Thursday, August 22, 2013

In the Hands of a Child {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

Lapbooking and notebooking have been a fairly integral part of our homeschool journey, pretty much from the beginning. This means that In the Hands of a Child is not unfamiliar to us.
When the opportunity came up to review one of the Project Packs, I was pleased to have the chance, especially the National Parks Note Pack. Since we have been to several national parks, and may have the opportunity to go again to one this fall, I welcomed the opportunity to learn about the National Park Service, and several of the more popular Parks.

In what formats do these studies come?

  • Lapbook eBook
  • Lapbook CD
  • Lapbook Printed
  • Lapbook Printed/CD Combo
  • Lapbook Kit Pack
  • Notepack eBook
Each format contains the same material and information: The Research Guide, activities, etc. There are graphics to use for creating mini books (for the lapbooks).

The eBook is a digital version, which is downloadable as a PDF. There are also eBook versions with Type It In, so your student can just type his/her answers right on to the graphic. (Adobe Reader is necessary)

The printed copy is great for those who like to have something in their hands to teach from. The spiral binding makes copying the graphics for your students a breeze because it folds behind itself. If you want the combo pack, the CD is stored in an adhesive pocket in the back of the printed book, so it won’t get separated from the unit.

The CD contains the product in eBook/PDF format. (Adobe Reader is necessary)

The Lapbook Kit Packs do not contain the teaching materials, but they do provide all the graphics for the unit printed on multiple colors of paper ready to be cut out and used by your student. No copying needed!  Kit Packs also contain a pre-folded Lapbook base ready for the student to use.

The Note Packs are ready-to-go notebooking units.  Your students are able to enjoy the same Research Guide and activities as the lapbooks, but without all that cutting and pasting! Simply 3-hole punch the pages and add them to any 3-ring binder. Note Packs are available in the same formats as lapbooks.

We chose the Note Pack version, because my 8th grader really doesn't like cutting out all those graphics, and making mini books to glue into the folder. Little Bit doesn't mind as much, but it does become a bit tedious sometimes.

There is also a suggested 6-day schedule presented at the beginning of the teaching resources. I'll admit, we didn't follow that schedule; we took it at a much slower pace, since I had also picked up several books from the library to read about some of the parks.

Some of the activities included are: vocabulary word cards; designing a new National Park Service Patch; fact cards for each of the Parks discussed; a timeline of when each Park became a park; designing a postcard, and a trifold brochure. I think one of the funnest activities was making GORP (Good Old Raisins and Peanuts), and writing down our recipes.
The Parks we learned about were:
Acadia National Park
Badlands National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park
Denali National Park and Reserve
Everglades National Park
Glacier National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Great Smokey Mountains National Park
Olympic National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Yosemite National Park
Zion National Park

As I said earlier, we have been to several of the parks, although for some of them the boys were pretty young, or perhaps not even born yet. This trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons is one example of that; I was pregnant with Little Bit at that time. Do you know that Yellowstone was the first established National Park?

During our study, we also learned about some of the issues the Parks are faced with, such as air pollution, overcrowding and over use, litter, and harm to the wildlife. And if you've been watching the news the past couple days, you may have heard that right now, Yosemite is in danger of burning up, like Yellowstone did in 1988.

I know that the glaciers in Glacier National Park have been shrinking; or at least they had been at the time we were last there. Did you know that snowfall can be expected any time of the year in Glacier National Park?
Glacier, near the end of May, 2004

While I was growing up, my dad took us backpacking in the Smoky Mountains many times. One of his mottoes always was: Pack it in, Pack it out. If you pack in trash, you must pack it back out; do not drop it beside the trail! Did you know that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited Park?
The Smokies, July, 2008
We learned a bit about the Junior Ranger Program, which nearly all of the Parks have. I know the girls worked on the requirements the last time we were in the Smokies. This fall when/if the boys and I go (with my parents and my brother and his family), I will certainly have them work on the requirements, too.

The National Parks Project Pack is designed for grades 4-8, which is perfect for my boys, since I have a 4th grader and 8th grader this year. I'll admit, though, that either Jen or I had to fill in quite a bit of Little Bit's pages, just due to his learning delays.

You will want to read the other Crew members' reviews, since there were several different project packs used.

Cost: Currently this project pack is on sale for $5.00 (regular price is $12.00).

Contact Information:
In the Hands of a Child
3271 Kerlikowske Road
Coloma, MI 49038
Phone: 866-426-3701



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