Monday, April 25, 2016

{Review} Heroes of History - John Adams

This school year Amber has been studying early American history, from the Colonial Period to the year 1800. As Classical homeschoolers we rarely use anything that remotely looks like a text book in favor of more detailed and interesting accounts. YWAM Publishing has been one of our favorite sources for quality history biographies, and the timing for our recent review of their Heroes of History - John Adams with the accompanying Digital Unit Study was absolutely perfect.

YWAM Publishing: Heroes of History - John Adams

This biography of John Adams written by Janet and Geoff Benge is part of YWAM Publishing's Heroes of History series that includes engaging biographies of famous individuals from American history, such as: Christopher Columbia, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Daniel Boone, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Orville Wright, Thomas Edison, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Ronald Reagan, and many more.

The book covers John Adams' life from childhood in Massachusetts through his presidency and death on July 4th, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the United States. Stories from his early education and how it led him to become the American patriot we all know set the foundation in this book. Details of his family life and even his friendships with other famous patriots give us a fuller view of the man who helped shape our country.

This biography of John Adams, subtitled Independence Forever, is intended for students ages 10 years old and up. Although the language used makes it accessible for those as young as 10, it by no means diminishes the information or the enjoyment of the stories for older readers. The Digital Unit Study, also available from YWAM Publishing, provides the means to make this book into a full history unit for a wide range of students.

YWAM Publishing: Heroes of History - John Adams

We received the digital unit study for Heroes of History - John Adams as a compressed zip file that expanded to a robust study, compete with an HTML navigation system. Of course, you can access the PDF files in the study through your file system, but the navigation makes it so much easier to follow all the possible options.

The download came with a quick summary biography of John Adams, as well as links to meet the authors and discover bonus material available from YWAM Publishing. However, the heart of the digital download is the unit study, complete with guides for using it in small groups, classrooms or homeschools. The study itself is divided into two separate files: one with the study plans and one with all the printables.

The unit study includes:
  • Questions over every chapter in the book
  • Creative Writing projects
  • Hands-on projects
  • Arts and Crafts ideas
  • Field trip ideas
  • Ideas to integrate the book into other subjects
  • Final project suggestions
  • Additional resources
Amber and I decided to integrate this Heroes of History book on John Adams into our regular history studies. She was able read entirely through the book in just a little over an hour while we were out at her regular weekly medical appointments. However, reading the book was only half of the work we had planned.

YWAM Publishing: Heroes of History - John Adams

Instead of asking Amber to go through and complete every single chapter question in the study guide, I put a copy of the study on both of our iPads to use in a history discussion. I read through the questions and selected a couple from each chapter for us to go over verbally. This method works much better for Amber's learning style. Instead of rushing to answer the questions, she is able to give thoughtful responses and delve into deeper topical discussions.

Finally, I printed out the John Adams Fact Sheet and timeline from the unit study for Amber to complete. Map outlines of Massachusetts, the 13 Colonies, and portions of Europe are also included with the study, but since Amber does extensive map work in her regular history lessons I did not feel these were necessary to complete. However, the maps are a wonderful addition if your student is not already knee deep in maps!

YWAM Publishing: Heroes of History - John Adams

All in all, the Heroes of History - John Adams biography from YWAM Publishing was a perfect addition to our American history studies. I highly recommend it for any middle school student who enjoys learning more about the founders of our country than is readily available in your average textbook.


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The Review Crew received a varied selection from YWAM Publishing's Heroes of History and Christian Heroes series. Take a look at some of the other great book!

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}


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1 comment:

  1. I love the Heroes of History books (I'm reading one of them out to my littles at the moment). I hadn't realised there are unit studies which go with the books. Thanks for the review - very informing!

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