History Pockets: The American Civil War ~ Evan-Moor Review

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History Pockets: The American Civil War ~ Evan-Moor Review

Ahhh…. history! One either loves it or loathes it.

Often times we put off teaching history in our homeschool because we either don’t know where to begin or we fear to hear the dreaded….“this is boring!” And let’s face it, teaching it can be challenging, especially if you find it boring yourself.

If you have been putting history on the back burner and are ready to introduce it to your elementary aged student in a way that is hands-on and interesting than this is the article for you.

We were blessed with the opportunity to work through and review History Pockets: The American Civil War by Evan-Moor. Before I introduce you to the wonderful world of Evan-Moor’s History Pockets I want to tell you a little about them and what we received.

Who is Evan-Moor?

In the 1970’s, Joy Evans and Jo Ellen Moore aimed to motivate struggling students in their school. They joined together to create supplements that taught basic skills to those students. After failed attempts to attract a publisher, they joined forces with Joy’s brother, Bill, and formed Evan-Moor Educational Publishers in 1979. Thus began the evolution of Evan-Moor that now offers countless titles, digital resources, e-books, center kits, and so much more.

Here’s an excerpt from their Mission Statement:

“We strive to produce educational materials that are aligned with current standards and best educational practices—and with student interests and motivations. We pride ourselves on our ability to create products that not only build and reinforce basic and complex skills, but that develop a curiosity about the subjects in which those skills are taught.”

Homeschoolers notably find Student interests and motivations, along with developing curiosity about subjects to be attractive.

In the past, Evan-Moor has been recognized more in the public school system but is greatly making its way into the hands of the homeschool community. A step that is greatly appreciated in the homeschool community.

What we received.

There are two options to choose from, E-book or Print. Two of our homeschool boys were interested in History Pockets: The American Civil War so we went with the E-book format.

The E-book comes in a PDF file that is easy to view, easy to navigate and easy to print.

History Pockets: The American Civil War is intended for grades 4-6.

There are 7 pocket projects included:

• Introduction to the American Civil War
• Slavery in America
• Leaders of the War
• Major Battles
• A Soldier’s Life
• Women During the War
• War Technology

Each project includes:

• Historical Background Facts
• Maps and Timeline
• Arts and Crafts Projects
• Reading and Writing Connections
• Evaluation Forms

The lessons and projects are quite flexible. YOU choose to do as little or as much at one time as you see fit.

Additionally, the lesson plans are very simple to follow. Below is a sample.

How we used History Pockets.

As mentioned above, two of our homeschoolers (ages 10 & 12) are actively working their way through The American Civil War pockets.

There are some additional supplies needed along with either printing the activities/projects (if using E-book format) or using the printed (tear out) book.
You will need construction paper for the cover and pockets, along with coloring tools (such as markers, crayons, and/or colored pencils), hole punch or stapler, glue, and scissors. Most likely, you will already have these additional supplies in your homeschool arsenal.

We started by constructing our cover page and first pocket, as directed. I would then read the Fast Facts page while they colored their project pages. Typically these pages were the cover pages to their pockets, bookmarks, etc.

The information (Fast Facts) is informative and to the point. Not adding a bunch of fluff to fill in space. This lead to more questions and great conversation about the war.

When we first sat down and started our lessons our high schooler was intrigued by the information I was reading from the Fast Facts page. She asked if she could join us. She didn’t want to partake in creating the pockets as much as being involved in the learning.

This lead to further research (Google, of course!) and more open discussion and opinions on the war. This is what I love about hands-on learning like this. It lends itself to more involved learning. Cultivating a thirst for wanting to learn more. Evan-Moor created a fantastic foundation for such learning.

Final Thoughts!

We have thoroughly enjoyed History Pockets and plan on incorporating some of the other titles offered to our hands-on history learning.

I was a little concerned with how our analytical son would handle the creative hands-on aspect of these projects since he naturally doesn’t enjoy being over stimulated by heavy craft projects. He was quite happy that they were not too heavy into the crafty side but hands-on enough to really absorb and enjoy the learning process.

As the teacher, I was excited to learn (or refresh) some information about our nation’s history along with them. I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘homeschooling’ is for EVERYONE in the family. I’ve been learning (or re-learning) right along with them. What a blessing!

From a Frugal and Thrifty Perspective.

Evan-Moor products are a wise use of your homeschool budget. In part, the e-books can be used with multiple children. There’s not a great amount of unnecessary printing for the teacher’s lessons plans. Also, you can completely skip printing and work off of a tablet to view the student pages. Your child can write his answers on a sheet of paper or a notebook.

If you choose to go with the printed option, the prices are very reasonable and well worth the money.

Like what you’re hearing about Evan-Moor products? Check out other products we are using by them.

I was giving a copy of this product for review. I was not compensated for my opinion. All opinions are mine and based off of our experience with this product.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing about Evan-Moor’s History Pockets. It is so fun that even your high schooler wanted to join in the activities, too!

    I really appreciate how you shared all of the activities that are included in this book, too! It looks like a great resource for our history studies! 🙂

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