Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
When the opportunity to review Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities by Rebecca Locklear came up, I immediately thought of my oldest son. I knew he was very interested in history and we had talked and learned about the US Life Saving Service in our study of the Wright Brothers a couple years ago.
When asked about this review he was very interested in giving it a try and the plan was for him to go through a couple of the units as an independent study. However, when I received the e-book I realized that it was set up more as a teacher’s manual and would be a challenge for him as an independent study. Each section is set up with objectives, materials lists, introductory information, and a variety of activities and answers that relate to that topic. The units varied in difficulty, some of them being suitable for students as young as fourth or fifth grade and others being better suited for high school students.
The activities were varied and included such things as group discussions, matching games, recipes, art projects and more. The section that he was originally most interested in, Prepare to Stay Alive, was not really going to work well as an independent study. So we decided to start with the introduction and work together through some of the other units.
Throughout the different units you are able to learn about almost every aspect of the lives and work of the men in the U.S. Life-Saving Service. You find out about where they lived, the rescues they made, their hunting and fishing for food, the ships they used, and even information about staying alive in dangerous conditions. There were fun activities that discussed appropriate manners and had the children become familiar with how the social rules of the time would have worked. They had to determine whether it would have been appropriate for the men to wear their hats in various situations.
One of the facts that I learned, is that the men only had leave one day a week and that was often the only day they saw their families. While a few stations had family houses built next to them, for most of the men they stayed at the station and only went home on their one day of leave each week.
Our family loves to eat and incorporate food into our educational activities. We were excited to find information about what the men of the U.S. Life-Saving Service would have eaten and recipes that we could try. One of my son’s favorite activities was baking the gingerbread muffins after learning about how they used molasses. As a bonus, they made for a great breakfast that I didn’t have to cook!
Overall, while Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities didn’t work quite the way I had envisioned, I think it has a lot of great information and activities. It would be perfect for a co-op or family unit study.
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