For the past few weeks we have had the pleasure of reviewing the HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Renaissance & Reformation from Home School in the Woods.

Renaissance & Reformation

I must say this is an incredibly thorough, action-packed, child-driven, multi-sensory study. We loved it! It covered everything from recipes in “The Dining Out Guide” to art projects, crafts, creative writing assignments, and so much more through the various “stops” each day.

General Overview

  • CD or digital/downloadable format
  • $33.95 for the downloadable version or $34.95 for the CD
  • 25 “stops” (these are lessons)
  • Each stop contains reading material (included as .pdfs) and projects (which vary based on the stop and the material being covered)

Once you purchase the study and download it (if you purchase the downloadable format), you will need to extract the files from the .zip folder. My suggestion is to extract it in the same folder so that all the material is together. I made the mistake of extracting the folder into a different subfolder and all the pieces were scattered. I’m not sure if that make sense, but I ended up extracting it again and just saving it in the same general folder/area. All the internal files remainder together that time.

Click “start” in this newly extracted folder and the study opens up in Internet Explorer. I prefer not to use Explorer, so I copied the URL of the study and pasted it into Chrome, saving it as a “favorite” on my bookmarks bar (although you can save the link to whatever “favorites” folder that makes sense to you). The reason I suggest this step is to make it easier to find and pull up while you are working through the study with your student.

Definitely read through the Introduction, Travel Tips, Travel Planner: Quick Stop Itinerary, and Additional Resources sections. This will make it so much easier to understand the “stops”, how the study works, and how to use it with your family. This is a crucial step and one that Home School in the Woods also recommends…for a very good reason.

There are a multitude of projects, various writing assignments, lapbook material, etc. so your student will have a lot of activities from which to choose. Depending on the age of your child, you may elect to do all of the activities, or pick the ones that will best suit your child’s learning style and interests. The key is to do at least one or two of the projects so that your child really experiences the subject matter and topic. For us, Lauren is a freshman in high school and really wasn’t into the lapbooking suggestions. However, I did look through them and they are very detailed and I can see the benefits of younger students using them. They can make this study very engaging and interesting.

With that being said, there is also a lot of material that needs to be printed. I mean, a lot. So, keep that in mind if your family is on a budget and can’t afford to spend money on printing expenses. We tend to not print that much, so we utilized other projects and still came away from this study learning a lot, and really enjoying the material and presentation.

How We Used The Study

Once we had reviewed all the introduction material, Lauren dug into the reading and assignments. The first step each day is to click “Guide Book Text.” This is the background, history, and reading material for this stop. In Stop #2, Lauren learned about Italy and DaVinci in 3 pages of reading material. She then moved on to the “Travel Itinerary” where there were several projects to do / choose from:

  • Snapshot Moments (which are part of the timeline your child can create)
  • Begin the newspaper, “The Renaissance Reporter”
  • Creating / printing postcards from famous folks
  • Art Techniques – drawing with chalk pastels
  • A few lapbook projects

In reviewing all her choices, Lauren opted for the chalk pastel art project. We used the materials we had on hand (which were oil pastels) and sketch paper. I think her pastel art turned out nicely!


Renaissance & Reformation

In fact, it was so nice, that we decided to frame both of them and place them on the wall in the hallway!

Renaissance & Reformation

For those stops that only contained lapbook options, Lauren simply read the material in the Travel Guide and moved on to the next stop.

I think that’s one of the beautiful aspects of these Project Passport studies. As I previously mentioned, the information is amazing and there are many options at each stop so that families can choose what will work best for their children’s learning styles and interests.

In stop #4, Lauren opted to try the Masquerade Mask. We purchased all the materials at Hobby Lobby for very little money (less than $10), but if you have feathers, felt, and sequins in your craft supplies, then all you would need to purchase is a mask which costs around $3. Very reasonable and affordable for a family on a budget.

Renaissance & Reformation

As the stops continue, one of them is all about Shakespeare. She opted to write a sonnet as one of her projects. Her sonnet, The Country, is below:

Country, the pretty place I’ve come to love.
The stream that trickles over flat pebbles,
The wind ruffles the red leaves above,
Crows call, the black little rebels.
A fish jumps in the pond, splashing around.
Deer out in the field, munching on the grass,
Squirrels hop and leap, playing, on the ground,
Cats stalk, watching, tails flick fast.
Two dogs running, happy to be free.
A long road disappears out of sight,
But, I favor journey. Roads aren’t for me.
A long day, stars twinkle in the night.
Yes, the country is what and where I love.
Without trouble, where one sees stars above.

 Each stop is set up in the same format:

  • Read the Travel Guide
  • Use the Travel Itinerary to create meaningful projects that will help solidify the material in a child’s mind

Final Thoughts

Overall, we really enjoyed HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Renaissance & Reformation from Home School in the Woods. The information (Travel Guide) was detailed and informational in an easy-to-ready format that would appeal to any family. And, each stop provided many opportunities in the Travel Itinerary to work with any family’s budget and resources, as well as for any child, regardless of age. After all, Lauren’s 15 and loves art and writing. These are the projects she gravitated towards. Younger children would probably love the timeline and lapbook projects.

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study

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