When we got the opportunity to review for YWAM Publishing, I was overwhelmed at the choices! I selected Christopher Columbus: Across The Ocean Sea from their Heroes of History line. I received the 208 page paperback book, which is also available in Kindle and ebook versions. Along with the book, we received the Christopher Columbus Unit Study Curriculum Guide on CD. YWAM Publishing is phasing out the CD versions of the study guides, and switching to digital downloads instead.
As it happens, we were already familiar with the Heroes of History series, as we own some of the books, being that they were suggested reading in our base curriculum. I also have my eye on several other titles about missionaries to China that I will be adding to our library as the girls get a little older.
Christopher Columber: Across The Ocean Sea was perfect for us, since our base curriculum starts with the Age of Exploration this year, and few explorers could be more well known than Columbus.
I read the book aloud to Jack and Hannah, and we held our breath as Columbus experienced setbacks, hardships, and dangers in this reader friendly version of Columbus' story, designed for kids age 10 and up. There were many words I had to stop and explain, especially to Hannah, who is only 8, but she was able to get the general gist of the account. We all found it highly amusing that Columbus kept thinking he had hit Asia, when we could look at our maps and clearly see that wasn't possible.
The Unit Study guide contains 2 .pdf files of suggestions, including all sorts of things beyond just discussion questions for the book. There are quotes that can be used for copywork, display ideas, links, and more.
The chapter questions were a little advanced for my students (grades 3 and 6). Students are asked to define words and use them in sentences, as well as grasping ideas at a higher reasoning level than where my kids are currently at.
One of the hands on suggestions was to build a model of one of the three ships, the Nina, the Pinta, or the Santa Maria. This would, of course, be a more costly option than serving a meal of salted or pickled foods (what the crew would have eaten, without refrigeration). But it seems like it would be an easier option than creating the Caribbean from paper mache, another idea from the hands on section.
We had several interesting discussions that popped up organically during our reading, such as what coral reefs are, why it would be bad to run into one, and what sorts of animals live in them. Not to mention slavery, astronomy, ocean currents, and other things that we talked about. We even looked up Columbus' coat of arms that was given to him by Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. However, the Study Guide suggest many "related themes" that you could bird walk into, if such discussions do not come up spontaneously.
Honestly, some bits of the Study Guide seemed better suited to a classroom than a homeschool, but I did appreciate the reproducible pages in the second part of the files. The printout in the photo above became a "research project" that Josiah helped Jack with.
In addition to the books featured in the Crew reviews, YWAM Publishing offers much more, including an entire Spanish section, and small amounts of books in several other languages. There is an impressive array of audiobooks, and they even offer some of the Heroes of History books for a younger age group. I'm seriously considering some of the Christian Heroes for Young Readers, as I think the 5-10 age range listed would make them perfect reading for Jack and Hannah (ages 11 and 8). Most of my kids have gone through a phase of wanting to be a missionary, and these stories of heroes of our faith are important for our kids to know.
You can connect with YWAM Publishing on Facebook, and Twitter. To hear what other Crew families have to say about the books and study guides they reviewed, 40 titles altogether, please click the box below:
This post may be linked up at these linky parties.
Thanks for clicking for us!