Monday, July 20, 2015

Home School in the Woods Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt Review

My family had the privilege of trying Home School in the Woods Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Home School in the Woods is a family run business that creates Christian based history curriculum for homeschooling. This curriculum immerses your student in the topic. It is very hands-on with lapbooks, timelines, recipes, art, creative writing, notebook projects, dramatized audio theater, maps, crafts, projects, re-enactments, file-folder games, vocabulary to learn, etc.

My family got to pick one of three different Project Passport World History Study curriculum: Ancient Egypt (3100 BC to 30 BC), The Middle Ages (400 AD to 1500 AD), and Renaissance & Reformation (1100 AD to 1660 AD). Home School in the Woods will also eventually be expanding the series to include studies of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome! We picked Ancient Egypt because it is just such a fascinating subject. As I have said before, my whole family are history enthusiasts. We love learning about ancient history the most! We also love learning about different cultures and even though we were not new to learning about Egypt, this study didn't disappoint and we learned a lot on the journey.

There are icons that help along one side and buttons that link to nice clear photos of the finished projects.

The Project Passport World History Studies are a virtual trip through history. These are recommended for grades 3-8. There are two different versions you can purchase, a CD version or a digital download version. With the CD version everything that you access and print is on the CD. With the digital download version you download a zipped file, place all of the contents into a folder on your computer, and access it by the start.htm file that is in that folder. We received the digital download version. This "trip" is supposed to last roughly 6-12 weeks depending upon how quickly everything is completed. For Each Project Passport World History Study you make a passport and "luggage" folder to hold some of the stuff you print off and make along the journey. Each "trip" has 25 chapters called "stops", where you observe action-packed events and meet fascinating people along the way. At each stop you come to there will be "Guide Book Text" which is information for the student to read about a certain topic explored and a "Travel Itinerary" that covers the project choices and directions. There are also helpful icons that let you know what you will be doing and color photos of all the completed projects so you know how they are supposed to look like when finished. There are a lot of printables of information and projects to do. Masters are available for all printables. There are so many things to do on the trip, for example: creating a "Scrapbook of Sights" (notebook for storing the notebook projects), dining on local cuisine with the "Dining out Guide" (recipes to create food and drink that was popular in the area at the time), taking pictures ("Snapshot Moments in History" scrapbook timeline), reporting on important people and happenings (a newspaper creative writing assignment - In the Ancient Egypt study it is called "The Kemet Chronicle"), making "souvenirs" to remember your stay (craft/art projects), dressing like the locals (fun dress up craft), making a lapbook, playing games (file-folder games), collecting postcards, listening to tour guides (dramatized audio theater - there are 8 of these), and so much more!

We found that there was a lot of preparation that needed to happen before getting started. There is a lot of things needing printed, items needing prepared for crafts and other projects, and general preparation of materials before one can begin the journey. The Travel Itinerary and Travel Planner: Quick Stop Itinerary helps with this a lot!

You will need a few items to get you through the lessons:
  • Working Printer
  • Color and Black Ink for the printer to cover all the printing that will be happening
  • White and Colored Printer Paper
  • White and Colored Cardstock (this is best, but admittedly we didn't have any of this and used only white printer paper and it worked OK)
  • One 3-Ring Binder for the Guide Book (teacher binder for Introduction, Travel Tips, Travel Planner: Quick Stop Itinerary, Travel Itinerary, Guide Book Text, and Additional Resources)
  • One 3-Ring Binder for the Scrapbook of Sights (student binder for all notebook projects)
  • Colored File Folders or Colored Pocket Folders with Fasteners
  • Scissors and/or an X-acto Knife (when using an X-acto Knife you will need a thick piece of cardboard or self healing mat to use as a cutting surface)
  • Crayons, Markers, or Colored Pencils to color the pictures, if desired
  • Glue
  • Other Craft supplies specified for each of the different projects that your student wants to do
This is what the Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt covers:
  1. Laying the Foundation – Part I
  2. Laying the Foundation – Part II
  3. Everyday Life – Part  I
  4. Everyday Life – Part II
  5. Everyday Life – Part III
  6. Agriculture, Trade and Transportation 
  7. Education
  8. Literature and Writing 
  9. The Sciences
  10. Medicine and Disease 
  11. Ancient Egyptian Arts 
  12. The Great Builders 
  13. Religion and the "gods" 
  14. Governing the Land 
  15. The First Dynasties 
  16. From Chaos to Order and Back Again to Chaos 
  17. A Land Divided 
  18. The New Kingdom Begins 
  19. Egypt's Most Famous Woman 
  20. The Conquering Pharaoh 
  21. Akhenaten and Tutankhamen 
  22. Egypt Fades Away 
  23. Ancient Egypt and the Bible 
  24. Bringing Back the Past 
  25. The Final Stop - Packing Up!
How We Are Using It:
I was initially going to do this with my boys who are going into 8th and 9th grades next year, but they were not wanting to test this out with me, so I enlisted my daughter Teela who is going into 2nd grade next year. Since this is supposed to be for 3rd through 8th graders I thought it would prove a bit difficult for her, but most of the projects she did very well on. She did need my help with some of the more advanced projects and writing assignments and it took her a lot longer to get through some of the stops than it might have taken for my boys. I learned quite a bit too while helping her with this study.

Teela coloring and cutting out her passport, Scrapbook of Sights Cover, and luggage tag.

When I first looked this study over I was a bit overwhelmed by the grandeur of it. It seemed complicated at first, but I quickly got the hang of using the program. The instructions were not hard, there was just a lot of things to set up and print out initially and throughout the program. We still have not gotten through all the stops, but we have enjoyed everything that we have done thus far. I love that it is from a biblical Christian perspective too.

Teela making the Egyptian woman paper doll.

Teela really liked our project time together. She loves art and making things. Her favorite thing she made was a Reed Boat. Although the Reed Boat was time consuming for her she stuck with it and completed the project. We are on a very tight budget for everything, including homeschool, because my husband is doing school himself and not currently working so we don't have a lot to spend on extras at the moment. Because of this our Reed Boat didn't look quite like the one in the picture. It was hard to find actual reeds growing in our area, so we found a plant of a reasonable facsimile to use for the reeds and instead of a fabric sail we used a napkin...hey, we improvised with what we had.  The other project that was her favorite was the What did Egyptians Wear? paper dolls. She learned a lot about: how the Ancient Egyptians dressed, what they ate, what jobs they had, how they mummified their dead, how they grew their crops, how and what they traded and with who, what they used as transportation, their education, and so much more! There were so many projects to do to go with all the reading, creative writing, and listening to the audio tours. We did so many fun things and learned so much about the culture so far. I can't wait to get all the way through the whole program with my daughter. We are looking forward to learning more about Ancient Egypt.

Teela making the Reed Boat and the finished project.

I highly recommend the Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt from Home School in the Woods. This is great for anyone homeschooling who might need some help with teaching Ancient Egypt in a highly educational, fun, and very hands-on way. This would also be perfect for those wanting something fun to do with their kids in the summer time. I am looking forward to reviewing more from Home School in the Woods in the future.

You can purchase the download version of the Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt for $33.95 and CD version for $34.95.

Download the scope and sequence, listen to a sample audio tour, see photo examples of projects, and watch a video of "What is a Project Passport" when you click the link above, to get more of an idea about the program.

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