For the last several years we have been using some of the wonderful biographies by YWAM Publishing to supplement our homeschool. However, we had never used the study guides prior to this review. We received the Heroes of History-Alan Shephard book and study guide from the Heroes of History series for this review. My son was very excited to add it to his collection of books and I was excited about having a unit study already planned out for me.
This book like the other ones we have read from this series did not disappoint. While it would make a great family read aloud, the level of difficulty in the book makes it appropriate for independent reading for upper elementary and middle grades students. My 11 year old, 6th grade son was assigned this book and parts of the unit study to complete as an independent reading assignment. We chose to take about two weeks ) to cover this book and study. We could have easily increased that amount of time if we had covered everything in the study guide.
He loved the book and would have been happy to read it on his own during free time. It was an engaging story with lots of great information. I loved seeing him come to his father or myself and excitedly sharing some new tidbit of information he had gleaned as he read. He has been interested in astronauts and space so this was a great fit for him. I love the way the books incorporate the historical accomplishments and the moral character into the books. This gives our children great examples of heroes that they can look up to with qualities they can emulate. My son enjoyed it so much that he is hoping to get several other titles from this series for his birthday which is at the end of this month.
In looking at the study guides I was amazed at how many ideas and activities were included. We could have used this study for many different subjects in our school day, including history, reading, writing, geography, and science. We did not complete all of the activities in the study guide but did a variety that fit well into our day and my son’s interests. There were over 84 pages of information, ideas, and worksheets for just this one book included in the study guide. They even listed other books and resources that could be used to further your study. One section that we did not get the opportunity to really incorporate but that I think is a great resource is the community links section where they give ideas for incorporating community resources into your unit study.
He completed part of the questions that went along with each chapter, a timeline and information sheet about Alan Shepard, and a couple of other activities and projects. One of the activities was to build their own rocket and launch it. There are some fairly simple ideas for this available on the internet but since he had been given a small rocket kit for Christmas that he had not yet completed he used that for the project. He was pretty impressed with himself for being able to turn his rocket kit into ‘school work’. As you can probably tell from the picture below he and his sister both enjoyed that part of the study.
We have used the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series before with our missionary studies for the last several years including my children’s favorite one, George Mueller. We also incorporate this biographies into our history whenever possible, most recently using the audio version of Heroes of History- Theodore Roosevelt.I highly recommend these books as family read alouds or as a part of your curriculum. They are interesting, engaging, and full of excellent information. Check out all of the other Crew reviews of various selections and tell me in the comments which one you would like to read.
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