As my kids get older and are taking on more school subjects, I'm finding that I'm more strapped for time than ever. Yes, they're becoming more independent, but there's only so much they do completely on their own. The fact is, I need to be either working with them or at least nearby for a good portion of our school day, which means less time for me to sit down and think and plan fun activities. Part of my solution for social studies lately has been Evan-Moor's History Pockets, so I wanted to share a bit about them with you!
Let me start by letting you know that I'm in no way affiliated with Evan-Moor, so they're not giving me anything for saying all this, though I'm certainly willing to listen if they would like to do so! Haha! But I have used their history pockets in the classroom and in our homeschooling and I have always enjoyed them. Basically, these are collections of information, activities and printables that all go along with a certain theme. They include directions for making actual pockets and compiling them into a book, if you'd like, but I have always used them as part of our regular notebooks. You can purchase a hard copy (which is what I prefer to do), but many of the titles also are available as digital downloads (which is what I have done when I've been doing last minute planning).
So what is it I like about them?
Flexibility: I don't do well with curriculum choices that are highly structured, and the history pockets have so many components that can easily be used in a variety of ways.
Inclusion: Titles are geared toward either grades 1-3 or 4-6, but they can be adapted to work with a wide range of ages. We recently used the Native Americans History Pockets to learn about different North American tribes. Though it was written for grades 1-3, I was able to use it with my kindergartner with a little help from me and with my fifth grader with a little extra reading added in.
Variety: Reading a text book chapter and answering the questions gets old pretty quickly, but these have enough variety from section to section that kids don't get bored.
Hands-On Activities: My kids love to do history, not just read about it, and there are all kinds of fun ideas included in the history pockets. We've done art projects, cooked and tried out other activities that got us actively involved in what we were studying, which is always good for helping kids remember what they learned!
Easy Preparation: When I'm using a history pocket I can flip through and choose the different items I want to use and then make any copies or round up the supplies I need. I don't have to search Pinterest for extras because they're already included!
If you're looking for a way to lighten your load and add some fun to your history studies, you should definitely look into these! There are also Literature Pockets, too, that you may enjoy! Happy learning!