Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Homeschool In The Woods - TOS Product Review

I have to admit, I'm not a good lapbook momma. I mean to be... I love the idea of all these cool little folds and creases and hidden treasures in carefully-constructed pockets. But when the day gets rollin' for me, I'm usually behind already on schedule, and often we just dive in and do the "necessary" topical assignments, and I forsake the opportunity to get hands-on with our study and review in this really cool way.

Many homeschool moms are well-familiar with lapbooking, but it's worth explaining. Sort of a hybrid of scrapbooking, you typically use a file folder (alternative folds are optional) and fill it with small packets and pockets, fan-folds and accordions, little flip books and revolving paper-fastener-creations, which contain little snippets of information about the chosen subject.

We had the chance to review Homeschool In the Woods' New Testament lapbook, and instead of trying to "add it on top" of all we are already doing, I decided to just take a week and make this our primary project, along with our math and science studies.

Rather than opt to have each child do their own, the "big kids" are working in pairs. I'm excited about the teamwork as well as the chance to work on small motor skills (11 year old still needs work in this area). As they cut and color individual projects (one example is the basket filled with fruits of the spirt, with the correlating scriptures glued on the backs), they read the material it contains. Next, they place each assembled component into a large ziploc. At week's end, they will assemble the project, reviewing the concepts as they go. Finally, they'll "present" their projects to friends and family to firm up their knowledge.

For us, this is a great way to take a little break from the regular schedule and re-focus on God's word. I like the product a lot, and as a multiple grade teacher, I love that it's got components for all levels. If I only had one, I think this would be a fun project to do together! In fact, I am thinking of purchasing their artists activity pack for this summer, and as an aid to "hitting" some of the figures more in-depth than we did during the year.

A little about Homeschool In the Woods:

"It is our heartfelt prayer that children develop a love of learning that will not end when they are finished with "school." We at Home School in the Woods have a passion for supporting the education of our children, specifically in understanding God's providence through history." Homeschool In the Woods provides activity packs, timeline notebooks and figures, some digital and some printed, and available as downloads or on CD (products vary). Cost averages $20 per product, with the timeline binder (looks beautiful online) available for around $38.

From one mom to another: If lapbooking isn't your typical curriculum, give it a go. But try dropping everything else you can for a week so you can really dive into it and not rush.

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