How do you know you have found an awesome product?
When the children enjoy working on a review product even though it is supposed to be their summer break.
I knew that we had enjoyed the history game that we reviewed from Home School in the Woods this spring and was excited to try out one of their Project Passport World History Studies. I knew that we were going to be doing ancient history this fall and so I thought that the Ancient Egypt one would be a good fit.
The Project Passport World History Studies are exciting history studies that include 25 lessons or ‘stops’ that you would complete over 8-12 weeks. These ‘stops’ include Guide Book Text which is the reading for that particular topic, a ‘travel itinerary’ which gives you all of the projects and directions for each stop, and the masters that are needed for the projects. There are also audio components at eight of the stops.
At first glance, this can seem a little overwhelming. There are so many files and so much information. However, once you understand the system it is actually very simple to use. There are two different ways that you can get the information that you need. I started by extracting the files from the download and then going into the PDFs and printing what I needed. This works fine and is the preference for some people, but I think it is why I was a little overwhelmed at first. After we had been using the study for awhile, I realized that there was a start ‘button’ in the extracted files. This was a total game changer because when you use that link, it opens up a page in your web browser that has each ‘stop’ on the itinerary and clickable links for the files you need for that stop. This helps keep all of the files and information organized and was a great way for me to access what I needed.
While we are talking about overwhelming, I think it is important to note that it is not necessary to complete all of the activities with each stop. There are multiple options for projects which is a great way to give your students the opportunity to choose the ones which appeal to their interests. I do suggest taking a look over the course before you get started and gathering materials that you might need. Most of the materials were basic school/office supplies that you may already have on hand but there were a few things that I needed to find and looking ahead gave me the opportunity to have those ready when they were needed.
The first stop is mostly about getting everything set up. You do get a little background information about Ancient Egypt, but this is the lesson where you set up your notebooks, passports, and other materials that will be used throughout the lessons. One of our favorite parts of this lesson was the ‘luggage’ that they made using simple folders. It looked like so much fun that even my four year old had to make one. These are used to store materials and completed projects throughout the study.
During the second stop and beyond it is much more focused on the history components. Each ‘stop’ includes reading about the different components of Ancient Egypt that are being studied. For example, some lessons were on everyday life such as clothing and food. Other lessons were on agriculture, famous women, kingdoms, and religion. Once you have completed the reading there were multiple projects and activities to choose from. You student could be working on completing a lapbook and there were various lapbook activities included throughout the stops. They could also assemble a notebook with different projects. One of the projects that we enjoyed throughout the study was the timeline. We printed off the pages of the timeline and placed them in our notebooks but they could have also been connected together as one long timeline. Then with each stop we would cut out new timeline components and glue them onto our pages.
There were postcards that had letters already printed on them from someone the students had learned about in the lesson. The students would then design a picture for the front of the postcard. There was also a mapping component that they could add to at each of the stops.
While the children enjoyed those other components the hands on projects and activities were the highlight of our study. Our whole family enjoyed an ‘Ancient Egyptian Feast’ using recipes from the cookbook that they made in one of the early lessons. Both of my older children chose recipes to make for dinner one night and then I helped the four year old make a salad from the recipe book as well. He was determined not to be left out and had so much fun making his salad.
My twelve year old son enjoyed making bricks using mud and a straw/mud mixture. It was hands on an active, but what I liked most about it is that it helped him see how what were learning in history connected to the history he learned in the Bible. This program consistently showed how history and the Bible are connected without taking away from the face that it was a history curriculum.
If making bricks doesn’t excite you, you could dress a paper doll Egyptian woman, build an Egyptian temple, make a flip book, or even design a newspaper. There were a wide variety of projects which I find especially helpful as a mom who was using the study with multiple children. My children can use this program together but still chose projects that are more tailored to their interests. My daughter enjoys lapbooking projects, but my son does not. With this study I could have them each chose elements that they enjoyed while having them cover the same material.
This curriculum is designed for use with grades three through eight and in general I’d say that is a good age range, but I do think if you have children both in that age range and younger that you can certainly include the younger children. My four year old certainly did not complete all of the projects, but enjoyed cutting and pasting the timeline figures, listening to me read, coloring pictures, and making dinner. I found that he learned quite a bit from being involved.
We have not yet completed this study but are really enjoying it and plan to finish it up in September when we start back to school (the kids would finish it now but mom needs a couple weeks completely off before we start back). I believe Project Passport World History Studies would work well as a stand alone history curriculum, or can be used to provide a hands on supplement to other programs. In addition to Ancient Egypt they have Ancient Greece, The Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation and their newest product Ancient Rome. These studies are also available as a bundle!
Home School in the Woods also offers a wide variety of other hands on history products and timelines. The Review Crew had the opportunity to review quite a few different products and I encourage you to click the link below to check out all of the different reviews to see which products might work well for your family.
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