Nothing could have prepared me for the quality and depth of information that Home School in the Woods included in this product. The study of Ancient Egypt has been an amazing experience with Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt. This review has left me speechless – well, almost, since I do actually have to write the review.
I don’t actually know where the best place to begin is so I’ll begin at the beginning. Project Passport takes you to the beginning of the culture you are studying and brings you through its history. In 25 stops, or lessons, you cover the culture completely, including its changes through time. You will study the people, places, maps, foods, clothing, jobs, government, and so much more.
Each stop on the journey will cover a different aspect of the culture you are learning. The stop includes readings and activities designed to bring the student into contact with what life was like in regards to the topic. For example, on the stop where the girls were studying clothing, they colored and cut out figures that showed the different styles of clothing worn by the men and women. These were like paper dolls, where each piece could be added to the figure. On the page, there was a description of when and how the clothing pieces functioned and when they would be worn. There were also cards that described the children’s clothing and instructions for making some of the pieces, such as the cuffs or collars.
There is a wide variety of activities to accompany each stop. Each stop will have a reading that gives the historical information about the topic. There will also be additional activities. There might be postcards to design, an audio tour to listen to, something to make, or a game to play. There were hands-on crafts to do (making papyrus or a boat – my pictures of this came out terrible but L really had a lot of fun making papyrus) and coloring/cutting in order to create a manipulative (pharaoh’s crowns).
We used this with all three of the girls. This was probably not the wisest decision because it was hard. And I do mean HARD to work with all three of the girls at once. J, at age 6, is really too young for a lot of the projects but she had such a desire to study this with the older girls that I couldn’t tell her no, no learning for you. We modified much of it for J and she did not complete even half of the activities that the other two girls did but they all love to learn about Egypt and this was fun learning. L, at age 9, had no problems with this and actually got frustrated that we weren’t moving any faster. (When I tried to work with her alone so she could move faster, the others wanted to work as well, so it didn’t go any faster.) E, at age 11, was able to do much of this independently with just a little guidance and help.
For myself, I created a Scrapbook of Sights that contained the teacher information. I put in 26 tabs, one for each stop and one for the prep information for the whole thing, as well as travel tips, keys, and other helps I came across. For each stop, I printed the Tour Guide and the Travel Itinerary.
Each girl also created a Scrapbook of Sights. This is where all of the hands-on activities and information are kept. At the end of all this, they are going to have a very complete, very interesting notebook full of information on Egypt that they will be able to reference for years to come. Their binders are 1″ and so far, that has been plenty big enough. I don’t foresee needing anything bigger. We still have a bit to go, though, as things were slow going with J along for the ride. They have in their books a fold-out timeline that they update at stops, a map that they add to, and all of the activities they have done/created.
We have absolutely fallen in love with this product and L has asked a number of times if we can get another of the Project Passports when we finish this one. I think we probably will make time in our schedule for another one. Maybe both of the cultures available. (Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages & Project Passport World History Study: Renaissance & Reformation)
I would like to give a couple of words of advice and information.
- This is a preparation intensive study. It is not an open-and-go kind of thing. There is pre-reading that I highly recommend you do before the kids read it, just so you know what they are going to be learning about. (Knowing about what they were reading about the mummification process prior to them reading it allowed me to be prepared for what they might ask.) There is printing that needs to be done. If you aren’t printing the stops but are loading them onto a Kindle or another device, that will need to be done ahead of time. If you are doing it with more than one kiddo, that is an exponential increase in time and resources needed.
- There are a lot of resources needed for this. Paper, for one. Colored paper, colored cardstock, white cardstock – I had to go looking for this because we don’t keep these around to print on. Scissors, glue, colored pencils, and more. A printer. This is a biggie since this is an download resource that you print much of for the projects. A computer and online connection so that you can access and download. I think that is most of the needs.
- Have someone smarter than me to figure out how to get to the online part once you have downloaded it. It is really cool but it took me a long time to figure it out. Once it is downloaded to a file folder on your computer, you have to right-click the start icon and open it with a browser. That took me forever, even after having read it from others. It is really cool once you get started with it right because you can print everything you need from that easy to navigate page and it has high-quality, full-color photos of what you are working on.
Like I said, we really have enjoyed this review product. It has been loads of fun and an amazing amount of learning has gone on for the girls. They ask often to pull this out, even when I wasn’t planning on it. We are not doing all of the activities so that we can come back to it in the future and have more to learn but it is hard because Home School in the Woods has made this product such fun and infused it with all the learning possible. Definitely one to check out!
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