Teach Your Kids About the Election Process {Homeschool Review}

Just so you know: I was given a free download of HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections by the amazing Home School in the Woods to review. All opinions are my own–okay, that’s a lie. Some of the opinions are actually my kids’, but rest assured that they’re not easily influenced…except by chocolate. 

U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak Review
Anyone who knows my roadschooling/life approach knows I am totally into simple. Simple to me involves no printing, photocopying, or gathering of supplies. It means not following directions for numerous little projects. It means not having activities to store for later use and assembly. After all, the ten of us (twelve if you count the furbies) occupy 240 square feet of living space (360 if you count our van)!

That right there is why I do not do lapbooks. Still, when we were given the chance to study the election process by reviewing HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections from Home School in the Woods, I bit. After all, two of our girls are voting in their first election this year, and our younger children are asking a lot of questions. I wanted to do the election study with my first, fourth, seventh, and ninth graders and my preschool tag-along in place of our regular U.S, history and government studies, even though it meant suffering through what I was certain would be a home-cluttering, time-sucking lapbook process.


Hold that thought.

Before I get into the lapbooking process and projects, I want to talk about the information that comes with the elections lapbook, because, ultimately, it’s about the learning experience. Right? Right. The “text” is fantastic! The information is succinct, interesting, and informative. It’s well-written and respectful, accessible, but not dumbed down. It is also not politically biased…although I am, so don’t expect that same courtesy here. Wink.

After overhearing a few of our classes, my 17-year-old college freshman said, “Hey, I’m picking up a few things I didn’t know!” Ditto here!

My lapbook was available through digital download, but you can also get the disc. The text can then be printed on regular paper and popped in a binder or printed according to easy-to-follow-even-if-you-were-up-all-night-with-a-baby directions and formed into little booklets. We made the booklets by copying the pages on different colors (because everyone has a favorite) and sewing the binding together with darning needles and embroidery floss…even the four-year-old. We popped holes in the book for her to sew through, and she did the rest on her own with a little tying help from a big sister.

I was pleasantly pleased with the depth of the election study, and I highly recommend it for your grade-schoolers. You get that, right? But the question for our lifestyle (roadschoolers, space-challenged, budget-conscious, clutter-phobic) is the feasibility of lapbooking.

I was right–lapbooking involves printing, copying, many papers, projects in progress, storing papers, organizing papers, gluing, taping, cutting. Grimace. I hate printing! I hate papers!

And my kids?


They loved it! They loved all the projects. They loved participating in the short, but informative lessons and being set loose on the reinforcing projects. They loved all of it!

And they learned! They learned a lot, and they did their work without being told. I loved that. And, to be honest, I didn’t really mind the papers. The directions were comprehensible; the activities were fun; the papers didn’t haunt my dreams in the night. I know–humble pie. I truly enjoyed our elections lapbook project with my side of pie.

Here is how we handled the lapbooks in our limited space:

    • I bit the bullet and jumped in with both feet–wow, double cliche! All papers were printed at once, copied in quadruplicate, separated by lesson, and marked with post-it notes so I could grab the pages I needed for the lesson quickly and easily. I kept them all together with a binding clip in my school briefcase. (It’s not really a briefcase, but that sounds nice and official, doesn’t it?)
    • With each lesson the projects (sometimes multiple, since we discussed lessons without their corresponding projects on driving days and tackled the projects on stationary days) were passed out and put in that child’s paper binding clip. The kids kept those inside their binders, schoolbags, or organizer boxes, depending on their preferences.
    • Completed projects were kept in a gallon-size Ziploc bag…technically a Great Value bag, but who wants to get technical?
    • Because we don’t have all the supplies most families do, and can’t really buy them due to budget and storage constraints, we didn’t do the projects exactly as described, but, to quote every other homeschooler on the planet who has, at times, not followed directions, “Isn’t that the beauty of homeschooling?”
    • Projects were attached to three-hole-punched card stock and kept in the kids’ binders. Why such a “normal” approach? Because we have very little shelf space, and it is “rummaged” every day. To keep the lapbook pages nice and accessible, they need to be protected. Therefore, binders.

By the way, this is what a completed lapbook is supposed to look like…had we followed the directions:

U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak Review
Am I a convert to lapbooks? Yes and no. I will not be using them on a consistent basis, because the kids do need to spread out to do their projects, and there is too much paper involved and space required for our travel trailer livin’. (This would probably be more feasible for a more organized mama or someone in a house that doesn’t move.) On the other hand, I am definitely going to start including them more often, especially the well written lapbooks from Home School in the Woods.

U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak Review


  1. The kids really learned!
  2. They love doing the projects.
  3. love that they can do projects relatively independently and reinforce what they learned in the lesson in a fun manner.
  4. I love the creativity exhibited.
  5. While there was a considerable amount of initial prep, there wasn’t a huge amount of work on a daily basis.
  6. It’s a great shift in the dynamic of the week. We rushed the study for the review purposes, but if we were to have spread this out over a few months, it would have been a perfect speed, and would have offered something different and fun to do each week, especially leading up to the November elections. It really wasn’t overwhelming the way we did it, but it would have been perfect slowed down a bit.


I highly recommend the elections lapbook from Home School in the Woods for your grade schoolers. If paper-phobic me can do it…you’re good.

(By the way, while I included my ninth grader, she mostly participated in the discussions, and only assisted in the lapbook projects when our preschool tag-along wanted her help. She also is doing a follow-up study of Uncle Eric’s book Are You Liberal, Conservative, or Confused?)

For ideas from more traditional homeschoolers, check out what these other Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewers have to say:

U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak Review

Do you do lapbooks? How do you handle them?

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