My kids and I absolutely love YWAM Publishing books. We have a good collection of the Christian Heroes Then and Now series. For this review I was able to pick from Heroes of History and start a new collection! We chose Douglas MacArthur: What Greater Honor and the Unit Study Curriculum Guide.
Annette helped me pick a book that she thought the boys would be interested in and since the boys are interested in everything military she chose the one about Douglas MacArthur.
When the book arrived we all couldn’t wait to get started with reading it. We love a good read aloud.
What made it even more interesting and exciting for the boys is Douglas MacArthur lived in Texas. As a child his father was stationed at Fort Sheldon near El Paso and his high school years he attended West Texas Military Academy while his father was stationed in Houston.
Douglas was the child of Lieutenant Arthur MacArthur and Mary Pinkey. He lived an exciting & adventurous life. He was born in 1880 (Laura Ingalls was 13 years old at this time!). Here’s a little taste of what you’ll read and learn about Douglas MacArthur:
- Graduated from West Point
- Helped lead the 42nd Division in France during World War I
- Commanded the Southwest Pacific in World War II
- Oversaw allied occupation of postwar Japan
- Led United Nation forced in Korean War
My boys enjoyed this book! I loved how Douglas didn’t give up when life got tough. He showed determination and courage, showed grace and wisdom, and did what was right even when it meant that he would be relieved of his duties from a career that he was devoted to for 52 years!
The Unit Study Curriculum Guide has 7 tabs. The first tab gives a detailed summary of who Douglas MacArthur was. The second tab is the Unit Study
There are three Overview Guides to choose from: 1 for classroom use, 1 for group use, and 1 homeschooling. The classroom and group guides have a weekly schedule which would be great for co-ops.
What was most helpful about the Homeschooling Overview Guide for me was the social studies and Language Arts sections.
My favorite part of the guide was the Essential Reading & Comprehension Skills & Strategies because it gave a list of of the skills and sample questions like: Understanding Theme/Main Idea and Supporting Details. The questions to ask your child(ren) was “What is the main idea or key concept of this chapter?” and “What is the lesson or theme?”, so the questions really helped me flesh out the book.
Under Overview Guides is the Unit Study button. It’s an 84 page pdf book that includes 8 chapters:
- Key Notes-quotes that can be memorized, copied, and/or discussed.
- Display Corner- ideas for the child to collect and display objects that related to the time period.
- Chapter Questions- this includes a vocabulary question, a factual question, two questions that gauge the students comprehension, two open-ended questions seeking an opinion or interpretation for each chapter.
- Student Explorations- a variety of activities that include essay questions, creative writing, hands on projects, and audio/visual projects (like a mock interview).
- Community Links- field trip, see what your community has to offer with information about the person or time period of the book.
- Social Studies- this chapter gives a lot of ideas like map use, timeline, conceptual questions, geographical characteristics, and more!
- Related Themes to Explore- gives a diagram with how to pull in military, math, current events, government, and history to help explore while completing the unit.
- Culminating Events- at the closing of the unit study this chapter gives ideas of how to ‘end’ the unit study. Maybe study the food of the time period and enjoy a meal, do a presentation or display items you’ve collected, maps, art, models, essays, etc.
How we used Heroes of History Unit Study:
I used the book as a read aloud. After breakfast we’d clear the table so the kids could use the activity sheets while I read. I usually read a chapter a day even though it was hard to stop at end at times.
After reading the chapter I’d ask them questions from the study guide. I also asked them questions from the Language Arts section of the Essentials Reading & Comprehension Skills Guide.
I always told the kid before I started reading that there was going to be questions or narrations after. This really helped get those brains working because they knew to listen for key points, places, and what was going on.
I’d ask them things like, “What do you think will happen next?” or “Do you remember what important decision Douglas made in a previous chapter?”.
I also printed the timeline, maps, and the fact sheet. We kept them all handy during our read aloud time. As I read if we came to an important date the kids wrote it on their timeline. We kept track of all the places he’d been using the maps.
We all enjoyed learning about a hero in history. I know we’ll be purchasing more from this series. The story kept the kids attention. I love that YWAM Publishing has many of the stories in audio book format too! I definitely see Homeschooling6 utilize the audio books (and we have from some of the other series).
|Sample from the unit study guide.|
I like when a curriculum has a weekly schedule that includes map work, vocabulary, questions, maybe a writing prompt. For example, “Today have your child get their map out from yesterday and add where Douglas _____________ or give a 4 sentence summary of the chapter, etc.”
With that said, for those of you unit study mamas, I can see you all going off on rabbit trails and having some awesome geography, culture, and even math lessons using YWAM Publishing’s Unit Studies.