Monday, April 25, 2016

Review of YWAM's Christian Heroes

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}

YWAM Publishing is not a new company to our homeschool, and Corrie Ten Boom is not a new name, but the marriage of the two has turned out to be the perfect way to formally introduce this inspirational figure to my four kids. Christian Heroes - Corrie Ten Boom is part of YWAM Publishing's Christian Heroes series (they also have a Heroes of History series whose books follow the same format). It is a 208 page paperback book recommended for ages 10+. There are 15 chapters and a Bibliography. The book is written by a husband and wife writing team with more than 30 years experience; the authors have also written dozens of other titles for YWAM Publishing. 

Along with the paperback book, we also received a Digital Unit Study.  There is way too much in the unit study to accomplish, which leads to the dreaded picking and choosing (I say dreaded because I, like many homeschool moms, am afflicted with the dread "I must do all of it!!" disorder). It's actually a good thing, though, because the variety allows plenty of choice so that you can select what works for your family. For me, the core of the unit study is the chapter questions section. There are six questions for each chapter of the book, and each chapter's questions follow the same format: a vocabulary question, a factual question, two comprehension questions, and two open-ended more essay-style questions. All of these questions are found in a single section of the study guide, meaning that if chapter questions are the only part of the study guide you're interested in, you don't have to hunt and search for them; that is, the activities are not done by chapter, they are done thematically. I really love that about this study guide. The chapter questions are the one part of the guide we did for every chapter, and I loved being able to find them right away. It would have been frustrating to have to search through "Chapter 1 Activities - Art, Music, Chapter Questions, Drama, Bible, etc." and then do the same thing for Chapter 2. Sorting things thematically makes so much sense, but it's not something I see done in study guides very often.

Another great thing about the study guide is its "Student Explorations" section. The guide allows for many different kinds of learners to shine. From essays to A/V presentations, all students can find something to showcase their understanding of Corrie Ten Boom. Many study guides focus almost exclusively on essay and creative writing exercises (with some cooking or art thrown in because, hey - we're homeschoolers), but this one has drawing, pamphlet design, and TV screenwriting!

How We Used It

I started out reading Corrie Ten Boom to my three youngest children (11, 11, and 12), but quickly realized that I was not going to be able to read fast enough to keep up with their interest. Things like this kept happening:

So I had to turn them loose. All I required was that as they completed a chapter, they told me so that I could have them answer the chapter questions in the study guide. The questions were a great way to check that they had actually read what they thought they read and that they had understood the reading. It turned out to be a great system.

We have read YWAM Publishing's books before, and I anticipate reading more of them. They are well-written and cover some great people that you don't always seem biographies of. Ninety-nine other Crew members read many other books by these great publishers, so be sure to click the banner below to read their thoughts!

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}

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