One thing that I love about homeschooling is that I can fit in more books that fit into what we are currently studying – and that was the great thing about YWAM Publishing – reading a book that correlates to our studies of American History. I was given an e-copy of the book George Washington: True Patriot and the Unit Study Curriculum Guide that goes along with the book to review. YWAM started out by the printing and distribution of tracts during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games and then moved to Seattle in 1987 and now has over 150 of it’s own books. A portion of every purchase goes to help their ministry in many countries such as: China, India, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Uganda, the Philippines, and others in need.
There are 18 chapters in this book and makes for an interesting and engaging book to read either aloud with your children or having them read on their own – it’s fast paced but will leave them with a thirst for history, geography, government and even science as they read. The Unit Study and Curriculum Guide is a wonderful resource to use as you’re reading the book and it covers key quotes, chapter questions, social studies, community links, related themes to explore, student explorations, a display corner and even a culminating event. To begin with I just read through the book and discussed the questions with the children as we finished each one, which worked well and I’d review what we read from the day before when beginning the next day’s reading.
If you’re wondering how to integrate a reading book into your studies or into a unit study – then the curriculum guide is what you need. It is great for all ages, I used it with my 7 year old non reader and non writer, my 9 year old and my 11 year old and it fit in well with each of them – obviously I didn’t have my non writer doing essays so you, the parent, can decide what each child is capable of doing. There is no wrong or right way to use the guide – another item of note that I appreciate – as I don’t like feeling ‘tied’ to a guide – that’s what this is a guide, you chose what to use and how to use it. Such as the key quotes suggestions are given for using them for memorizing, discussion about their meaning or display – I’d also like to say they are great for copy work assignments.
I loved the idea of the display corner, unfortunately, due to lack of space I wasn’t able to implement this idea fully but I love it. There is an included list of things that you can purchase or even get a hold of free online or at your public library such as books – it really helps in immersing the children in that time period and who the man George Washington was. The chapter questions were what we really made the most use of and there are four questions per chapter covering vocabulary, a fact from the text, a comprehension question and an open ended question which always led to a more in depth discussion than I would have considered. Student explorations are things for the student to do like essays, creative writing, hands-on projects, audio/visual projects and arts and crafts. While most of the explorations are geared for single student use there are included ideas in brackets to extend it to several students. One activity we did is the timeline – I required my oldest to add more information to her timeline than her younger siblings.
There are also other books and resources listed that will give you even more to research and study upon for this particular time period as well as more on George Washington – there will be plenty of activities and information to make this a full fledged study into the American Revolution time period if you have the time to do so – I’m aiming to go back through and make even more use of the curriculum guide because it is so chock full of activities and learning opportunities for the children. The George Washington: True Patriot book is geared towards ages 10 and up (again I used it with ones younger and they did fine) and is 224 pages and is available in paperback or e-book for $6.99 and the Unit Study which can be used for a variety of ages and/or grades is 64 pages and sells for $7.49 in paperback and e-book forms.
You can read what other parents thought about this and another YWAM product by visiting the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.