woods, they are geared towards the much beloved lapbook and notebooking style of unit studies. Incorporating a reading with a lot of hands on, the lessons bring history to life for your children. There are currently four in this series: Ancient Egypt, The Middle Ages, Renaissance & Reformation, and Ancient Greece (the newest!). Ancient Rome is in the works to be released in 2018, which is very exciting.

Each of these studies includes 25 stops along your "journey". You will also be given "luggage" and a passport that will be stamped upon completion of the study. in each of the stops you will meet interesting people and witness exciting events. Each stop has a Guide Book to read for your text and an itinerary for project choices and directions. Masters for all the printables are included.

This IS a downloadable product, so you won't have piles of curriculum books! You can simply save it to your desktop of disk drive for easy reference--printing as needed. There are 50 or more projects to choose from in each study, including creating a Scrapbook of Sights, dining on common cuisine, reporting on important people and happenings, making "souvenirs" to remember your stay, completing a lap book, collecting postcards, listening to dramatized recordings of amazing moments in history, and so much more! And don't worry--you don't HAVE to do them ALL! That's what the itinerary is for--find the ones that will work best for your family!

You also have an Quick-Stop Itinerary which allows you as the teacher to see all of what is included in each stop to make a note of what you will want to do or skip--and just have it all at a glance. There are also additional articles and resources included for those who want to go even further with their readings and explorations.

The unit studies are geared towards grades 3rd-8th and can last 8-12 weeks, depending on how long you spend on each stop--some families will do a "stop" per day--3-5 days a week, while other families will take it slower doing one stop per week.

The program retails for $33.95 and is a downloadable product--although a CD version can be purchased for just $1 more.

After reading all the options to my oldest son, he jumped on the chance to review Ancient Egypt. We were given a copy of the downloadable unit study for Ancient Egypt to review with my two sons ages 6 and 11.

My Thoughts

Ancient Egypt World History Study from Home School in the Woods
I don't want to go into EXTENSIVE detail, because you would still be reading about this review tomorrow. So I am going to try to summarize what we did with the product and what we think about it--and if you want to know more, you can watch my LIVE video review over on my FB page tomorrow! :)

Okay so let's get down to brass tacks.
This product is not for the people who like open-and-go. If you are going to do this product you have to be willing to spend a LOT of prep time. The unit studies are done in the style of a notebooking and lapbooking study. This means there is a lot of printing and a lot of cutting/pasting going to happen. I KNEW that this was going to be the case going in, so I was prepared to do whatever I needed to.

Because I knew the end result was going to be a fabulous unit study with rich history and knowledge. They were going to remember it better because of the projects we did, and be able to demonstrate their knowledge by showcasing their binders and lapbooks.

Okay--so let's talk about the binders.

This is sort of a two part unit study. There is a binder aspect--here you get the maps, the postcards, the newsletter, the game, and other pieces which are meant to be 3-holed punched and stored in their binder. All the pieces for the binder are included in the master printable list and are clearly numbered to match each stop along the unit study.

If you only want to do the binder--no problem. Do just the binder. There will be ample information for your child to cover. Here are a few of the things we have added to our binder:
Coloring the binder cover

Working on the map of the region

setting up the "postcard rack" and coloring the first postcard

A completed page of the Clothes of the Egyptian Man
The second aspect of the study is the lapbooking components. Lapbooking can seem tedious to those who aren't of the cut and paste and prep mindset. I don't mind it, because I enjoy putting them together, and know that they are great tools for the boys. My youngest prefers it to my oldest. But that's fine.

If you want to do both the binder work AND the lapbooking, that is fine too. This program is designed for you to customize your "itinerary" as fits YOUR school. You rule the itinerary...the itinerary (aka. your guide for all the parts of the activities) isn't to rule you.

