Wednesday, May 2, 2018

YWAM for the Win- A Homeschool Review Crew Review

You know that you have found a winning series when your stack looks like this.

 Well, actually this is about half of our stack of YWAM books, the others have been already packed away for our upcoming move.  But since our whole family enjoys the Heroes of History and Christian Heroes: Then & Now series from YWAM Publishing, we jumped at the chance to review two new ones- Milton Hershey and Harriet Tubman.  

You do not have to be a homeschooler to enjoy these awesome books, but a bonus for those of us who are, is that you can also purchase the additional unit study/curriculum guides available for each.

YWAM Publishing prides itself on making solid Christian resources available to families.  Their Heroes of History and Christian Heroes books tell "exciting true stories of men and women who changed the world."  Notice the word TRUE?  That is what we love about these particular books.  We learn about the lives of amazing people in history through a story, but one that is true and not highly embellished. While written in story form, the authors work hard to stick to the facts.

Because all four of my kiddos are history buffs they are quite picky discerning about the biographies they read.  Though written at a upper middle school level and are recommended for ages 10 and up, all of our kids, ages 24 - 10 years old,  have enjoyed reading the YWAM books. There are even times we have read them as a family... this is not one of those times.  Like the last time these showed up in our mailbox, Colby, age 10, quickly grabbed the Milton Hershey book and read it in a few days and Salem, our 16 year old started the Harriet Tubman book soon after as he has been studying slave trade in his history.

So did you know-
  • Milton Hershey only had a 4th grade education.  (A fact my 5th grader tried to use against me!)
  • Milton Hershey actually started his business with caramel.
  • Milton had a contest to name his now famous town and the winning name was- Hersheykoko.  Eventually the postmaster rejected the name and Hershey settled for Hershey!
  •  When WW2 began the military ordered 1 billion chocolate bars from the Hershey Corporation. 
  • The Army  named a B-26 Bomber The City of Hershey.

  • Harriet Tubman threatened fellow slaves with a gun if they tried to turn back.
  • She suffered a severe head injury while helping a slave escape. 
  • Harriet Tubman herself was set on the underground railroad by a Quaker woman.
  • Harriet Tubman lived to be 93 years old. 
  • She made 19 trips south and freed over 300 people.

So let's chat about the unit studies for a second.

These downloadable guides for each book have separate sections for classroom, homeschool, and small groups that help the teacher or leader determine goals, the best course of study and other helpful hints.

The unit studies are then broken down into two parts.  The first has sections of quotes, chapter questions, ideas for student displays if you wish to do that type of project, and all types of extra project ideas.  Social Studies ideas and related themes are also discussed as well as a thorough additional resource list included.  An example of a project suggested for the Milton Hershey biography was to use modeling clay to depict your idea of an ideal town, similar to the one Mr. Hershey tried to establish with Hershey, PA.  If you were actually doing a unit study based on the book, I think a fun math project would be to graph the favorite Hershey candy bars of the people you know.  The ideas are limitless.

The second part of the unit study has a notebooking page of Hershey, maps of the area discussed, and a timeline- all of which are printable.  The same holds true for the study guides of the various books.

Because we use these books for free reading time, we tend to not dive too deeply into these unit studies, but I do often ask my youngest the suggested questions from random chapters to see if he is understanding what he is reading and for fun we fill out the notebooking pages to add to his book list.

Whether you're looking to enhance your current History lessons, complete a unit study, or just find a good biography to read to inspire you and your family, I highly recommend picking up one of YWAM's Christian Heroes or Heroes of Faith series.  

Christian Heroes, Heroes of History & Study Guides {YWAM Publishing  Reviews}
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