Being an election year, the timing could not have been any better for my 5th grader and me to have an opportunity to utilize and review Home School in the Woods‘ History Through the Ages Hands-On History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections.
I do not remember much about learning the details on the election process in my school years. Consequently, as an adult, I have found myself confused by various terms such as the caucuses and the electoral college. Bookworm Beauty had recently asked me some questions about the election process and although I was able to answer the questions, I was left wishing I knew more.
- 13-page Text Booklet
- 62 Lap Book Project Master Files in PDF format
- 3-page Lap-Book Assembling Guide (providing a visual step-by-step layout of the project)
- 11-page document providing a thorough outline of the text assignments and project directions
- 2 MP3 files of the text book in audio format
- Lesson plan outline
- A list of additional resources to enhance the learning experience.
There were a few things not included, but necessary to complete the project as specified. These included things like tape, glue, paper fasteners, envelope, folders, etc.
Bookworm Beauty has successfully worked independently on this study over the last five weeks, typically completing one to two assignments per week. It takes her, on average, an hour to go through a lesson and complete the lap booking activity associated with it. Although we were unable to complete the entire project before the the review period ended, we have full intentions of seeing it through its completion.
A 5th Graders Perspective
During this study, Bookworm Beauty has stated firmly that she does not enjoy Lap Booking. It was a surprising confession because she is highly creative and enjoys every opportunity she is given to use her artistic talents. Maybe it’s the cookie-cutter templates, stifling her creativity, that she lacks appreciation for. I do not know. She has admitted, in all fairness, that she has not ever taken the time to peruse an older lap book to review the material in it. I wonder if she would feel differently if she had an opportunity to use a lap book as a review and study guide for a quiz of some sort…?
Despite her distaste for lap booking, she had positive things to say about this particular study. First and foremost, she felt comfortable working independently. This is a big deal in our home as she usually appreciates a lot of initial support and guidance when working with something new. She said that she felt comfortable from the beginning because it was laid out in a simple fashion, much like one of her craft books.
She also stated that she feels, without a doubt, that she has a good understanding of the basic process of the U.S. elections. I have to say that I have noticed that she seems to feel confident enough in her knowledge to willingly offer a statement or opinion regarding the 2016 Presidential Race. I’ve also noticed that when I’ve asked her random questions about the process, she has been able to offer a correct answer.
Her only recommendation for this program is that it provided a workbook option for those that do not enjoy lap booking.
An Adult’s Perspective
My first impression of the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak was positive. I visited the website and left feeling excited at the prospect of working through the subject matter with Bookworm Beauty.
The download went flawlessly. A link was immediately emailed and led right to the zipfile. I have downloaded other lap book kits and was really impressed with the thorough nature of this pack. I was not left worrying about how to assemble the project or layout the lessons.
Overall, the content seemed simple, almost too simple. It is listed for grades 3-8 and I felt it was a perfect fit for my 5th grader, as it gave basic bare-bones knowledge of which she can build upon in later years. It would probably be suitable for most children in the 3-8 grade range, with some adjustments. For example, a 3rd grader may find the text a little too advanced and may require some additional support. At the same time, I would imagine that there would need to be an expectation for a 7-8th grader to utilize the additional resources for further study.
In conclusion, I would say that I am please with this study. It is definitely worth more than the $18.95 price tag. In the end, the student has not only gained knowledge on the U.S. Elections process, but has also created a unique and artistic study guide to refer to and even expand upon in their future studies. For me, the greatest result of this study is that it has sparked some wonderful conversation about the current election process.