I love adding Christian biographies to our studies so I was excited for our daughter to review Theodore Roosevelt, one of the books in the Heroes of History series from YWAM Publishing. We also received a Study Guide to use with our book. When it comes time to read about historical figures, YWAM Publishing does an amazing job creating books my family loves to read. Throughout our years of homeschooling, we have collected quite a few of these books. But when it came time to select a book for this review, Theodore Roosevelt won easily. I am glad to say the book did not disappoint our 16-year-old daughter.
YWAM Publishing provides a variety of true biographies, missionary biographies, and historical biographies with their Heroes of History Series, their Christian Heroes Series and their Christian Heroes: Then & Now Series. Our family has enjoyed reading books from all three series. I never have to be concerned about what our children are reading when they pick up one of these books.
When looking for books to read, historical biographies always capture my daughter’s attention, and Theodore Roosevelt was no different. Several times during the course of reading this book, she bounced into the room I was in with some piece of trivia she wished to share with me. For example, she was intrigued by the idea of him being a taxidermist just for fun.
He also had an extra pair of glasses sewn to the inside of whatever shirt he was wearing. So this way, if anything happened to the pair he was wearing, he had a pair to use in that pair’s place. He decided to keep it a secret that a doctor had told him he would live a short life if he did not stop exercising so hard. But instead, he exercised harder. He established wildlife preserves and national parks. During his presidency, he also established the National Forest Service. He really liked Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett, so he and his friends established the Boone and Crockett Club, which was the first conservation club in the United States.
She was surprised by Theodore Roosevelt’s mother and the complicated relationship between his mother and father because of their different ideologies. Also, he spent the first year of his political career making absolutely no compromises which affected his popularity. In his third year, he recognized this fact and began making compromises. Possibly this fascinated her because of the heated debates and discussions she has with her three older brothers in our home. She expressed the book was a fun read and would be an excellent book to just read casually.
In addition to the book, we also received the downloadable Study Guide to review as well. The Study Guide comes as a link that leads to a page that includes instructions for how to use the study guide – broken down by Small Groups, Classroom Use, and Homeschool use. The homeschool section includes ways to utilize the Heroes of History as a Year-long U.S. History course. Personally, I love this idea for students who do not favor using the traditional textbook method. I could see the books and study guides providing incredible opportunities for exploration and learning.
The study guide includes instructions for using the study guide along with other helpful resources and learning opportunities such as:
• Essay writing
• Creative writing
• Reading comprehension
• Public speaking
With all of these choices, every student will find something to interest them. Initially, I planned on using the Study Guide with our daughter extensively. However, she was enjoying the book so much and retaining an incredible amount of knowledge she willingly shared with us, I decided to mainly use the study guide verbally rather than writing everything out. This method seemed to allow our daughter to express herself easier than writing may have done. However, in the future, we may not revisit this book and complete some of the activities in the Study Guide. If we were using the Study Guides, I probably would have allowed her multiple methods of answering questions and more including drawing, since that is her one of her passions.
There are questions for each chapter include: a vocabulary question drawn from the text and referenced to a page in the book, a factual question that comes from the text, two comprehension questions, as well as two open-ended questions seeking an opinion or interpretation. The first three questions are meant for younger students, while the final three questions are more challenging.
As I have stated before, our family has essentially used YWAM Publishing materials since we began our homeschooling journey. If you would like to read other reviews our family has done for YWAM Publishing selections, click here for our review of C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller, part of the Christian Heroes: Then & Now Series as well here for Betty Greene – Wings to Serve.
Other members of the Home School Review Crew are reviewing selections from YWAM Publishing this week, and you can click here or on the graphic below to explore other reviews.