When our children were little, unit studies were a regular portion of our routine. We had lessons surrounding good literature, sessions focused on character study and more. As the kids got bigger such studies made less of a showing; until recently. This month, our family had an opportunity to review Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side in the Heroes in History Series from YWAM Publishing, and this mom couldn’t be more thrilled with the incredible learning adventures these lessons are bringing to the table.
YWAM Publishing is a division of Youth With A Mission. YWAM Publishing produces materials covering a range of topics such as Missions, Homeschooling, Christian Living, and more. From printed material to audio books and MP3 downloads, you’ll find a multitude of resources available. Of particular interest to our family are Christian Heroes: Then & Now and Heroes of History, which focus on bringing the shaping of history to life with remarkable true stories and trusting God to accomplish extraordinary exploits for His kingdom.
Choosing from the vast selection of historical figures to focus our attentions was not easy. There are many remarkable people we would enjoy learning more about. Due to his recent
passing, we were tempted to study more on Billy Graham: American’s Pastor. Several historic American figures were incredibly tempting: John Adams: Independence Forever, Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom, George Washington:True Patriot and more. However, after much consideration, we opted to study Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side. With recent activity in California politics, our oldest daughter entering her senior year in a few short weeks, and a general knowledge of this gentleman, we thought this would be an excellent historical study to end our learning year.
Having never had the pleasure of reading through any of the Heroes of History series, this was an adventure for our family. We received a lovely paperback book to review; read aloud during group history time and studied two days a week in our home for approximately two hours. Ideally, all four of our children – ranging from my junior in high school to my fifth-grade son – would be present. After our reading, activities would be chosen which would bring chapters to life and give deeper insight into President Reagan’s life.
To assist with choosing beneficial activities, we were also given a lovely, digital Ronald Reagan Unit Study to review! Unit Study Guides are adaptable to include Small Groups, Classroom use, and Homeschool. The homeschooling overview being the best fit for our current needs. Each guide includes adaptations for the parents’ role including parent-directed study, student-directed study, and working with children of varying ability levels and learning styles. Within the study guide itself the unit is broken down into categories such as Key Quotes, Display Corner, Chapter Questions, Student Explorations, Community Links, Social Studies, Related Themes to Explore, and Culminating Events; each with many suggested activities. At the end of the study guide is an exhaustive list of books and resources for further study, answers to chapter questions, and social studies reproducible pages. Our Unit Study Guide covered a multitude of learning areas: history, geography, essay writing, creative writing, reading comprehension, public speaking drama and art.
Our reading of Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side was a breeze. The chapters were short, fun, and easy to follow. The book covered the life of President Reagan from his youth to his death, and the impact his life made on the world. Our read was enjoyable and educational. I’m ashamed to admit I had not remembered an attempt was on his life – although as we were reading I vaguely recalled hearing about this – nor did I know much about his background other than his having been an actor. It was fascinating learning about his history as a sports announcer and life guard. Looking through the unit study, I was absolutely amazed! The guide is incredibly comprehensive with many activities and options to explore. From a teaching perspective, I appreciated the helpful tips on how to make the most of this curriculum and the chapter questions. I especially liked the biography time periods, curriculum timeline, and character qualities chart; these visuals make it easier to plan future unit studies. Student explorations offered hands-on projects, audio/visual projects, arts, and crafts which were suitable for all our children. Having a display corner was especially appealing. Listening to old radio programs is a family pastime, so it was fun to find this activity already listed in the study guide. We had the opportunity to can food, create maps, construct journals, and so much more.
While our first reading of Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side went quickly, with a select amount of activity chosen, I would like to revisit this sometime in the coming year and progress through the unit study with greater depth. Given the vast selection of activities and learning areas to explore, we could easily spend several months on this unit alone!
It has indeed been a while since our family has had the pleasure of exploring a unit study. YWAM and Heroes of History have been a fun adventure, and reminded us of the benefits of this learning method. As we look to planning the coming year, we’re excited to see which other studies might fit into our year. There is so much goodness to explore!
If you’d like to learn more about Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side, Heroes of History, Christian Heroes: Now & Then, or YWAM Publishing, please visit them at their website and on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or their Blog. To read helpful reviews like this one, and gain more insight into what YWAM Publishing has to offer, please visit The Homeschool Review Crew.
Your Turn!: Which series interests you most; Christian Heroes: Then & Now or Heroes of History?