Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Laura Ingalls Wilder book and study guide review

YWAM Publishing Review

I love history, and thankfully I have passed that love of history on to at least one of my small people. Loving history means that we love to read historical biographies. YWAM Publishing offers a multitude of these books in their Heroes of History series. We were given the opportunity to review the Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Storybook Life book and Unit Study curriculum guide.



We were very familiar with YWAM Publishing because we have read many of their books from their Christian Heroes: Then & Now series. Before this review, though, I wasn't aware that they offered the Heroes of History series. I am so glad that I know about it now because there are many more books that I will be buying to supplement our history studies.

YWAM Publishing Review

For this review, we received:

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Storybook Life book - a 193-page paperback book
  • Unit Study Curriculum Guide for Laura Ingalls Wilder - I received a CD, but they also offer this in a downloadable version. 

Most of us know about Laura Ingalls Wilder from her Little House on the Prairie books. I also was (actually I still am) a huge fan of the Little House on the Prairie show. In fact, as I was reading this biography, the image in my head of Laura was of Melissa Gilbert. This biography shares pieces of Laura Ingalls Wilder's life from the age of four until her death at age ninety. Both Ballerina and I read the book.

The Unit Study Curriculum Guide is a wonderful addition to the book. One of my favorite parts of the guide is the Homeschool Overview Guide. It contains a chart listing the Heroes of History biographies along with the time periods each of them cover, Social Studies concepts emphasized in the book, and other topics that would go along with each book. It also has a curriculum timeline that breaks down which books to read to complete a fairly comprehensive study of American history over either one or two years. An additional aspect of the Homeschool Overview Guide is a breakdown for how to use each section of the unit study for parent-directed or student-directed study.

The Unit Study for the Laura Ingalls Wilder book is a treasure trove of activities to go along with the book. First of all, there are comprehension questions for each chapter. I liked using these because it helped me see how much Ballerina understood of what she read. Each chapter had six accompanying questions, and they all followed the same format:
  • A vocabulary question
  • A factual question from the chapter
  • Two questions to determine the level of comprehension
  • Two open-ended opinion or interpretation questions
In addition to the comprehension questions, there are a variety of student explorations to choose from. Some of the activities include:
  • Essay questions
  • Creative writing
  • Hands-on projects - Some of the projects include making butter, making a sunbonnet out of calico, growing root vegetables, and making a relief map.
  • Audio/visual projects 
  • Arts and crafts
There are so many activities available that you could easily spend the better part of a year just on this book. Of course, I suggest just picking and choosing the ones that work best for your family, and then being able to delve into more of the books from the Heroes of History series.

Ballerina's Thoughts
The book was good. It included some things that aren't in the Little House books.

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YWAM Publishing Review

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