Sunday, May 5, 2013

Home School In The Woods: Great Empires {Review}


Home School In The Woods is the creation of the wonderful Pak family.  Amy, along with her husband and four children, wanted to share Amy's creativity in designing better historical images, timelines, unit studies and lap books with others who homeschool so they developed Home School In The Woods in 1998 to bring these items to others.  There wonderful illustrations and materials help bring History to life.

Great Empires is one of many of Home School In The Woods extensive unit studies.  Available as a download or on disk, this study has everything you will need to begin a thorough study of the Greatest Empires known to mankind.  This study if fully hands-on and easily implemented.  Printing and some work putting the study together is required for completion.  Adobe Reader is also required for usage of this program.

For this review, we received a download of the study to use for our daily lessons in our home.  After downloading the program, the curriculum itself opens in a web browser on the start page.  This page provides links to every section of the study, much like a notebook.  A picture of the details of this download, the completed projects and materials is provided for viewing on this page also.



Included in this study are over 30 activities to be completed, including recipes, games, text and more.  It is suggested that it takes 1-3 days to complete an empire study.  Since we were using this for review, we took 1-2 days doing various activities per unit with the idea that we will work over it again later.  The study did require a fair amount of prep from me since I had to preview links and materials to make sure they were working properly and providing the information we needed to complete the study, as well as finding which parts of the study we were actually going to use in our lessons.  I found no problems, thankfully, and was easily able to make this work for us.

A world map is included in this study, for mapping the locations of the Empires provided in the study.  Pre-made timelines are also a part of the study, allowing room for pictures and notes as needed.  These are blackline masters, as are the historical figures provided to be used with the timeline.  They can easily be colored in by children to provide further interaction with the featured era and figure of the time.

Text is provided in a printable form and so is a project activity list for each lesson.  Each unit has activities for mapping, creative projects and even cooking.  This helps brings the lesson itself to life.  Adding books from the library, as well as links from the internet make this study even more easily adaptable for using educationally.

My children and I all enjoyed using this study.  I was able to use it with all three of my children and have them walk away with new knowledge of each of the Empires of the study.  Some of our lessons led to more in depth studies and new found interests in other cultures and also foods.  It was a great program that we thoroughly enjoyed using for the time period of this review.  It is also a program that I will use again in more depth along the way as we revisit this Empires again in our daily curriculum plans.

Great Empires is available from Home School In The Woods online for $18.95 for the download version or $19.95 plus shipping for the CD version.  Other studies are also available and can be viewed online at Home School In The Woods.

Empires included in this study are:
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Greece
Ancient Rome
Ancient China
Arab-Muslim Empire
Mongolian Empire
Viking Empire
Spanish Empire
French Empire
English Empire
German Empire
Japanese Empire

Russian Empire
The United States of America


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