History is one of my favorite topics. I love to learn more about the customs, cultures, historical facts and people that make up our history as a people. Even more importantly I want to pass that love along to my children. So, when I got a chance to review the Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages from Home School in the Woods, I knew it was a good opportunity to be able to pass on my love of kings, knights and castles to my children using this study.
What We Received
We received the download version of the Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages. This comes as a download that you will extract into many files for your computer. Don’t worry though. Start up was very easy though as all I had to do was to click on the start file to pull up a menu that had everything for me to read before beginning. All other documents we would need were organized on this menu by lesson, including photos of finished projects to help give you a guideline as to what needed to be printed and done to prepare for and complete this history study.
This study consists of 25 “stops” or lessons focusing on different aspects of the middle ages. There are project instructions, timeline pieces, notebook pieces, lapbook pieces, instructions for craft projects and audio lessons to listen to for some lessons.
The lessons cover:
- Laying the Foundation (Setting up notebooks and studying the Barbarian invaders and fall of Rome)
- Everyday life
- Science and Invention
- The Arts
- Medicine and Disease
- The Church
- The Crusades
- Knights and Chivalry
- The Vikings
- Battles, Wars and Conflicts
Each of these divisions include subdivisions such as learning about castles, medieval cooking, and the rise of Islam. There’s a bunch of information to go through and options to choose from for lessons!!
How We Used This Product
When I first received the product and downloaded it, I took part of an afternoon and printed off all the binder covers, timeline sheets, timeline pieces, newspaper pages and the items I needed to make the luggage case and inserts. Once I had that stuff prepped and put together, I decided the best way to start would be to just dive in with stop one and go straight through the study.
As a teacher, because the items you study and the lessons are so well marked, you could always start this study at any place you wish and complete the stops in different orders. However, I freely admit that I’m an orderly person and so we started at the very beginning.
I worked through this unit study with my 10 year old son and 8 year old daughter. This is advertised as a 8-12 week unit study, and although we worked on this unit study for a little over a month, we’re not quite finished with stop 6 of the 25 stops. We’re probably not going to finish in 12 weeks, and we’re okay with that. The amount of time we spend on each stop also varies, depending on what project suggestions and ideas there are at each stop. Some stops just took us a day or two to work through. Other stops have taken 2 weeks for us to work through. It’s a very fluid process, depending on your child’s interest and how many of the project suggestions you decide to work through at each stop.
Our Opinions on This Product
I really love the way this study is put together. There’s enough information included that you could just print out what you need and buy supplies for projects and have a whole study put together for you. There are plenty of hands-on activities, and there are some activities that work on building your child’s knowledge for his/her notebook. I’ve used just portions of another of their products before as the spine I built a co-op class around, so I knew going in that this was a big product with a lot to choose from.
I imagine that, even though they recommend 8-12 weeks, with the right books from the library and any additional interests that your child wants to explore along the way, that you could easily spend a semester or longer working through the concepts contained in this unit study, making it a fun and cost-effective option for studying history. Over just the time we’ve been using this unit, I’ve been amazed at how much of a feel for the middle ages that my children have gained through using the study.
My ten year old has loved every piece of the study that we’ve worked on so far. He’s really thrilled to all the timeline pieces, the map work, the writing in the newspaper and the hands-on projects. He’s also really eagerly looked forward to what else we’re going to study as we go, and I’ve really enjoyed working through it with him. He’s even learned how to hand-sew a simple straight stitch to make a Robin Hood hat. (He might, in fact, have his eye on the World War II curriculum they sell for the future.)
This history unit has been a much tougher sale with my eight year old. She’s just entering third grade and this curriculum is marketed for third through eighth graders. She found all the information coming her to be too much information at each stop. However, once she got past the first two or three stops and got into a rhythm (and started working on hands-on projects), she was able to relax and enjoy this curriculum. So, if you have a student at the bottom end of the age range, or if you’ve got a younger student and you’re wondering if this curriculum is a good fit, you might to plan on moving at a slow pace and breaking some of the information into smaller chunks.
All in all, this has been a great experience, and we’re going to be continuing our medieval journey now that the review is over, and I’m looking forward to that. This is a company I have bought from in the past, and it’s a company that I will purchase from again in the future. I’ve even been considering purchasing their Knights Lap-Pak for my Kindergarten aged child and my eight year old to work on together to complement this study and to get my younger son involved.
If you’ve never checked out Home School in the Woods, they have some great products that are high-quality, beautiful and fun for both parents and children. Their newest product is Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt. That’s another study that’s on my to-do list for the children to work through sometime really soon!