Today’s review is for the lapbook/unit study, Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt from Home School in the Woods. This study is recommended for kids in 3rd-8th grade. It includes audio components, and printables with many subjects included in the learning experience.
I received a download of the material; you can also purchase it on CD for a dollar more if you like having a hard copy on hand. Upon opening the download, I was really overwhelmed. The amount of information and printouts is staggering. This is common in lapbooks, but we don’t do a lot of them, and I tend to forget how much planning and preparation is required of me. This is no fault of the company; it is just the way lapbooks tend to be. The material includes text to read out loud everyday, audio “tours” of Egypt, items to cut out and paste into your lapbook, and projects including making bricks, cooking, and dressing like an Egyptian.
How We Used This Study
We studied Ancient Egypt for 5 weeks, averaging 3 days per week. During that time, we also had sick kids for 2 weeks, so our progress was quite snail-like. On the website, it says this study will take between 8 and 12 weeks to complete. After having the study for 5 weeks, I think it would take us the full 12 weeks to complete. It might even take longer. We listened to the audio tours, did some small projects that go into the lapbook, did loads of coloring/cutting/pasting, and made bricks. There are a lot of bigger projects that I would love to do, but they didn’t happen for us, unfortunately. I am looking forward to finishing the study and doing more with the kids.
Side note: my kids are just starting 3rd grade and just starting 1st grade, and the material was just fine for them. If your kids are older, they can do a lot of the cutting and prep work themselves. Since my kids are younger, I did a lot of work to make this lapbook happen. If you don’t mind the extra work, you can definitely use this study with younger kids.
This is the Toolman’s brick he made. The project was to make 2 bricks: one with straw and one without. Fun little fact: chickens like to peck apart bricks made of straw. So glad we’re not living in a straw brick house.
The story of Moses. If you look really closely, you can see baby Moses in the basket.
The kids’ postcards of Egypt and a mini book about Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt uniting under one crown.
Things We Loved
I loved the audio tours especially; there are 8 of them, and they include interviewing Imhotep, seeing the schools, discovering the Nile, and many more. My kids loved them less than me, but probably only because I expected them to remember something at the end. Baby boy often took this time to scream at the top of his lungs, and I had to wrangle him away to another corner of the house. There’s something about telephone calls and school shows; babies and toddlers seem to think those are prime time for screaming, destroying things, or being a pest. But such is school with multiple ages.
The older boys enjoyed the information presented. Learning about Egypt is new for them, so they totally dug that Menes was killed by a hippo, and that Imhotep started building the pyramids. Turbo brought me out his Garfield book in the middle of our learning one day. He was ecstatic over learning that “Jon”-ho-tep was a play on words in a Garfield comic based around Egypt.
The Toolman was mostly excited to try the Egyptian cuisine. Hummus is one of the recipes listed, and we love hummus over here. It’s apparently the gateway Egyptian food for us. On the menu up and coming is Baba Ghanoush and Cucumber Chickpea Salad. I’ll have to let you know how they come out: we just put the menu together and haven’t had a chance to test them out yet.
I asked my kids to tell me what they learned for my review. Here’s what they remembered:
Toolman (1st grade):
The capstone, the top of the pyramid, can be made of solid gold. It was the hardest piece to make.
The students in the schools, in the temple, could get lashed if they got in trouble.
The bricks get carved so they fit really nice next to each other.
They dug a hole (when building a pyramid), and leveled it with water.
Turbo (3rd grade):
It’s (lashing students) to keep the bad study habits from forming.
Not everyone got to go to school.
Imhotep was an adviser, and he built the first pyramid.
Things I Didn’t Love Quite as Much
I had a hard time finding things in the download. It came as four folders: Images, Lapbook, PDFs, and MP3s. Inside those four folders are a ton of other files. I would look for an image to show me the completed project, but they are in two different files in two different folders. Also, the text (what you read aloud) for each “stop (lesson)” are in different files as well. I spent a lot of time going back and forth looking for what I needed since I didn’t print every single thing at once. I wish the “stops (lessons)” were organized with all the information for that day in one place. If I’d been able to open a folder for “Stop 1” and see photos of completed projects, the printouts for that day, the text to read, and the audio for that day, if would have been so much easier. Instead, I got very frustrated picking each bit of our day out of different areas.
I did print out a good chunk of the work ahead of time, but it bit me in the behind later on. It is not labeled well, so I didn’t always know what to do with it. I printed it, then came back later and had to say to myself, “What day does this belong to? What else belongs with it? Why did I print this?”
Price, Specs, Final Thoughts
This product is $33.95 for the download, or $34.95 for the CD. You don’t need anything special to use it, just a computer, a way to play audio MP3s, a way to open PDFs, and a printer. Oh, and count on a good deal of cardstock, paper, ink, and an iron will to cut, paste and organize for 12 weeks if your kids are young. You can choose to do whatever additional projects along the way, and the supplies for those vary, but most are things you will already have on hand if you home school.
We will continue to do this study after this; my kids are learning a lot. There is a wealth of information, so even the older students you teach will get a lot out of doing this study. It is very hands-on, and I love that they say history is about learning what the past was like, and we would do well not to look down on past civilizations. I was taught history in a way that was pretty demeaning to people who were “less civilized” or “less evolved” than we are today. It’s a great approach to history: God created us all and we can learn from the past but it doesn’t make us “better” than anyone.
I also think the price is excellent for a study of this length with this much information. You can see a sample lesson and hear a sample audio tour at the bottom of the page here to help decide if it will be a good fit for your family.
You can check out this and other studies by Home School in the Woods online, or connect with them on Pinterest or Facebook. You can see other reviews of this project if you click the banner below. Some crew members also reviewed this company’s Middle Ages study, and their Renaissance and Reformation study.