Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Wouldn't it be fascinating to experience The Middle Ages with fun hands-on projects, interesting text, ready-made timeline figures, and everything you need in one convenient location in order to explore the years 200 A.D. to 1500 A.D.? That's exactly what we did with Project Passport: The Middle Ages by Home School in the Woods!
Our family love, love, loves history. Call us hungry for history historians to our face and we'll agree with you wholeheartedly! And since I heard only good things about Home School in the Woods, we were stoked to use it for a few weeks in exchange for an honest review. And use it, we did!
I must say, I've had my hand in a history curriculum or two, even made my own, yet Home School in the Woods is one of the very best homeschool curriculums that I have ever come across for my elementary-aged kiddos – and that's saying a lot from this history-lovin' mama!
If you love history, you will undoubtedly love Home School in the Woods! Read on to see how we used Home School in the Woods Project Passport: The Middle Ages in our homeschool (and I bet you'll love it too!).
What Is Home School in the Woods History Curriculum?
Travel through the middle ages, the renaissance, through colonial America, or ancient Egypt. Explore US history eras or jump into individualized studies; you can do all this and more with Home School in the Woods! They have something for every homeschool and every season of your homeschool when it comes to your history curriculum. They have world history, US history, hands-on lap packs, history activity packs, maps, and timeline activities!
One of the activity packs I personally keep eyeing is the Lap-Pak U.S. Elections, where your child gets introduced to the presidential elections process through hands-on activities. This would especially make for a great time to do this since we are in an election year right now!
If you are interested in collecting a whole bunch of timeline figures, you will for sure like the Time Collection available. You can use this collection in all of your history curriculums, forever, and never have to worry about hunting down or purchasing another history timeline figure!
Project Passports (World History)
One of the popular selections through homeschoolers with Home School in the Woods is Project Passports. Because my kids and I are currently studying The Middle Ages in our homeschool we elected to review Project Passport: The Middle Ages bundle. But they have all the world history bundles! There are 5 Project Passports and you can get them individually or as a bundle:
- Ancient Egypt
- Ancient Greece
- Ancient Rome
- The Middle Ages
- Renaissance & Reformation
These project passports come with timeline figures, hands-on projects, and itineraries to get you through each “stop” or lesson. You have more than 50 projects to choose from within each study – how impressive is that?! When I say these are filled with “hands-on projects” I mean just that!
Time Travelers (US History)
You can always jump back in time and rediscover the world of US history through their Time Travelers studies! Each study is loaded with projects about different eras in America's history, jam-packed with adventures to take you on the journey! The Time Travelers studies for US history include:
- New World Explorers
- Colonial Life
- The American Revolution
- The Early 19th Century
- The Civil War
- The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression
- World War II
Get these studies individually or bundle them up and get them all. Chances are, you're going to need a study for each of these periods in time anyway!
Home School in the Woods Review
Home School in the Woods solves homeschool curriculum creation for your history studies by being a complete history curriculum with all elements you will need for a history study. This means that when it's time for your history lesson, the lesson is ready for you, every day, and you no longer need to work about a thing when preparing for your history lessons!
This amazing history curriculum has literally saved me countless hours of putting my own history curriculum together, which is what I was doing prior to using Home School in the Woods. Home School in the Woods has also taught me how to have fun with history!
I always thought that hands-on projects were so time-consuming and I dreaded always scheduling it into my homeschool days because it seemed to not only take forever to prepare but also to execute! But this isn't the case with Home School in the Woods.
Home School in the Woods has is big on hands-on projects. They have detailed instructions and make sure you are well-informed on how to proceed with each lesson. They include all of the printables you will need for the projects, everything you need for the lap books, and most of the items needed for various projects are lying around your house anyway!
How We Use Project Passport: The Middle Ages
As I mentioned, Home School in the Woods offers various study packs. These are not physical items mailed to you, but rather digital items sent to you. Once you download the zip file, you access the files on your laptop or desktop. One of the first things you will do is click on “start.html” which takes you to the homepage of your selected study.
I downloaded the zip file and from there I can see all of the files neatly organized. It provides you with audio clips for various times when you will need to listen to audio, all the information you will need for the lapbook projects, all the PDFs you will need and masters, teachers' keys, and even photos to show you what the end result of each project will look like.
They give you a summary of all of the “stops” or lessons, called a Quick Stop Itinerary, which you will have a total of 25 stops during the study. This will tell you what you need to do for that lesson and what to expect in future lessons. It will also help you identify what supplies you may need for future lessons. They even help you out by identifying different aspects of the lesson with a legend!
