Tuesday, July 31, 2018

REVIEW: Wonders of the World by Home School in the Woods

We’ve always enjoyed their high-quality hands-on history products in the past, so we jumped at the chance to review Wonders of the World by Home School in the Woods.


WHAT IS IT?:

Wonders of the World is part of the series of Hands-On History Lap-Paks from Home School in the WoodsHISTORY Through the Ages Hands-On History Lap-Pak: Wonders of the World

This lap-pak includes 23 individual projects that come together at the end to create a finished lapbook.  It includes ancient, medieval, modern, and natural wonders of the world spanning thousands of years. 

This project pack is intended for grades 3-8 and comes both on CD and as a digital download.  I received the imagedigital download version, and that is available for just $18.95

In my experience, you just won’t find another lapbook product as well-organized, thoughtfully produced, and as visually appealing as those from Home School in the Woods, and Wonders of the World is no exception!


OUR EXPERIENCE:

As soon as I realized that Wonders of the World included a project on The Great Wall of China, I knew this was perfect timing for us.  We’re studying countries of the Eastern Hemisphere this school year, and we happen to be currently studying China and the Great Wall!  And since lapbook projects can be completed in any order and assembled at the end, we knew we had to start with The Great Wall of China, of course!

Once I downloaded and unzipped the file, I began by printing out the printing and assembly instructions and placing them in a binder. 

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Then using those instructions, I printed and assembled the reading booklet first. 

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Then I began batch printing the materials for the lapbook projects.  You can do that as you go along, or you can choose to do it up front.  I tend to like to print a bunch of them up front so my son isn’t waiting for me when we’re ready to work on a project.  So I printed up the materials for about half of the projects before I did anything else and placed them in the binder in order.  This would make it easy to pull out the pages I needed each time we selected a new project.  You’ll need plenty of white and colored paper, as well as white and colored cardstock for any of the lapbook products from Home School in the Woods, so be sure to have a variety of them on hand before you get started.

With all of the printing out of the way, I was ready to dig into the projects!  My son is 10 and has ADHD, so he doesn’t have a lot of patience for cutting and gluing and things that require fine motor skills.  So I stayed up one night and pre-assembled a lot of the lapbook elements ahead of time.  Then we were ready to use them to study the information!

The downloadable file has a “start” button that allows you to view all of the instructions and information in your browser.  This is the easiest way to access the materials, as it’s all laid out in order for you.  There are clickable places that play accompanying audio tracks, as well as clickable files to print.  You can either read aloud the corresponding educational content from the reading booklet, or you can click in the file to have the audio track read it aloud for you.  We tried both methods, and it was nice not to have to do all of the reading aloud myself.  I do enough of that already! 

Our first project was The Great Wall of China, which is from the Medieval Wonders section.  We learned what materials were used in its construction, what dynasties worked on the project, and how long it took to built it.  We learned what it was used for and that portions of it still stand today! 

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Once that one was done, the order no longer mattered to us, so we just went back to the beginning and worked on the rest in the order they were presented.  So our next project was to complete the Timeline of the Wonders of the World.  There were printable images included for each of the wonders, as well as an answer key to show the finished order in which they should appear.  But Home School in the Woods made this super easy to figure out.  Even without the answer key, the names of the images are pre-printed on the timeline pages, so once you’ve taped the panels together, you just glue the images in their designated spots.  To make this even easier, you can print the images on sticker paper made for your printer, but I just used white glue to stick the paper images down once I’d cut them all out.  All of the images print in black and white, so you can add color with crayons or colored pencils if you desire.

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The next project was the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World.  These were really cool!  We listened to the audio track for this one, and my son flipped over the images to read about them on the back as we went along.  He thought those were really cool!  We learned about The Great Pyramid of Giza, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, The Colossus of Rhodes, and The Lighthouse of Alexandria.  The seven picture/information cards fit inside a little pocket for your lapbook.

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Next up was a study of Stonehenge!  I was particularly interested in learning more about this one, just because I was born in England.  We learned the meaning of the name, the layout of the stones, and where they came from.  We couldn’t believe that stones as heavy as 7 tons had been brought to the site from as far as 20 miles away!  We also learned that no one really knows the true purpose of this unique arrangement of stones, though there has been much speculation, nor do we even know who exactly built it!  We also learned that it’s not the only arrangement of its kind, as there are many others across the British Isles and Northern France, which was news to us!  And this lapbook element opened up into a 3-D pop-up.  Holden really liked this one!

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Our next project was on The Leaning Tower of Pisa.  This one was fun!  We learned about the original construction of the tower and how the settling of the earth underneath it is what started the leaning of the tower.  Attempts to correct it only made it worse!  It eventually became an attraction, and in recent history, it was closed in order to sure it up and make it safer for people to occupy.  The bells are no longer used, but it remains an attraction because of how it leans!  Because of the corrections, however, it is no longer the most crooked tower in the world.  But at least it’s safe!  This particular lapbook element is interactive, in that you can use the paper that extends from the tower to make the tower straight or cause it to lean.  That’s what made it fun!

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That’s as far as we got during the review period, but we look forward to continuing down the list of projects, exploring things like The Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, The Great Barrier Reef, Mount Everest, and the Golden Gate Bridge.  You can see all the projects listed in the image below.

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We’ve had a lot of fun with this lap-pak so far, and we have many weeks of projects left to complete.  I like to pull it out and do a new one each week.  In the meantime, I will store the completed lapbook elements in a clear pocket in the binder to keep them all safe until they are all done.  At end, we’ll assemble them into a lapbook.  I like to make a non-traditional lapbook using white cardstock that folds up and closes with a Velcro button and can be 3-hole punched and stored in a binder where we keep all of our finished lapbooks for future reference.  I have instructions on how I make them available elsewhere on my blog, in case you’re interested.

And if you have ever used any of the Project Passport products from Home School in the Woods, you will be excited to know that they’ve finally completed Project Passport: Ancient Rome, which completed the entire series!  In fact, you can now purchase the entire Project Passport Collection as a bundle!  They have so many wonderful hands-on history product lines…be sure to check them all out!

Take a look at what other Crew members have to say about this and other products from Home School in the Woods by clicking the banner below.