Posted by The Home School in the Woods Team on
Home School in the Woods has a proud tradition of loading our products with an over-abundance of both information and project options.
These are all carefully curated with the goal of equipping you, the teacher, with everything you need in order to provide your students with as engaging and exciting a history curriculum as possible!
Case in point: our Time Travelers U.S. History Studies.
Here is a quick but thorough breakdown of these comprehensive studies, including what comes in each, what eras they cover, the time to complete each one, and the best suitable age range to use them with.
What the series covers
The Time Travelers U.S. History Studies progress back to back through American history from the earliest explorers like Leif Erikson and Brendan the Navigator all the way through the mid 20th century and the aftermath of the Second World War.
The seven-part series consists of the following studies in chronological order:
- New World Explorers: this study covers the explorers, their motivations, lifestyle, ships, and even has a run-in with Pirates! You can read more about it here.
- Colonial Life: this study follows the early days of the first European colonists as they settled the land and founded the colonies that would one day make up the early United States. You can read more about it here.
- The American Revolution: this study traces the events that led to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Revolutionary War, and the establishment of the United States of America. You can read more about it here.
- The Early 19th Century: this study begins with the presidency of George Washington and progresses through the first sixty years of the fledgling United States. You can read more about it here.
- The Civil War: this study begins in 1850 and traces the antebellum years up through the America Civil War itself and on through the Reconstruction. You can read more about it here.
- The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression: this study picks up with the Industrial Revolution in America, progresses through the Gilded and Progressive ages, World War I, and the Roaring Twenties, before ending seventy years later in the throes of the Great Depression. You can read more about it here.
- World War II: this study begins in the 1920s and follows the lead up to World War II, the war itself, and the consequences and results of one of the largest struggles in history. You can read more about it here.
The Cherry on Top: The 20th Century in America Lap-Pak
Once you’ve completed the set of Time Travelers, we’ve created one final “flourish” to help bring your studies right up to the 21st century.
The 20th Century in America Lap-Pak is a smaller, shorter study (approximately a month long to complete) that creates a very large lapbook dedicated to studying the culture, events, and major developments within the United States during the 20th century.
The study also comes with a mini text booklet that provides a brief overview of each of the topics covered including art, science, fashion, architecture, politics, and much, much more!
Text Lessons, Lesson Plan Schedules, and Other Tools
While Home School in the Woods is known for our hands-on projects and activities, which are often quite easily used in conjunction with other curricula as a supplement, the seven Time Travelers aren’t just brief U.S. history summaries. They’re actually fully functioning, stand-alone history studies.
Each study comes with a complete 25-lesson-plan schedule, teacher guides, answer keys, and other hands-on teaching tips.
They also come with text lessons that provide a solid core structure to each study as you work through them. The text is thoroughly researched and written with both an eye to detail as well as a conversational tone that makes them easily digestible for old and young students alike.
But, while brief on a lesson-by-lesson basis, the text from all seven studies is anything but a brief history of America. All told, the seven texts add up to an impressive “U.S. history textbook” of sorts that ends up being equivalent to any other extensive and thorough U.S. history book.
The Hands-on Projects
And then there are the hands-on U.S. history activities. The bread and butter of Home School in the Woods’ entire approach to teaching history, getting hands-on with your studies is an absolutely crucial part of making history exciting and effective. It should be the crux of your entire history approach!
Of course, that doesn’t mean every student is going to want to get hands-on in the same way.
That’s why we’ve provided so many DIFFERENT options for projects. From seven different U.S. history timelines to lapbooks, notebooking pages, etc. there are a lot of history projects in each of these!
Here’s a list of what printables are generally included in each Time Traveler:
Throughout each study, students can create the pieces to a lapbook that are assembled at the end as a “final project.” This is a great way to incorporate art into your history studies!
You can see an assembled lapbook "in action" in the video below!
Numerous notebooking pages are available in each study, bringing many of the topics that don’t end up in the lapbook into a larger medium.
You always want a timeline to help keep track of things! Each study comes with a small timeline to help track the specific people and events that are being discussed. Keep in mind, these smaller timelines do not cover the larger, global events that are included in our larger timeline collections.
A creative writing newspaper.
This is a wonderful way to see what your children have learned. Throughout each Time Traveler, students are given various advertisements and articles with prewritten headlines based on what they’re learning. They then fill in the information themselves, allowing you to gauge what they’ve been absorbing from the material in a fun way!
A file folder game.
