Monday, April 30, 2018

YWAM Publishing Heroes of History Captain John Smith: A Foothold in the New World and Unit Study Curriculum Guide Review

My family had the privilege of reading the Heroes of History - Captain John Smith book from YWAM Publishing for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

YWAM (YOUTH WITH A MISSION) Publishing is a nonprofit organization that produces and distributes books that help Christians make a difference in the world by giving a portion of every dollar spent to buy books through YWAM Publishing to children and adults in other countries that are in need. Their books focus on evangelism, educational training, prayer, discipleship, and mercy ministries.

YWAM Publishing has two popular book series; one called Heroes of History and the other called Christian Heroes: Then & Now; in which true stories are told of real people that lived in our history. In the Heroes of History series we learn about great men and woman who changed the course of history. In the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series we learn about ordinary people who have put their trust in God and in doing so accomplish extraordinary things. Both of these book series help us as: parents, teachers, and caretakers; give our children wholesome biographies to read or be read to that teach good character traits, values, and virtues.

Captain John Smith: A Foothold in the New World Book

Captain John Smith: A Foothold in the New World by Janet & Geoff Benge is part of a series of 28 biography books called Heroes of History by YWAM Publishing. This series covers the years 1451 to 1951. This book tells the true life story of Captain John Smith who was enslaved by Turks, captured by pirates, saved by a princess, fought in wars, and helped establish Jamestown in the New World. This Christian biography book from YWAM Publishing about Captain John Smith teaches great character traits, values, and virtues too. This book covers the years 1580-1631. It chronicles his life from his birth to his death in 1631. It is a total of 16 chapters and 192 pages long. I had previously heard bits and pieces of his life and his adventure in history class at school while growing up and watching Pocahontas before I read this biography book.

John Smith Unit Study download page tab.

The Unit Study Curriculum Guide that is paired with the Captain John Smith: A Foothold in the New World book that I received was in the digital downloadable format and opened as an executable file. The digital version is downloadable in a zipped format, so you will have to unzip before you use it. After selecting where it will go on your computer, unzip it, and find the folder it placed it all into. Find the file version you need: __MACOSX for Macintosh and the other for PC. Click on the file that has START HERE in its title and it will open in a new window in your browser. You can then read a very short synopsis of the biography under the John Smith tab, download the unit study under the Unit Study tab, etc.

The Unit Study downloads in PDF format. It also has a 24-25 page guide for classroom and homeschool as well as a 12 page guide for a small group that tells you how to best use the unit study. This shows how flexible you can be with the unit study. You can do the whole study or just parts of it. It is all up to you how you use it. The unit study goes in depth to help you go above and beyond the book and explore other areas that pertain to the material like: crafts, cooking, art, and writing assignments; has questions to ask your children to see if they comprehended the reading, and quotes to use as copywork to enhance handwriting or memorization. The unit study is broken into two parts.

Here is the Unit Study Curriculum Guide Contents:
Part 1 -
Introduction (how to use the study)

  1. Key Quotes (great for copywork, memorization, theatrical presentation, or art display)
  2. Display Corner (an area designated for hands on display of items relating to the reading)
  3. Chapter Questions (questions that enhance the reading: 1 vocabulary, 1 factual, 2 comprehension, and 2 open-ended)
  4. Student Explorations (essay questions, creative writing, hands-on projects, audio/visual projects, arts & crafts)
  5. Community Links (field trip ideas)
  6. Social Studies (places, journeys, terms/vocabulary, geographical characteristics: mapping, timeline: plotting historical events, conceptual questions)
  7. Related Themes to Explore (cultures, math, literature, history, current events, science & medicine)
  8. Culminating Event (sort of a show and tell ending, ideas include: invitations, clothing, competitions, presentations, food, displays)
Appendix A: Books and Resources
Appendix B: Answers to Chapter Questions
Appendix C: Social Studies Reproducibles

Part 2 -
Appendix C: Social Studies Reproducibles (continued)

Teela reading YWAM Publishing Heroes of History Captain John Smith: A Foothold in the New World.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

I read the book to my daughters who are 7 and 10. I read it to my 7 year old daughter Zari so we could have time to get through some of the study guide too. My daughter Teela who is 10 and my sons who are 15 and 17 have been reading it to themselves and doing some of the projects from the study guide on their own time. Zari enjoyed listening to me read about Captain John Smith. We learned more about John Smith's adventures and mishaps from reading this book than any textbook we had read or movie we had watched previously. It was quite refreshing to learn more about this important man.

After each chapter my girls and I did the first three questions from the study guide which are geared toward the younger students. They include a vocabulary question, a factual question coming from the reading, and the first comprehension question. The study guide is geared toward ages 10+. So I had to help them with the some of the vocabulary because of its advanced nature. We would look up the words in a dictionary and thesaurus as well, for more understanding. My boys, Jaedan and Delbin, who are 15 and 17, had no problem with the reading and vocabulary, but that is because they are voracious readers. I had my boys do all of the chapter questions. Besides the chapter questions I had my girls do copywork from the key quotes and I had my boys memorize them and say them back to me. I will have my sons do an essay as suggested in the study guide under the student explorations and essays. They also will be doing some creative writing.

We also went to other websites in the books and resources section of the study guide to learn more about the Captain John Smith, Powhatan Indians, Pocahontas, the New World, Chesapeake Bay, Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Potomac River, Colonial America, etc. We especially loved going through the Jamestown Interactive website and seeing the artwork depicting the Indians and their town. We also loved the basket weaving website and want to try our hand at making baskets when we get more time. The mosaics from Constantinople were also very cool to see online.

There was so much to learn and explore in this unit study. We were amazed at the very complexity of it all. We didn't even begin to scratch the surface and were still very engaged in the lengthy unit study.

The YWAM Publishing biographies are historical and true. These true stories along with the unit studies are great for homeschooling families. We hope to get to read about Daniel Boone or Davy Crockett next in their extensive biography list. I highly recommend these!

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YWAM Publishing Heroes of History - Captain John Smith: A Foothold in the New World book:
Regular Price: $9.99 YWAM Price: $7.50

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for YWAM Publishing...
Christian Heroes, Heroes of History & Study Guides {YWAM Publishing  Reviews}

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