Within the PDF folder are a few more folders to help you stay organized. This is going to be the primary folder that you'll tap into, where you'll find the teacher's keys, the Masters of all the printables you'll need for your projects, and even the pages for your binder cover pages. They also provide a Text folder, where within it are 25 stops of texts for your Guidebook that you'll read in the beginning of each lesson.
They also give you an expanded version of each stop called an Itinerary, and that can be found in the PDFs folder. You will have 25 of these PDFs, one for each lesson, and each one gives you detailed instructions on all of the projects within that lesson. You don't have to do all of the projects (they are upwards of 50+ projects to do in each Project Passport!). Just pick and choose what fits best for your family!
As I said, they provide you will all of the audio clips you will need. You won't listen to an audio clip in every lesson, but if indicated during a stop, it will tell you which audio clip to listen to.
And if you have trouble with knowing what the outcome of a project should look like, they have you covered there too!
If you want to do all of the projects, go for it! Don't feel like you need to do one Stop each history lesson or day. Feel free to stretch it out over time to really consume the knowledge and information provided!
Home School in the Woods is a simple homeschool history curriculum to get the hang of, and once you begin your stops, you'll see how natural you get into the order of things. My kids loved doing the hands-on projects so much that they wanted to do history every day!
More Awesome Things About Home School in the Woods
I really love organization when there's a lot of stuff to keep up with. Sure enough, Home School in the Woods invited a fantastic way to organize our journey through The Middle Ages!
Scrapbook of Sights (Student Notebook)
This fantastic way is called the Scrapbook of Sights. It is a notebook that your child will make, with the cover and spine cover provided, that will store all of your child's work through the curriculum.
Guidebook (Mom's Notebook)
Another way to organize the work for Mom is through mom's Guidebook. The Guidebook is mom's notebook, storing all the critical information you'll need to teach each stop (or lesson), such as the Texts, each Itinerary (expanded), the Travel Tips, and the Travel Planner (a summary of all the lessons). I printed out all of these Introduction Pages and put them into sheet protectors.
The Itinerary for Stop #1 gives you detailed instructions for each project. At the beginning of the curriculum at Stop #1, our first craft was to prepare our notebooks, mom's Guidebook and each kid's Scrapbook of Sights.
Timeline & Newspaper Projects
Another project we created was the Timeline. I printed out the timeline from year 200 A.D. all the way to the year 1500 A.D. and the kids put these in their Scrapbook of Sights notebooks. I also printed out all of the timeline figures and “stamps” and “stickers” that they'll need to cut out and tape to the timelines. You can store these in your Guidebook, but I chose to store these all in one sheet protector and put them in each child's notebook. From there, they can hunt down the figures, places, etc. that will be put onto the timeline.
From there, as we proceeded each Stop, the kids would be directed to cut out these figures and put into their timelines. If the Text for a Stop spoke about a certain person, place, or thing, the Itinerary directions for the Stop would tell you to cut out that timeline figure and tape it according to its date.
The kids really enjoyed cutting out the figures and putting them in the appropriate year! It was enlightening for them to see when things happened. For example, we would speak about Atilla the Hun, but the kids didn't realize that Atilla was a man! And that he would be taped within 200-400 A.D. timeline!
For your visual learners, this activity is ideal in determining history.
Another project available is a newspaper project called “The Medieval Times” and once you complete the entire study, you will have a newspaper full of interesting “articles” that talk about those periods of time.
I printed out the newspaper in yellow paper, although you can print it on any kind of paper option. I also stored these in one sheet protector to keep it all together. Once the curriculum is complete, the kids will tape the pages together, creating a sort of newspaper! For instance, page 1 will be taped to page 12, page 2 to page 11, and so on.
Because we can pick and choose which projects to do, and when, I decided to wait on doing some of the newspaper articles until a later time. However, I plan on taking an entire lesson after Stop #6 to review everything they've learned so far, and they will write what they've learned into the newspaper as articles. This is my way to “test” what they know, and also to review what they've learned so far! And though I've already printed it out, it's there when we're ready!
Yet another fun project my kids were determined to complete was the Passport! We had a lot of projects going on at this point, and honestly, I was going to put this one off, but my kids really wanted to make a passport.
Which, I admit, at the end of the day, this proved to be another fun hands-on history project to put into our Scrapbook of Sights!
I found a sticker picture and added it into their passports, after cutting and sizing them up. They have room in the passport for “stamps” that they'll get throughout the curriculum when they're at a certain place during their middle ages travels.
