Every four years our country becomes engrossed with politics as we prepare to elect the next President. Like most families, we have been watching all of the debates and political commentary and my kids have been asking questions about the process. I recently learned about a new curriculum and was thrilled to be able to use it with my older children. HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections from Home School in the Woods is the perfect solution for teaching your children about the political process in the United States.
My children and I used the downloadable version of this program. Included was a printable text, images and graphics to make the lapbook and detailed instructions. It was very easy to download and to use. You will need a good printer because this is a printable download. We didn’t have any trouble downloading or printing our pages. This product works with both a Mac and PC and is geared toward grades 3-8. I used this with my 3rd grade daughter and my 5th grade son.
This curriculum includes a choice of a 24 page booklet that can be printed and placed in the lapbook or a set of full page printable pages that can be placed in a binder. I opted for the full page size edition. The full size pages are divided up into the paragraphs each with its own header which makes it easy to decide how much to teach in one day.
Every day as we worked through this curriculum, I read through several paragraphs and discussed them with my kids. This could easily be done one paragraph a day if you want to do it at a slower pace. After I finished reading I asked a few questions to see how much they understood. I also allowed them to ask their questions before we started the next steps. I then passed out the coordinating lapbook printable pages and they got to work coloring, cutting, taping and creating their lapbook. I like that at the end of the study they have their own lapbook filled with reminders of all they have learned!
I have to say, this was a lot of fun. The last time we did a lapbook was when my 11 year old was in Kindergarten. It’s been a long time and before now my daughter has never had the chance to make one! I think we might be making more after finishing this curriculum. They were both delighted with it and I loved the mix of reading and hands on.
The only extra supplies we have used (other than what comes with the curriculum) are some file folders, cardstock, colored pencils, double sided tape and packing tape. We had all these supplies handy in our homeschooling bins, so this was super easy to do! The directions are very detailed. They come with pictures of all the different steps and detailed written directions. This is so helpful if you are like me and new to lapbooking. This leaves the guesswork out of it.
While this curriculum has a section on political parties, it doesn’t to go into any type of political ideology or lean one way or the other. In fact, I appreciate that it leaves this out altogether. It talks about how the two main parties came about and some of the third parties which have evolved over the years. My children and I were able to discuss the different candidates who are running this year and some of the differences between them on our own.
This goes into detail about Suffrage, the Election Day and the Electoral College. It also goes into depth about running a Presidential campaign from speaking and raising money to winning primaries and elections. Even though my kids have had limited exposure to the political process and this text contains lots of information – using a lapbook to teach this has been perfect.
Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections has spurred many discussions about different types of governments and the way our government was set up to work. We’ve talked about how we vote, the types of government positions we vote for, who can run for office, the responsibilities of various government officials, and the different branches of government. We also learned about the process of running for President and everything that goes into this. While both of my children enjoyed this study, I think my 11 year old has truly enjoyed finding out more about this process. This entire program has been great and has been so easy to implement as part of our day. I definitely recommend this study and I can’t wait to check out other lap-packs from Home School in the Woods!