Great Empires from Home School in the Woods {Crew Review}

Recently I realized that Supergirl needs more “hands on” or project style activities to help her process and retain information from our literature based studies. I eagerly expressed the highest level of interest in the Great Empires activity study from Home School in the Woods because of the variety of projects included. I am familiar with Amy Pak and her Home School in the Woods company because we own and use her History Through the Ages timeline figures.


What is Great Empires?

Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, Spain, England, and the United States are just a few of the 14 empires you’ll study. Sample a bit of history, the culture including philosophy, the arts, and food! Enjoy making nesting dolls while exploring Russia, create a history of Spain in pictures using beautiful drawings from Amy Pak. Each empire study includes:

  • Text
  • Maps
  • Reproducible Masters
  • Recipes to Try
  • Suggested Resources for Additional Reading
  • A variety of different craft style activities or notebooking style activities such as:
    • Make a mini-book of Ancient China
    • create replica coins of the Vikings
    • create matchbooks (lapbook style mini-book) of Who’s who in English History
    • Make and Play a game: Yankee Doodle Dandyland!

The Set up:

We received the download version ($18.95) and it came in a zipped/compressed file. I was expecting an e-book style format but instead this is a collection of PDF files. There are separate files for masters, text, and projects.  There is a PDF with copyright, usage and acknowledgment information.  I do wish that this particular PDF mentioned that there is a timeline and timeline figures for the Great Empires in the Master file. I missed it when I first looked through the masters.

Though I think I would prefer to have all parts and pieces of each empire in one place, it was not difficult to switch folders to print what I needed when I needed it. I printed out the text and the project pages as well as the masters we needed for the empire we were studying. We’re finishing up a read aloud and map or two for China and we’ve begun our study of Mongolia. I’ve printed out the text and project pages for Egypt so I can begin to gather resources but I won’t print those masters until we we’re ready for Egypt!

Layout of our study of Ancient China Layout of our Mongol Empire Activity Study

Using the activity study:

I am using the Great Empires activity study with Supergirl. She has some fine motor challenges but has greatly improved with her coloring skills. I let her color using colored pencils or crayon twistables depending on what she was coloring. Amy Pak’s drawings are very detailed but not so easy to color for those with fine motor issues; however using a colored pencil instead of crayons makes it easier.

Supergirl colors the page for Mongul Empire

Great Empires activity study would make a great supplement to any history program but especially to literature based history programs. If you were using these projects along side your regular history program, you might not need to use the additional resources suggested because the information needed to complete the activities would be covered in your history curriculum.

Because I am using Great Empires as a spine or jumping off point, I am very grateful for the suggested readings. The suggested readings are also fabulous for digging deeper into each empire.  We have really enjoyed studying the ancient China and Mongolian empires and look forward to Egypt, the Vikings and more!


The Details:



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  1. That activity study looks awesome. My big kids loved doing the 20th Century Lap Pak from Home School in the Woods, but I hadn't taken the time to notice that they had other great products that would be suitable for Lauren.

    I know it's recommended for Elementary aged students. Do you have a recommendation in terms of younger vs. older elementary or would it really depend on what sorts of other readings you added in?


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