Wednesday, May 31, 2017

YWAM Book Homeschool Review Crew Review

I own quite a few books from YWAM Publishing.  I can't help it, they are great.  Until recently they have all been from the Christian Heroes: Then & Now collection, but recently my history loving family has discovered the Heroes of History collection.  Yes, we just got to read, review and add Ronald Reagan to our collection!

YWAM Publishing

Heroes of History -Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side is a 224 page paperback about Ronald Reagan, our 40th president.  But it is a book about so much more.  Beginning with his early days growing up under an alcoholic father, authors Janet and Geoff Benge tell of a young man who was a problem solver, determined, caring, and hard working.  From his childhood, to his early days as an actor, to his years as President, this wonderful book paints the picture of what a true hero looks like.  Despite the fact that his family moved multiple times during his childhood and making new friends was difficult at first, Ronald, known as 'Dutch" by those who knew him, was well liked by most who met him and prone to success in most of what he did. 
The intended reading level is about ages 10 and up, but our whole family enjoys these books and they can easily be used for family read-alouds for families with younger children.

What we did and what we thought-
As always, my kids grabbed these books as soon as they arrived! (As Crew leadership, we actually received several!)  It is no surprise that Colby, age 9, chose Ronald Reagan.  For the past 6 months Colby has become slightly obsessed with presidents.  Although my original intent was to use this book as a family read along, that has yet to happen since he finished it on his own in about a week.

The reading is a little heavy for a nine year old, but because of the subject matter Colby plowed through it, determined to get to the "president part."  Luckily for me, the first chapter is a attention getter with a scene from the assassination attempt on President's Reagan's life.  The action packed chapter (which ends in a cliff hanger) was enough motivation to keep our 9 year old reading, although he did get a little lost in a few sections.  He said the school parts were boring.  9 year old boy- go figure!

That's where the Unit Study Guides got put to use! 

Doing research for the timeline!
Each YWAM book has a Downloadable Unit Study Guide.  The Ronald Reagan study guide is divided into two parts.  The first part is 82 pages long and is a wealth of information.  It includes writing exercises, hands on projects, historical information, and even geography ideas.  There are also 6 questions for each chapter, the first 3 targeting younger students while the the last 3 are more difficult.  For further study, a biography of related resources is included that covers books, magazines, movies, and more.  The second part has four downloadable sheets- a Ronald Reagan summary sheet, two maps, and a timeline.

Also included is a 24 page overview guide for homeschool parents on how to better use the book and unit study together.  Guides for small groups and classroom use are also on the downloadable PDF.
Because we are using this book as merely a fun read and a good source of information, we have used the study guide pretty loosely, but because Colby read the book alone it is the perfect help for me to know what he understood and what he did not.  By reading the questions for several chapters at a time, we were able to discuss things he enjoyed and clear up any things he did not understand.  He did LOVE doing the time line, as this boy has a head filled with dates and facts.  It amazes me.

If we were doing an actual unit study with the YWAM books, I would do things a bit differently.  For younger kids, I would read a chapter at a time together and then answer the corresponding questions orally.  Older students, upper middle school and up, I would have read independently and then answer questions in their own notebook.  To make it a compete unit study, I would personally require two to four additional projects to be done, as well as have my child read an additional book from the resource list and do a short book report.  Maybe a reward at the end for a job well done could be to watch a movie staring Ronald Reagan!

I know it sounds like a lot, but that is the beauty of these study guides.  You are the teacher and you can pick what works for you and what doesn't!  If you want to use these amazing books for your literature OR history unit, go for it!  There is plenty of information there to get you started.  If you just want to enjoy a summer read (or spring, fall, or winter) you can do that too!

Either way,  I know you are going to enjoy YWAM's  Heroes of History and Christian Heroes: Then & Now.

Christian & History Heroes {YWAM Publishing Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

1 comment:

  1. Great review. Thanks for explaining the study guides. ;-)


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