Do you take a break off of school for the summer, or do you keep at it year round? We're a family in the former category, although we do continue with some lighter activities and schoolwork. Summer is a great time to liven up your studies with more hands on projects. Unit studies, lapbooks, and other similar resources break up the tedium of textbooks and lectures, helping to bring a subject to life. For example, if I want to engage my 16 year old in history, asking her to read 10 pages of dry text will not have her jumping for joy, and she may or may not retain the information. However, if we zero in on specific aspects of a time period, foods that were eaten and how they were prepared for example,, that has more impact. Rebecca Locklear is an educator who understands the importance of inspiring interest, and has created a slew of workshops that bring subjects to life. She was kind enough to provide us with an e-book version of Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities to use and review. Let me tell you about it.
This resource focuses on the Maritime history of the United States in the late 19th century and up to the early 20th century. Described as a series of workshops, students in grades as young as 4th, and all the way up through 12th, will enjoy activities that use drama, music, games, stories, recipes, and much more, to recreate this period of time. I'll tell you something, this was not a subject I would have naturally gravitated to on my own. My attitude turned around as I began scrolling through the pages. It was the stories that first snagged my attention. I love stories. I love learning about the experiences of people. For me, it humanizes the material, connecting me to the characters. Do you know what I mean?
Who can use this? Parents, teachers, schools, co-ops, in other words, wherever there is a willing student. There are 120 pages, divided into 4 units. They are as follows:
-Unit 1. Life at the Station House
-Unit 2. Working Together
- Unit 3. The Culture of Character
- Unit 4. Relevance Today
This study is well organized. Parents and/or teachers only need to read and follow the directions, as all of the hard work has been done for you. It begins with an introduction that explains the purpose of the book, and how to use it. For those that want or need it, there is a chart in this intro section that displays which subjects and/or concepts are taught in a given unit. After this section, simply work through the workshops consecutively. When you finish with the units, you can move on to more activities and projects that allow for additional research.
What I enjoyed in this study:
I mentioned that I love stories, and this is one large collection of stories. I loved learning about the lifestyles, and how and what the life-savers would eat. The section on molasses and gingerbread was good, and I liked the making gingerbread activity. I also liked the recollection included, about kids and their dealings with skunks- apparently, they can still spray even after dying!
There are also plenty of fantastic art projects to complete, whether it's designing a watercolor collage, painting a beautiful design on smooth rocks, or creating a poem. There is an activity for any and every student if you look through it all. It's a wonderful study!
Large families and/or families with students in a range of grades will appreciate the versatility of this resource. Most activities can be simplified for younger ones, or added to for older teens. Homeschoolers that live in areas where yearly portfolios are required will appreciate the detail presented in each workshop. You can quickly see the objectives and concepts covered, at a glance. I have quickly become a fan of Rebecca Locklear, and I'll definitely be adding more of her books to our studies. I hope you'll take a look at her products too! You might also consider signing up for her newsletter, where you'll receive her latest news, and teaching tips. Sign up at http://www.rebeccalocklear.com/contact/