My oldest daughter LOVES history. She is a people person through and through and because history is the study of people and how they lived and what they did, she is all. over. it. Seriously. So all over it, that when we had the opportunity to review the (NEW!) Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt from Home School in the Woods, she really wanted to do it.
Even over summer break. I know. Crazy, right?
About Home School In the Woods
Home School in the Woods creates fun activity packs, lapbooks, and project packs on historical topics to make learning fun. They are a Christian company that tries to keep their denominational differences out of the study of history, sharing all the relevent facts, but from a Christian point of view. In order to faciliate my review, I received a copy of Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt. The Project Passports consist of dozens of activities at dozens of stops encompassing a myriad of skills including creative writing, drawing, crafts, cooking and more.
How We Used the Ancient Egypt Project Passport
Because we had just finished up our year of ancient history a month or two ago, we used the Ancient Egypt Project Passport as a stand-alone product for the summer. There are 25 “stops” each of which has a 2-4 pages of information on a topic as well as several activities. The activities take varying lengths of time and we attempted to do them all. While the HSITW folks say this should occupy you for 8-12 weeks, I think it would take much longer if you do Charlotte Mason style lessons or are on the younger end.
The daughter working on the Project Passport is 7.5 and will be working at a third grade level for many subjects this fall, but would be entering second in PS. I did a lot of the prep work for her (cutting, scoring cardstock, etc). If you have an older child, they could probably even do the printing and such themselves, also. The PP didn’t require a ton of specialized items, though we did go get some fabric, gemstones, and such to make fancy Egyptian costumes. Mostly, we used a ton of paper (colored and white) as well as cardstock (not entirely necessary, but well worth it!). If you are an office supply addict, you probably have everything you need :). I needed, of all the silly things, a 25 cent folder with prongs which was impossible to find 2 months before back-to-school sales. I did find one at Walmart, if you need one.
From a no-prep mom point of view, there is some prep. Opening the zip file and making a short cut to the main screen is easy. You need a binder for you and the student (I had two already). If you buy one, though, start with printing the opening documents and READ THEM. Then print the text and activity instructions for the first stop. READ THOSE.
THEN print. It will tell you how to print (there is a lot of duplex printing) as well as type of paper (cardstock, colored, regular, etc). So do as I say, not as I do — RTFM :D. Once I figured that out, it was smooth sailing.
I spent about 20-40 minutes printing, cutting and prepping before we started. It took about 15-20 minutes each stop to properly print the pages on the right paper and in the right direction on my printer.
We worked daily when we didn’t have other things going, so it ended up averaging 3-4 days a week. We worked through an average of 2-3 activities per day although one took well over a week. When it came to making Egyptian costumes and paper dolls, she took her sweet ol’ time and made them beautful. And left them laying around for siblings to destroy. It was a lesson in PICKING UP YOUR STUFF. Ahem.
She did love it though and if you are in a mood to see the longest show and tell ever, she shows you everything she did so far (we made it to Stop 5, I think) in only 20 minutes. For real, folks. She was pestering me for days to do a “show” and I asked her if I could tape it, so here you are with siblings crashing the show and not so patiently waiting and all.
Likes and Dislikes
From a mom perspective, these are super high quality printables. I loved the timeline pages, the lapbook elements, the continuous projects. A free lap book this is NOT! It literally has everything you need to make beautiful projects that will help your child really remember the time period you are covering. In the video (above), she said she would like to continue it in the fall as long as she doesn’t have to do the newsletter :). You could do nothing but this in 8-12 weeks if you didn’t try to do every project. You could use it for longer with younger kids and more involvement (directions, help, etc) and fewer projects.
It’s a great unit study for kids who are very hands-on. In addition to a newsletter, lapbook elements, and cut and paste type projects, we encountered things like making your own bricks, cooking Egyptian food and making Egyptian costumes. I can really see this being a great thing for my middle daughter who is too young, but she would LOVE it. I loved it so much that I’m going to get the Middle Ages set this year and the American History packs in a year or two. They really are quality materials and since my youngest is two and has two older sisters who can help him, I’m able to do things requiring a bit more prep.
Overall, if you have a kid in grades 3-8, who likes unit studies or projects, you really need to get one of the Project Passport packs from Home School in the Woods. They have 3 historical periods of Project Passports, 7 US history packs, plus other great historical studies and lapbooks. I reviewed the Great Empires Activity Pack for younger grades a year or two ago.
But don’t take my word for it — check out what other crew members thought about this and two other Project Passport products from Home School in the Woods.