As the final project, I'll discuss, this one was a complex one to understand – at first. Once I realized how to use the luggage pattern, I traced a folder with brads and used the bottom to brads only. After they made their luggage, and after schooltime, they went on to use their imagination to play pretend “travel” and took their luggage and passports to see all sorts of pretend sights.
I was so delighted in their enthusiasm. They filled out the included Travelogue all on their own initiative!
As an added bonus, I proudly witnessed my kiddos learning the basics and importance of organization and structure through the simple act of making a Scrapbook of Sights and keeping all of their papers neatly together within them. As I am proud of them, they are proud of themselves for their ongoing accomplishments and love revisiting the works they've already completed in the timelines.
My Opinion: Home School in the Woods Review – Homeschool History Curriculum
I was impressed right off the bat with how many projects that the Passport Project: The Middle Ages study pack has. I read everything that came with it and it was everything I wanted in a history curriculum, from the timeline to the timeline figures being included to hands-on projects for various time periods of the middle ages.
Initially, once I received the zip file, I was slightly overwhelmed with everything that's included in the Passport Project: The Middle Ages.
I mean, it's so much stuff!
So what did I do? I took a step back and focused on the START page! I had to have read that start page 10 times, though, because I wanted to make sure I understood everything in how to organize and teach it.
But once I did understand it, I began working diligently one thing at a time.
I wanted to see where I could find ALL of my lessons and, sure enough, it is provided in the Travel Planner Quick Stop.
To see every lesson in it's detailed instruction is in the Itinerary Stop #. (Stop #1 is lesson 1, Stop #2 is lesson 2, and so on.) I printed out the instructions for each lesson/projects and put them in my Guidebook.
To get some tips on how to present the information to the kids is the Travel Tips page.
To access all of my PDFs for the printables of the projects is in the PDFs folder. All of the PDFs are organized by stop # and project #.
To see how a project is supposed to look like at the end is in the Images folder. We had to use this to see what the luggage was supposed to look like when we finished it!
To read the text for the lesson and what will be introduced for that stop is in the Texts folder. I printed each Text # out and put them in my Guidebook.
Once I knew how to organize the curriculum, everything landed in to place and I understood when to grab a file and when to print out something. In this case, I know to print out all my Itinerary Stops (lessons) with each Text Stop. Then I print out all of the printables needed for the projects for that Stop.
If I had to pick a con or dislike about the product, it would be that Stop #1 just has entirely too much information thrown at you at the get-go. Even though the instructions are to familiarize yourself with the Travel Tips and Itineraries and folders, it was still a ton of information to consume all at once. I had to pace myself through a few days in order for everything to click into place.
And with all of the information thrown at you, you have a ton of projects to complete in Stop #1. However, you don't have to do these projects if you don't want to. I only continued to do them because my kids were excited about them and wanted to keep going! And to be fair, many of the projects in Stop #1 set you up for the rest of the curriculum. In this sense, you knock out the big stuff first. So that when Stop #2-25 comes along, you have the luggage, the timeline, the newspaper, your notebook, etc. and all of your projects completed to use moving forward.
Even though our usage time was limited for this history curriculum, we are excited to continue Passport Project: The Middle Ages until it's completed! In fact, there are a few Passport Projects I would like to visit as well as Time Travelers projects, not to mention the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak I'll probably grab this summer to prep my kids for election time come November!
With Passport Projects: The Middle Ages set up like you are traveling through this time period with your passport, my children were able to visually see this time period and kinesthetically learn with all of the history hands-on projects available. They have gained a better understanding of The Middle Ages already and it's only been a few weeks!
I'm looking forward to “testing” them when we do our newspaper articles! (I think this is a great idea, actually!)
Home School in the Woods review – Passport Project: The Middle Ages
Wrapping up this Home School in the Woods review, I love how laid out and effective this history curriculum is. After downloading your zip file and then printing out your Stop/Lessons as you go (or a month's worth at a time, being Stop #1-4 possibly), you have a fun curriculum that will take your kiddos on an adventure during a time period that's so popular!
Now that you're aware of some of the awesome highlights, you are now fully-equipped and ready to try Home School in the Woods Passport Project: The Middle Ages yourself! Or read some articles from their personal blog. I quite enjoy their take on auditory learners and children with different learning styles.
Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Home School in the Woods. My family loves this curriculum, and we used Passport Project: The Middle Ages, however, many other families on the review crew used other study packs from Home School in the Woods! So be sure to check out their review by clicking on the banner!