WE chose to do both. I felt that with our experience with each thing, I would be able to go through them and determine which ones would work best for us. So each boy started working on his lapbook as well.
Three portions we have completed in the lapbook
Guess what--there is more!
Also worked into the study is a "souvenir" portion--designed for your child to MAKE a souvenir of whatever stop you are at in your journey. One of our first stops was designing a breastplate necklace.

Our souvenirs for this week's stop are super fun--making a mummy and a sarcophagus!

These projects are totally optional, but they add another element of fun. If you don't want to make them right now, you can simply print off the directions and store it in the pocket for your folder.

With this product being part of "Project Passport", it's only natural that your student would get to have their very own "passport" for this journey! We had fun putting our passports together on the first day.
Now, one of my FAVORITE aspects was actually connected with the lapbook. Included in the lapbook, was an Egyptian Menu featuring several authentic Egyptian culture dishes--which included recipes! Well, I LOVE to cook, so I HAD to make some. And it just so happened to perfectly tie in with International Night at our church--so we created a table full of dishes created from the recipes included in this unit study!
Our Egyptian Table

Every thing on here was made from the Project Passport: Ancient Egypt Recipes

I displayed the breastplate necklaces the boys made as part of our decorations
I loved sharing the foods with everyone! The biggest hits were the Kofta w/Zambadi dip and the Cantaloupe Juice! Having the recipes was a major bonus for me!

So now let's talk about time wise--how did we use this?
Because I CHOSE to do as much as possible, there was no way that we could do a stop a day, 3-5 days a week. I think that's really only doable if you exclusively work on the Unit Study with little else in your schedule, or you simply pick 1-2 things from the stop itinerary to complete. Right now we are doing one stop each week--spending 2-3 days on it. And SOME stops have taken us 2 weeks to do at this schedule. We are finishing up our 5th stop this week--leaving us 20 more to go. Thus you can see how this could extend for 20 more weeks if necessary! However, some stops ARE more detailed and full than others. I see us maybe pairing down a bit and doing less at each stop--to try to get us through the rest of the unit. Striving for maybe even TWO stops a week. I just don't think you can rush it much more than that without losing some of the rich details included.

So, will I continue to use this project?
Yes. I definitely want to finish this out for us. It is so well done and the boys each enjoy it--one prefers the notebooking, the other the lapbooking. The final products when finished will be perfect for our portfolios for the year.

Would I Recommend This Product?

Yes. If you don't mind the prep work required for this style of lesson and if you are able to afford doing a LOT of printing. a LOT. I kept my printer hoping, especially since I was printing DOUBLE of everything. If you had multiple children, the printing costs are going to sky rocket. So you definitely might want to pair down WHAT projects you do in each stop. This program is also great if you are trying to teach multiple grade level students at one time. It is easy to custom it to fit--but isn't really good for those in early elementary. Definitely designed for grades 3rd-8th as specified.

And no. Seriously. This is NOT an open and go product. There are no workbooks or worksheets. It's a HANDS ON product. You will be "getting messy" with cutting and pasting and coloring and making projects. It's time consuming! You will need to set aside a good chunk of time to work on this--but it can easily count as your history AND geography. If you do not have the patience to do all the prep work needed--this is NOT for you. This product TRULY caters to the lapbooking/notebooking and Unit Study style of teaching.

But if you DO choose to do it, your children will have a grasp on the subject like nothing you've seen before. They will be able to remember great details about the topic and with their binders and lapbooks, will be able to share more about it to anyone who asks. So for me it's WORTH the time and effort for the end product.

Want to Know More about Home School In the Woods?

We have enjoyed reviewing HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt from Home School in the Woods...but there were several other studies done by fellow crew members. Make sure you go and check them out to see the exciting things they have to offer!
HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study Reviews
I also recommend you stay in touch with Home School In the Woods through these social media outlets for details on new products and sales!

Twitter (@HSintheWoods

I hope that you enjoyed this look into our review of this fabulous unit study from Home School in the Woods. If you want a more in depth look--make sure you check out my Facebook LIVE video review TOMORROW 2/22/2017. You can even come and ask questions!
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