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Jul 11, 2017

Make-a-State Activity Pak ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

A homeschool family run business, Home School in the Woods is a hands-on history company that every family can use.  Designing from a Christian perspective, Amy Pak creates lapbooks, games, timelines, and projects for all ages.  It's a great way to bring history to life.

Hands-On History Activity-Paks: Make-A-State

The Make-a-State Activity is from the Activity-Paks series.  These are available on a CD or as a download.  The other four Activity-Paks units are
  • The Old Testament
  • The New Testament
  • Composers
  • Artists

Besides the Activity-Pak, you will need file folders, colored and/or white copy paper, colored and/or white cardstock, crayons, colored pencils, or markers, packing tape, scissors, glue (sticks or liquid), sources for the necessary information to complete the components.  The State Facts sheets provide some basic information.  You can also use the internet, books, videos, anything you want.  It's a great way to teach your children how to research the information they'll be writing about in the lapbook.

Make-a-State has 20 projects that can be completed for all 50 states and Washington, DC.  This pak covers history, geography, language arts, and art.  Some of the activities provided include
  • State Song
  • Geography
  • Flag
  • Government
  • Wildlife
  • Famous People
  • Animals
  • Native Peoples
  • Recipes
  • Timeline and many more topics.
A "Name That State!" file folder game is also provided as a bonus in this pak.  Suggestions for famous people and things to study are listed on each state's State Page and some book and website resources are provided.  Instructions for creating the lapbook and making and placing each component are also documented in easy to follow text and pictures.  I am a bit of a lapbooking rebel, though, as I don't fancy fold our folders.  I just leave them as they came and add the sheets so they open like a book.  I sometimes have to adjust placement, but that doesn't effect the studying and learning that goes into physically making the components and gluing them into their booklets.

The Homestudy office requires us to cover something about Vermont every year in our homeschool.  We have plenty of topics covered for this year now, already.  I can save the rest of the activities for many other years as it's intended for grades 3-8 (though my rising kindergartner has been working right along with his brothers on his very own lapbook).  All of the pages are reproducible for everyone in the entire family.

We'll be adding to our Vermont lapbooks each year as we complete more of the activities for our home state.  We can also use any or all of the activities for each of the states as we complete our ongoing USA notebooks.  This is a project we began several years ago, where we map the states we visit, collect postcards from friends all over the country, and learn about things to do and what's happening in the news.

I've been getting a lot of groans where some lessons are concerned, but I rarely have any trouble with the creation of lapbooks, timelines, and other hands-on studies.  Merrick has gotten pretty proficient with scissors and rarely needs help with anything except writing.  Malachi is pretty much on board with the creating involved with lapbooking also.  Until a couple of years ago, he didn't care for making them, but I think it was a coordination issue.  Xavier pretty much lives for this kind of educating.  One day, Merrick told me he is going to "make my folder every day until it's done."

While we've been using the projects in the components section, there are more we'll use this year.  As a family with a 12 year old this year, we are required to send in a minimum course of study for Malachi.  As his Vermont studies activities, I reported that we'd be covering Vermont residents.  That will include the indigenous Abenaki people and Phineas Gage, among others.  The Native Tribes and Famous People components will be perfect for that.

There are so many ways to use this Activity Pak.  I am really impressed by the assortment of components and the versatility for use.  My punks are enjoying it and when they enjoy something, school goes much more smoothly.

I also want to tell you about the all *new* a la carte projects (there are currently approximately 50 projects available) that include projects, games, timelines, and newspapers.  These are affordably priced individual components.  If you and your children absolutely love certain types of activities, this is the place to look.  I recently grabbed an individual lapbooking Erie Canal project because this year marks the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the canal.

I'll likely either be buying
  1. each of the timelines available because I really liked that part of the Renaissance & Reformation study we worked on previously.  There are a dozen other timelines available a la carte.
  2. OR the Timeline Trio.  This looks like an amazing resource for hands on and visual learners.  
Please click the banner below to read more about other Home School in the Woods products, including the Timeline Trio, Time Travelers American History, other Activity-Paks, and Lap-Paks.

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