Who doesn’t love games? Each Time Traveler comes with a printable “file folder game” that incorporates questions based on the text lessons.
Various recipes from the era.
This one brings history, Home Ec, and hands-on learning all together in one project, as each study comes with a handful of recipes specific to the era being studied!
Again crossing two different skills, penmanship pages with historically relevant text are a great way to bring these two parts of your schooling together into one activity, checking off two prerequisites at the same time!
From experiments to dioramas, reenactments, costumes, flip books, authentic era crafts, and a TON of other things, there is always a sizeable smattering of 3-dimensional project ideas included with each study.
A final era-themed “jamboree!”
Each study ends by bringing together the costumes, recipes, lapbooks, and everything else into one big party based on the era you just studied!
If you’re a visual learner, you can see all of the contents of a Time Traveler in this video!
What is the age range?
An obvious question at this point is what age is all of this for? After all, a lot of these projects involve different levels of ability, right?
The short answer is YES! And that’s on purpose!
The established age range for Time Travelers is 3rd through 8th grade.
NOTE: This age range is only suggested. Older students often participate, though they may need additional reading to “beef up” the study. In addition, many younger students have done these studies, though they often need the help of a parent with various cutting and gluing steps. We do also have a couple of smaller K-2 studies that help serve as “introductory” lapbooking projects.
If you’re still thinking “wow, that’s a large age range!” you’re right. But that’s the beauty of how we’ve presented Time Travelers.
Some of the above projects are ideal for 8th graders while others are perfect for 3rd graders, while many others are fine for all ages!
All you need to do as the teacher is take a look at the projects available for each lesson and decide what you want to do together, what you’ll do individually, and what projects you’ll skip entirely.
NOTE: We STRONGLY encourage you to feel free to skip projects that don’t fit your teaching style, students’ interests, or you just plain don’t have time for. We provide more ideas than you need specifically so that you don’t run out of options, but there is no expectation that every project needs to be accomplished in order to finish the study!
Why not preprinted?
This is the perfect point to also answer the question that always arises soon or later: Why don’t you provide pre-printed hands-on history kits of the Time Travelers?
The answer is simple: with many of the studies containing 50+ project options, and each study being set up as a “one-time purchase per family,” it’s very hard to predict how many copies of each project you’re going to need.
Therefore, we’ve opted to keep the cost of the study itself as low as possible (under $30 per study for the text lessons, teacher guides, and ALL printables for your entire family!) so that you can invest the savings into printing just what you need.
In addition, many of the projects have variable elements like colored paper, cardstock vs. printer paper options, etc. that are left up to you, the teacher, to choose between.
It’s as simple as that!
NOTE: If you don’t want to put your printer through that much printing, many people pick out what they need (it’s all presented in simple files on your computer) and take it to the nearest Office Max, Staples, or other local printer to have things printed all at once for them.
How long do Time Travelers take to get through?
Another question that naturally presents itself with any hands-on history curriculum is how long does it take to do one of these?
After all, there are seven of them!
While the answer to the question is a frustrating “it varies,” the truth is, there are SO MANY factors at work here!
From the age of the students to the number of projects being skipped, each Time Traveler can literally be sped through in a matter of a month or two or be stretched out to take up a whole semester!
That said, the average time to get through one study is usually between 5 and 10 weeks, allowing you to get through all seven in around two years.
Yep! In our humble opinion, when it comes to history, measuring the quantity of information being absorbed is of limited value. This is especially true in the age of the internet, where looking up a date or name for something can be done in seconds.
What we’re interested in is teaching larger concepts.
For example, a timeline shows how all of history is connected and when events occur at the same time in different places, while a story from history can teach consequences to actions or moral implications, and so on.
Our desire is also to develop an inquisitiveness in children to want to know more — to hear the stories of the past and want to pursue them out of curiosity, hopefully even beyond their school years!
However, if you feel the need for a test is important, many people use the questions from the file folder game (which are taken directly from the text lessons) to quiz their students.
Why you should try Time Travelers in your school
The Time Travelers’ hands-on American History approach is meant to develop a love of history in both students and teachers alike.
From providing you, the teacher, with easy-to-locate, accurate resources to giving the students a hands-on approach to learning what can otherwise often be a rather dry subject, these studies are built to revolutionize your schooling adventures and turn history from a dull bore to the best part of the school day!
You can check out the Time Travelers here!
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- Tags: American history, Full history studies, Hands-on history, History products, U.S. history