Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Homeschool in the Woods' Composer Activity Pak: Review

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As a music teacher one of the things I lament about my 30 minute lesson slots is that I don't have time to teach my students very much about the composers whose music they are playing. I might give some background, but there simply isn't enough time. In addition, most of my students are in traditional schools which do not have time to cover things like music history alongside their standard curriculum. I was very excited to have the opportunity to complete the Hands-on History Activity Pak: Composer from Homeschool in the Woods. This is the first lapbook I have ever completed with any of my children and I was very pleased with how beautiful all of the graphics were. Many lapbooks I have seen do not appear to be as concerned about attention to detail as the lapbooks from Homeschool in the Woods. 

 photo ComposersGroup-SMALL_zps73a0d718.jpgThe lapbook may be purchased as either a download ($18.95) or CD (19.95) and is geared for 3rd through 8th grades. While this is a bit more costly than other lapbooks I have looked at (not completed) I feel this has more artistic and detail focused graphics than cheaper versions. Included are instructions to guide you through the process. I had a difficult time understanding exactly how to put everything together at first. This may have been due to the fact that I've never completed a lapbook, but it took several readings for me to feel I understood everything exactly. The printed pages are labeled at the bottom which makes assembly  little bit easier.

Rose is finished up 2nd grade so I helped her quite a bit with the assembly since she is on the younger end of the age range. I had some assembly trouble and accidenitally attached the composers all upside down! I probably shouldn't have helped her as much because she is a perfectionist at heart and would have noticed this rigth away. Older students should be able to do the assembly on their own.

Rose really enjoyed coloring the various pieces of the lapbook and cutting out the pictures of the composers. This ignited her interest to start learning right away! She has also spent quite a bit of time studying the composer cards on her own which has been fun to watch. We would listen to some of the included music while she did this which also inspired her desire to learn.

I like how neatly the materials were arranged. I could easily figure out what I needed to print from the files and match it up with other correct items. Rose did get a little tired of cutting, but she is a little younger than the targeted age, so I'm sure this is why. I had to remind her that it was okay not to be perfectly cut straight edges. 

loved that Rose was inspired to learn about many different composers, music styles, and music periods. She frequently ran to tell me exciting facts as she read them in the large stack of books we checked out from the library.

I did make a discovery about myself...Lapbooking is not my preferred method of instruction. I have heard the wonders of lapbooking exclaimed all across the homeschool blog world, downloaded numerous freebies to try sometime, and have thought they looked like so much fun. I'm a scrapbooker at heart, so I'm surprised that I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. I think the reason ultimately boiled down to the preparation time. I'm spoiled by our regular curriculum which is very open-and-go. I don't have to go to the library to check out books, or print a large amount of papers, or spend a lot of time preparing for our lessons. 

Rose did enjoy this study. She likes to learn on her own so lapbooks are a good fit for her personality. Lapbooking is something much more suited for our family for the summer for my girls to pursue their own interests. 

Even though lapbooking in general is not something I enjoy I highly recommend this company if you like lapbooks. They are beautifully done with clear instructions which create a lovely keepsake for future reference. I am keeping our finished lapbook to use with my piano students to give them more information about various composers and perhaps ignite their interest in music history as well!

Don't forget to check out the other reviews by my Crewmates!


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