Some of you may remember that late last summer the boys and I reviewed two great literature unit studies. We had a lot of fun reviewing them and I was so impressed with how much they learned and how attentive and excited they were when I was orally reading the books that I decided we were on to something. History had been a little lacking in our homeschool so I decided to create a whole United States History curriculum using some of the great biographies and core history texts that we had collected over the years. It has been a super success and I can thank those two literature unit studies that we reviewed for giving me the idea.
It just so happens that the first study that we reviewed, and probably the one that they liked the most, was a study from YWAM Publishing. When we were given an opportunity to review YWAM Publishing again through the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I jumped at the chance. We were given a couple of dozen choices of their great biographies to choose from and we chose one from their series Heroes of History - Meriwether Lewis along with it's accompanying Digital Unit Study. Of course we weren't sure if we would get our first choice, or, for that matter, if we would be chosen for this review at all, so we were pleasantly surprised when we were, indeed, chosen to review our choice.
Since we are doing an in depth study of United States History, we are still in the Revolutionary War and, of course, Meriwether Lewis is famous for the Corps of Discover also known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Those events happened a few years later but we adjusted our study a little without much of a problem.
We were given two things to review. The publisher sent us the physical paperback book Meriwether Lewis - Off the Edge of the Map, and then sent us a download for the accompanying unit study which is a digital product. The paperback book, written by Janet and Geoff Benge, arrived in excellent condition and the unit study was very easy to download and use.
Most of the great biographies published by YWAM are written by Janet and Geoff Benge and they are always very well done. This one is no exception. Since it is a biography, it begins at his birth, well before the great expedition for which Meriwether Lewis is famous. It's an adventure from the start. The drama begins right away and doesn't finish until the end of the book. From Meriwether's rough boyhood through his days as President Thomas Jefferson's personal secretary and the leader of the Corps of Discover to his untimely death - Meriwether Lewis - Off the Edge of the Map is definitely an adventure and keeps your interest. There were several times where I couldn't stop reading where we were supposed to and had to read the beginning of the next chapter or the boys would have revolted! This 231 page biography is well written and exciting. The authors do fantastic research when they write their historical biographies so you can be sure that what is written is accurate.
The biography in itself is exciting, but when accompanied with the digital unit study the Meriwether Lewis and his adventures really come to life. It is packed with ideas on how to make reading the book into a full scale study. It has sections on expanding the study by having a display corner; using essay, artwork and other projects to expand the students knowledge; incorporating field trips and interviewing knowledgeable experts from the time period; incorporating this study into other areas of learning such as math and science and more. We particularly like the study questions that go along with each chapter. There are always four questions for each chapter - a vocabulary question, a factual question, a question that gauges the comprehension of the student, and an open ended, subject to opinion, question. We also enjoy the huge social studies section that has maps, points of interest, geography questions and more. I was also impressed with the bonus downloads that we received that tells how to use the great biographies that YWAM Publishing has as a full curriculum similar to what I am doing with the biographies that we have. I had never seen that before. YWAM's unit studies are always well done and this one is one of the best we've seen.
We absolutely love YWAM's materials and have (and still are) thoroughly enjoying Meriwether Lewis - Of the Edge of the Map. I even ordered some more of their biographies to use with the boys outside of the review material that we received. To find out more about this product and all of YWAM Publishing's materials, click on any one of the highlighted links above. Many other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed other biographies from YWAM Publishing and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Homeschooling!