The Middle Ages with Home School In The Woods #Review
Are you looking for a fun experience in the middle ages, with [almost] all the work done for you? Mmm, do I have a treat for you today!
Home School in the Woods offers a variety of hands-on history studies; this time around, we got our hands on Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages. Designed with grades 3-8 in mind, the Middle Ages may also appeal to older students who still enjoy interactive projects. (Especially when they involve games & cut-and-paste, so “they don’t feel like school” according to my kids!)
Each Project Passport is intended to span 8-12 weeks, depending on which activities your family chooses to use. (Some are optional – and some, like the marzipan (almond paste) modeling – may turn into an extended activity in some households.) Because my [youngest] kids *are* at the upper end of the age bracket, 8th and 10th this year, I’ll have to consider them as a portion of a study on world history, and not a complete curricula.
I was initially a bit surprised at how the Project Passport was set up. Instead of one pdf file – or a collection of pdf files – as I was expecting, instead, a browser window opened with a “table of contents” of sorts, that then connect to the other files.
I’ve used similar in the past, and as a general rule, they annoy me. I much prefer to simply be able to open a file and encounter a simple table of pages to print, with something that indicates paper weight, paper color, single or double-sided, and marks any optional activities as such. I like to see just what I’m committing to, all laid out nicely in front of me, before I start printing.
I understand the purpose behind such indexes – they’re to make it easier to find files, and guide users through the material with less frustration, especially if there are more types of files than just printables. (In this case, it’s audio.) And so, with a nod of understanding that they need to appeal to the less technically-minded user, I tend to sigh and go along with it. But is it too much to ask that, somewhere near the top, there be a link to a “cheat sheet” of the sort that some of us prefer?
Now, don’t get me wrong – this is in no way a dealbreaker for me. It’s just an irritation I have with most unit studies, that I don’t *think* I’m alone on, and it seems like such a small request…
And yes, at this point, it ought to be quite obvious that if the biggest complaint I have is *this* petty, we actually LOVE this study.
Like any other unit study with a ton of things to print, the parent tends to have a lot of work cut out for them, right at the start – and then for most of the actual study, day-to-day prep is relatively minor. They advise that in some families, it might be preferable to have kid involvement in the actual printing, and space it out during the studies… I can tell you, with absolutely certainty, that would not work in my house. Having to deal with printing every single day? Um, no. Allowing the kids to sort it out themselves? Even though they’re 13 and 15, I can just imagine the amount of pages that would get printed “wrong” and the quantity of paper wasted… definite no. Not going there, but had a good giggle at the suggestion.
Instead, what we do is have a “printing day”, where, if color selection is appropriate, I have the kids choose – this allows them to “color theme” their pages if desired. Everything that needs cut by me get it, everything gets sorted out by day or type, and it’s all ready for them to go. Often we use sheet protectors to organize these ready-to-use materials.
Middle Ages topics covered include:
- Everyday Life
- Science & Invention
- The Arts
- Medicine & Disease
- The Church
- The Crusades
- Knights and Chivalry
- The Vikings
- Battles, Wars, and Conflicts
One thing I really appreciate – there is so much else besides violence to world history, and this curriculum puts violence in it’s proper place – a small piece of the whole.
Connect with Home School in the Woods on Social Media!
Google +: https://plus.google.com/+Homeschoolinthewoods