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Mama's Coffee Shop Blog - HSITW - Elections


Can you believe that this year, in November, we get to elect another new president of the United States?! Well, what better way to teach the kids about the election process than with HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections from Home School in the Woods. This product review is the first Lap-Pak (or lapbook) I have ever used in our homeschool. You won’t believe how brilliant it is . . .


HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections

Elections_Lap-Pak Cover Image_zpszrbqjobdThis unit study is one that I have never worked with before. But boy oh boy, it is soooo cool! Here is the basic overview:

It is a unit study (usually meaning that it is an all-in-one study) that is filled to the brim with projects to do. This U.S. Elections Lap-Pak has a total of 21 projects to do. Let’s see, there is coloring, cutting, gluing, taping, glittering, and printing . . . a lot of printing.

We were blessed to receive the download version but there is a CD version as well available for purchase.

There is so much printing because there is so much information to learn and so many projects to create.

The reading portion is only a total of 13 pages (using 8.5 x 11 paper) and it is wonderfully written, easy to read, and easy to understand, for me. There was some explanations needed in some areas, but that just makes the lesson longer and better.

The Lessons:

  • Definition of Election
  • Different Forms of Government
  • The American Experiment
  • The Three Branches of Government
  • Suffrage
  • Who Do We Vote For?
  • Terms of Office
  • A “Handful” of Political Parties
  • Caucuses & Primaries
  • National Conventions
  • The Presidential Campaign: Platform
  • The Presidential Campaign: Stump Speaking
  • The Presidential Campaign: Media – News Source
  • The Presidential Campaign: Campaign Advertising – Spreading the Word!
  • Raising Money
  • Statistics
  • Election Day
  • The Electoral College
  • Inauguration Day
  • The Electoral Race!
  • The “Vocabinet”

Mama's Coffee Shop Blog - HSITW - Projects and Supplies

The Projects Supply List is vast, and you will need to purchase all of the items listed or you will need to improvise. I did a little of both.

Each lesson is broken down into the reading portion and the project portion. The reading is best done by the student, but I have read some paragraphs myself for the sake of holding my daughter’s interest. Then comes the project once the reading is done. We have done it the opposite also, just to get Ana interested in the lesson, we have done the project first on some days.

The project makes it much easier for the student to get involved in the lesson. It opens up the dialog with student and teacher to talk about, not only what they are working on but to expound on the current subject as well.

This is not a one-way-only unit study; I believe that it is easily adaptable to any and all students.

Once the lessons are done you can store the project in a bag or folder until it is time to assemble the Lap-Pak.


How This Worked for Us

I was super excited to be reviewing this Lap-Pak because it is an election year. I may have talked about the presidential election around the house but this goes into much better detail than I ever could! Plus, the projects are top notch and so informative.

What I have done with Ana is once I got every thing printed (the projects, the reading material, and the directions) I began the basic process of creating the Lap-Pak by using a file folder. I did this because ultimately, I’m too particular and I wanted to make sure it was correct. There are plenty of children that are able to make this themselves, I chose to create the “foundation” and then assisted Ana with the other projects.

The supply list for this Lap-Pak is extensive. I had to purchase extra things that I didn’t have on hand, but other than a few items, I had every thing needed to complete the projects and those to come.

The Reading portion was usually a few paragraphs but not any longer than a page full. Since Ana is 11 years old, there were a bunch of words that she needed assistance with, but nothing overly hard. As she read, I would make sure that all of the project supplies were ready for her to use when she was finished.

Mama's Coffee Shop Blog - HSINW - Reading

Mama's Coffee Shop Blog - HSITW - Coloring Terms

Mama's Coffee Shop Blog - HSITW - Taping Terms

The lesson and project took us an hour to complete. With all of the reading that was required, the discussion that was involved, and then time to complete the project. This has been a weekly subject for us, as I really wanted Ana to grasp the entire concept of how the U.S. Elections process works.

The directions state that once you have completed the project for the lesson, to put it in a folder until it is time to assemble your Lap-Pak. I didn’t do it this way. Upon finishing the lesson and project I had Ana add the project to her Lap-Pak. I believe that it allows for the feeling of a job well done; a sense of completion.

Also, she has enjoyed watching her work “come together” and that works better for her.

Mama's Coffee Shop Blog - HSITW - Lap-Pak Middle

Mama's Coffee Shop Blog - HSITW - Forms of Govt

Mama's Coffee Shop Blog - HSITW - Suffage

Mama's Coffee Shop Blog - HSITW - Vote

We will continue to use this and complete all of the 21 lessons, but I will keep it handy for a refresher course once the actual election gets closer.

So far, both Ana and I have enjoyed using this Lap-Pak from Home School in the Woods. The projects are a wonderful way to get your hands “into” the lesson instead of just listening and/or reading the material provided.

We are looking forward to our completed Lap-Pak, but we have a ways to go until we are absolutely done. But here is a peek at what it should look like we it is finished.

Each area of the file folder (Lap-Pak) has an amazing amount of information – the vast quantities of information is incredible!

Mama's Coffee Shop Blog - HSITW - Complete Lap-Pak

I am already looking into the other Lap-Paks that are for purchase from Home School in the Woods. I have truly enjoyed working on this project with Ana. It makes school fun again!

If you are interested in learning how this product worked for other homeschool families, please visit the other Crew Members sites:




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Visit again soon to see what this new year brings us to review!

In His Grace.






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