Home School in the Woods provides hands on learning resources for history as well as several other areas like music and art. We studied the orchestra this year for our main focus in our composer studies and, in Classical Conversations, we studied the orchestra and three composers at the end of the school year. Therefore, when given the opportunity to review Home School in the Wood’s Hands-On Activity Pak: Composers, I thought this would be an excellent resource to culminate our studies this year.
We have been lapbooker’s from the beginning of our schooling. An activity pak is very similar to a lapbook and, by definition and pictures on the website, I equated it to a lapbook. What I found is that it’s a lot more involved than a lapbook.
The activity pak has many of the lapbook features like the use of file folders and gluing, cutting and coloring pieces and parts to put onto the file folders. However, the activities that are associated with each piece of the activity pack are, at times, more involved than simply reading something and answering questions.
In the Hands-On Activity Pak: Composers, you end up with 3 file folders and several activities for each folder, including mini-books and multi-page attachments. Along with the exercise and pieces for the file folder, you are also given several resources to enrich your learning and study of the composers. For instance, in addition to information about the composer, orchestral instruments, music appreciation, keyboarding information, and composer timeline, the activity pack provides links to websites and MP3 links to actual music by the composers being studied. There are almost 30 pieces of music from the 20 composers that are studied, in MP3 format, for listening to enrich your study.
Once you purchase the Hands-On Activity Pak: Composers from Home School in the Woods, you receive an email with your download. You download the files to your computer and then click on the Start execution file and you are given a step by step welcome page that is very handy. This is where it describes what you are going to do, what you are going to need, and provides files with pictures of the products as well as the files for every printable you will need.
First, I read through everything and figured out where we wanted to start. I got some additional library books from the library about the composers we were going to focus on and began printing. We then picked a composer, read a book, listened to his MP3 file and discussed the works. Then we played his music while we were coloring and filling in the pieces for the file folders that coincided with the composer. I liked that the audio files were readily available. Though we have a lot of music around the house, it was nice to have it right there in the downloaded files.
My daughter loves cutting, coloring, and gluing so this is the fun part for her. We put our pieces into the lapbook and did another composer. After doing our three composers that we primary studies this year we moved onto the orchestra section.
The orchestra section was fun to go through. There is a layout of the orchestra with card inserts so the student can put the sections of the orchestra in their proper place as well as learn about the different instruments and what section of the orchestra they belong to. This went along really well with our Classical Conversations study of the orchestra this year.
I love the composer cards that come with the activity pak. There are composer cards for each of the 20 composers that the student can match with information about the composer as well as information about their works. We laminated these for longer, lasting play.
My daughter really enjoyed using the Home School in the Woods Composer Activity Pak. I think it will continue to be a great way to go over composers that we study and review composers we have studied in the past. The timeline will be a nice integration into the timeline we use in our homeschool throughout the year.
At first, I found the activity pak a little overwhelming with all the parts and pieces but once I went through everything, I feel that the author did a good job at giving an overview and providing lots of instruction and pictures of the finished product to help with assembly and understanding on how to use the project.
I especially loved the MP3 pieces from the composers being available right in the activity pak. The composer cards are one of my favorite parts. And, of course, like all lapbooks, the use for review is very handy. The finished product is very professional and will be easy to use for review purposes.
You can purchase the Home School in the Woods Hands-On Activity Pak: Composers from their website for $18.95 for the download version and $19.95 for the CD version. The suggested grade for this activity pak is grades 3 through 8. We used it for my 3rd grader and it was very good, though some of the activities had the option to go a little more in depth than we did just because she is in 3rd grade and wasn’t ready for additional study.
If you have never checked out Home School in the Woods Hands-On Activity Pak: Composers or their other products, you should check them out. They are very good, high quality, and reasonably priced for what you get.
Be sure to check out the other TOS Crew Reviews of the Hands-On Activity Pak: Composers and other Home School in the Woods products and stop by the Home School in the Wood website to see their great products for history, art, music, Bible and more.