Thursday, February 18, 2016

Home School in the Woods: U.S. Elections Lap-Pak Review


My children have become much more aware of this year's presidential election than previous years. I think because they are older, they have a better understanding of what is going on. It also helps that Ted Cruz spoke about religious liberty at our church last fall. My girls have really enjoyed learning more about the election process by creating lapbooks using HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-On History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections from Home School in the Woods.

U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak  Review
We've used other Home School in the Woods history studies before, so I knew that my girls would have the opportunity to learn a lot as well as do many hands-on projects.

For this review, we received a digital download of Hands-On History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections.

U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak  Review

Included in the digital download are:

  • Instructions for how to begin once you've downloaded the files
  • A printable reading text
  • Project directions for each project
  • PDF files for the printables for each project
  • Lapbook assembly directions
  • Images of completed projects and lapbooks (This is great to have a visual of what these are supposed to look like if you have a child who has difficulty understanding written or verbal instructions. I have one who is a visual learner, so this helps her a lot.)
  • Instructions for how to assemble the completed lapbook
  • MP3 files with audio information about the election process
First off, let me say that, although the printable reading text is only 24 printed pages, it is jam-packed with incredible information about the election process. Some of the topics included to read about are:
  • Different Forms of Government
  • The Three Branches of Government
  • Suffrage
  • Who We Vote For
  • Term Limits
  • Political Parties
  • Caucuses and Primaries
  • National Conventions
  • Running a Presidential Campaign
  • The Electoral College
I discovered long ago that my children learn best when they can interact with what they are learning. Being able to create projects about the election process really helped to bring this to life for my girls. Each section in the reading text has a corresponding project for the lapbook. Some days we would do the reading and the project on the same day. Other days, there was so much information and discussion about how what we read applies to this presidential election that we would do the reading and the project on separate days. 

The reading text begins by discussing the history of elections in the United States and how the Founding Fathers looked to the Greeks, Romans, and English when they designed our government. Ballerina was very creative when she did the project that went with this reading - creating a red, white, and blue final product.


Here in South Carolina, we have our Republican primary this Saturday and the Democratic primary next Saturday. This made it extremely interesting when we read this past week about the difference between caucuses and primaries. We were able to discuss how New Hampshire used the caucus system and how the primary system will work for South Carolina over the next couple of weekends.

I was also impressed that the reading text and related project on the political parties focused on the history of political parties in the United States, as well as talking about several third parties and their political belief systems. It was very eye-opening for my girls to learn that, although the media mainly focuses on Republicans and Democrats, those are not the only political parties that will have candidates running for president this year.

As we created each of the projects, we placed them in a large, ziploc bag to keep together until all of them aree finished and we can create the lapbook. We still have a few projects left to create since we've been taking our time to really explore each topic. Here is an example of a completed lapbook, though:
U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak  Review

Here is what each of my girls liked best about the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak:

Sassy (age 8) - I liked the projects because they were interesting, and I liked learning about all of the different stuff about voting.

Little Red (age 11) - I liked this because it taught me stuff I didn't know about the elections.

Ballerina (age 12) - I found this topic interesting, and it taught me a lot about the way elections work and the history behind them.

Soccer Girl (age 12) - I enjoyed learning about the different political parties and learning that there are more than just the 2 main ones that we hear about.

Since the final presidential election is not until November, there is a lot of time to use this lapbook to learn about how elections work. I think this knowledge is an essential part of learning history.

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Are you interested in what others have thought about the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak? Check out more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak  Review

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