When I was little I remember watching Little House on the Prairie and loving the old timey story and feel of being on the frontier with the pioneers. Then I had children ... and at an early age all of them, but especially my girls, were not only introduced to Laura, Mary, Ma, and Pa Ingalls, but also dressed up and played games as the characters they watched on the TV show. Now fast forward to a few weeks ago when I found out that we were able to review one of YWAM Publishing's many choices from their Heroes of History series. As soon as I saw that I could choose Heroes of History - Laura Ingalls Wilder, I knew my children would love knowing more about the true story of her pioneer life. Our review also came with a comprehensive unit study guide.
Before I tell you more about the book we chose let me tell you a little more about the Heroes of History series. They are remarkably distinct biographies that are captivating for all ages -- full of thought provoking, character forming, true historical stories. There's one for every one!
unit study that I thought would be easier for my daughter to use by circling the activities and essays that she was feeling drawn to explore.
Chapter 4 of the guide is even called Student Explorations which include many activities that include essays, creative writing prompts (taking a virtual tour of one of the homes Laura lived in and then write a series of letters to friends "back home" about where you've traveled and learned), hands-on project ideas (I will show you one of her choices below of making homemade butter. She also has plans to make a calico sunbonnet with her great grandmother, but Granny didn't have enough time ... yet), audio/visual projects (she is planning on making a script for a radio interview from later in Laura's life), and even arts and crafts (one of the projects she is planning to work on is a sewing a 9 square quilt - which she is still picking out her pieces).
Chapter 6 divides Social Studies into 6 categories that include geography, timeline, vocabulary, and places to name a few. There are also related books, movies and documentaries listed to help you further your study into the life and times of both Laura as well as pioneers. They also include a fact sheet, timeline to be filled out, and maps that you can use to plot the places and travel of your hero. All of these ideas and activities are just a glimpse of how much you will get out of your unit study for your chosen hero from the Heroes of History series.
Here are some thoughts from my daughter as she has gone through the Heroes of History - Laura Ingalls Wilder and unit study. We are not yet complete with either the book or all the activities as we plan to work on about a chapter per week.
If you were just reading any of these books and just answering the questions how would you be having fun? You wouldn't be. At first, I answered the questions word for word from the book. After a while I felt bored of doing just that so what I did was tried to be crazy and creative with my answers. I also started doing some of the explorations. They were fun and interactive. I also perused through and picked out some of the Hands-On projects. We made some delicious butter and buttermilk. We also attempted to make sugar snow ... which wasn't exactly like it seemed it should be, but it tasted like I thought Laura said it would in chapter 6.
The unit study can be used for anyone that is willing to get their hands dirty and take the time to explore all facets of the unit study and keep with it to the end. By the end of this study you should learn a lot about Laura's life style and both her history and the history of the times. Happy studying!
Oh, and remember, EVERYTHING that gets boring YOU can make fun!!Here are some pictures and a short video of the butter making process.
And here is a collage of the pictures we took while making the sugar snow.
We love all that these stories lend to our homeschool lessons. They are GREAT at being able to weave Biblical characteristics and lessons into the story naturally. And the more of these types of stories they read and hear and explore in depth the more you will see the lives of your children changing and molding into young adults who are extraordinary and willing to go the extra mile.
I highly recommend Heroes of History - Laura Ingalls Wilder, but there are so many to choose from that you might want a few more from the Heroes of History series. You can also check out the Christian Heroes - Then and Now series. You can find YWAM Publishing on Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest. There are so many to choose from it might be hard to pick just one, but go ahead and read through the reviews from others on the Crew below: