Home School in the Woods is probably the premier hands-on history company. Their products truly help immerse the learner in the culture and history of the place they are teaching. We have been working on Lap-Pak: The Wonders of the World, which is one of the Hands-on History Lap-Paks, and enjoying relaxed, hands-on, project based learning.
Home School In The Woods is a company run by the Pak family. Amy Pak is described as the driving force behind this family and company. The research that she has put into lovingly creating these products is evident. Each of their many different lines and products are packed full of history, interest, and hands-on learning. Their product lines include:
- Hands-on History Lap-Paks
- Project Passport World History Studies
- Time Travelers American History
- Hands-on History Activity-Paks
- Hands-on History Activity Studies
- À La Carte Timelines
- and other A La Carte items
I was really drawn to the Wonders of the World product for summer learning as it covers a variety of time periods, connects to other interests (such as mythology and geography), and I have always found them fascinating so I wanted to share that with my girls. This Lap-Pak covers the four different ages of the wonders of the world. There are a set of ancient, medieval, modern, and natural wonders.
Each time set of wonders includes seven different places. Ancient wonders include some of what most of us think of when we hear about the seven wonders of the world: hanging gardens, the pyramids, the mausoleum at Halicarnassus, and more. The Medieval wonders included most of the other things we think of: Stonehenge, the leaning tower of Pisa, the Colosseum, and the Great Wall of China. Modern wonders include places like the CN Tower, the Channel Tunnel, and the Empire State Building. The seven natural wonders of the world really don’t surprise – the Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls, the Northern Lights, and the Great Barrier Reef are among this list.
Honestly, I had no idea there were so many places that were considered “wonders of the world.” I would not have considered the modern set wonders at all so it was a good perspective to see them through a different lense.
The set we received was a digital file that I downloaded on my Chromebook. The FAQ on the website gives good information on how to best access the files you purchase. There is a bit of a challenge using the digital files with Chomebooks but I finally figured it out. The easiest way to access the files you need in the order you need them is through the browser connected file. But a Chromebook doesn’t unzip files the same was a desktop computer does. However, after downloading the file, I found the trick.
If you Open you files so that you can see the line that says “start.htm”
Press ctrl and alt together and while those are pressed double click the start line.
You should get a box that pops up with an option to “open with…”
You should get another pop up box that offer you “open with text” or “view”
That should open it in a browser window for you.
Back to the actual product now. The file includes all the masters you need to print for all of the mini books and booklets, as well as the audio files that take about each of the wonders, the booklet about each of them (same information on the audio files), and the text assignments & project directions. You will want a printer (b&w is fine), colored printer paper, white printer paper, and card stock, as well as colors, scissors, and tape or glue.
The text assignments & project directions helps you figure out how to print and put together each of the little booklets. Cutting and taping or pasting together each of the parts of the files will net you some really neat reproductions of each of the wonders. They each also include some information about each one that will go into the mini booklet. This allows the final product to be informational, as well as the process of putting it together allowing them to learn about it.
I thought my youngest (9) would be the one working on it with me but I realized after receiving the file, that it would be interesting for all of us to work together on (this included both the 12 and 14 year old). So, I printed out the files for the ancient and medieval wonders, so far, and we have spent a few times together over the past few weeks putting them together. We would listen to the audio file all together and then each of the girls would choose one to work on. After we completed the ones we were working on, we shared with each other about what we did, what it was showing, and any other information they wanted to.
We are working on the modern wonders this week and will do the natural wonders next week. It has taken us longer than expected because when I realized it would be good connections for all of us to make, it meant we had to work around camp and leadership workshop schedules. But good things are worth waiting for and doing right. So, that is what we have done. 🙂
Anytime someone asks about history, Home School in the Woods is a company I recommend. This company has products that are well-researched, interesting, and the projects are hands-on. It can lead to rabbit-trails or just run you through the history in a unique way. It is flexible and it is appealing to multiple ages. This is one of those companies that you want on your radar. They are constantly adding to their product lines and increasing their coverage of history.
Their newest product is one Miss E is highly interested in – Ancient Rome from the Project Passport World History Studies. I am going to try to work this into her high school history program at some point. If you are new to this series from HSITW, they are offering a really good deal on their bundle of Project Passport studies.
As I have said, we really like Home School in the Woods and have reviewed or written about several of their products:
- timeline of WWII and quilling a la carte projects
- Make-A-State Activity Pak
- Ancient Egypt
- Erie Canal a la carte project and study we created from it
- Ancient Greece
- US Elections
Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew. The families reviewed a variety of different products from multiple product lines and have shared their experiences with it. Click below to read more.