My first impression of Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages from Home School in the Woods was – this is going to be a fun way to do history. Then I received the links to the files.
My second impress of Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages was – wow, this is overwhelming. However, truth be told, once I started into the review and getting through the materials, it just LOOKS more overwhelming that it is. It’s just a very THOROUGH program and there are MANY options available so there is a lot of material and activities available to choose form – A LOT! So you the materials LOOK more overwhelming that they really will be once you get started.
In addition to notebooks and lapbooking options, you will find recipes, crafts and games. There is something for every type of learner included in this curriculum, definitely a plus.
Let me back up – I have been intrigued by Home School in the Woods products for many years – since I stumbled across the products a few years ago. At the time I thought it was too intricate for my children, because they were young. So I mentally filed it into the maybe-someday category. So when I was given the opportunity to review one of the products, one which go GREAT with our upcoming year of study in history, I was ready to give it a try, even though I was a little intimidated by the sheer VOLUME of materials included.
But there are good points to having options. That is the important part to remember about this curriculum, Homeschool in Woods provides a plethora of options – YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALL! For the mom that doesn’t like to skip anything, this might not be the best curriculum choice because you really do need to pick and choose and since I’m typically one of those mama’s, I had to keep reminding myself of that fact!
So first things first – YOU WILL NEED TO ORGANIZE. I probably spent an entire day (8 hours) preparing for the year. You could just do a “stop” or two at a time but I like to just do it and be done. I used the following supplies to get started:
- Colored Cardstock
- White Cardstock
- Regular Copy Paper
- Computer ink (and a lot of it)
- 1 (3-ring) binder for the Teacher’s Manual
- 1 (3-ring) binder for Each Student
- I also made a list of craft supplies we will need as I went through the lessons (so that I wouldn’t have to go back and figure that out later when we get to the project)
Then I started printing!
The online startup screen is VERY helpful and easy to learn to navigate pretty quickly – pretty intuitive, which was a welcomed surprise. Seeing so many zip files in the beginning scared me but the startup introduction was GREAT and I was able to understand what to do quickly.
The activity choices are great and the kids had fun making food from the times period, reading about knights and Vikings, and having a puppet show.
Each lesson is a separate PDF. This is helpful in lesson planning. You can skip around to a topic of interest if you want. Though the lessons build on each other a little, they would be totally doable in your own order if you wanted. They call their lessons “stops” like stops along their trip through the Middle Ages. I thought that was pretty creative.
For each lesson you have a reading text PDF. I didn’t print all these, I read them from the computer. It would be nice to have them printed in a guide but I was saving printing and it worked fine for us. There was also a “Travel Tips” section that helped me figure out what was coming up in the lesson and what we were going to need to prepare. I thought this was very helpful and printed these out for my Teacher’s Guide book.
There are maps and other activities that I did print. I kept these in the Teacher’s Guide binder. I think if you are going to print everything, which I may decide to do, you would want to have tabs to divide your binder into the lessons, or “stops” so they would easy to find.
We read the lesson from the computer then talked about it, did the crafts and activities that I had decided on like a postcard or recipe and then moved on to the next lesson. You can do one lesson a week but we took 2 weeks on most lessons (maybe because it’s summer so we were moving a little slower). Frankly it was nice to not be in a hurry to finish a lesson.
Though you could do the entire project in a lapbook, we had a student binder that we kept everything in. We may go back and put it into the lapbook as a review or something. We decided to not put it into the lapbook for now. We are using it more as notebooking and keeping it in the binder.
There are also newspaper and timeline activities. These we kept in the student notebook as well. We are keeping everything in one notebook at this time. It is easy to refer back and see what we have accomplished.
The program is suggested for grades 3-8; however, younger children can certain come along on the adventure and enjoy themselves. My 5 year old loved talking about the Middle Ages and doing some of the activities. My 10 year old loved the hands on activities to interactively learn.
We will definitely continue our study of the Middle Ages and have found that the Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages to be a fun study for the whole family. You can check out some free samples on Home School in the Woods website or purchase you own download of Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages for $33.95, or a CD format for $34.95.
Check out what the rest of the TOS Review Crew though of Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages as well as Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt and Project Passport World History Study: Renaissance & Reformation by Home School in the Woods.