We had the opportunity to review a physical book of Christian Heroes – C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller by Janet and Geoff Benge and its accompanying Unit Study Curriculum Guide downloadable file, which is part of the Christian Heroes: Then & Now book series from YWAM Publishing.
I love being a member of the Homeschool Review Crew, because I have been introduced to a number of companies and products of which I knew nothing about. Some are companies and products I was familiar with and companies and products I thought I already knew about. Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Publishing is one of those companies I was familiar with and thought I already knew about what it had to offer. I just thought the company was a publisher of biographies. After having the opportunity to review one of its Heroes of History books, I realized it not only publishes biographies, but also has a curriculum built around the books it publishes. YWAM also carries many other products that would be of interest to homeschoolers.
The YWAM book series, Christian Heroes: Then & Now and Heroes of History, have several books in each that I have wanted to purchase for my children to read.
After recently attending a homeschool convention, I added several books from both series to our home library. The stories alone are worth the price, which is reasonable whether or not you purchase a set of books in the series or individual ones. The books work well as read-alouds for all ages, but could also be used by a middle to high school student as independent history and literature study reads.
We received the story of Clive Staples Lewis, otherwise known as C.S. Lewis. He was born in Ireland on November 29 in 1898. It is hard to imagine a man who has written so many delightful children’s stories had such heartache in his life. C.S. Lewis “Jack” lived with his parents, brother Warren and paternal grandfather. His family was plagued by health issues; his mother with cancer and grandfather who died not long after Lewis’ mother’s diagnosis.
Lily has been reading through these books and was happy to add C.S. Lewis’ and learn more about his story; before The Chronicles of Narnia and more.
Albert Lewis, Jack’s father, was deeply hurt by his father’s death. With his wife, Flora’s, health declining rapidly, he was externally moody and grumpy. Jack found it hard to be in the same room with him let alone hold a conversation. Lewis’ mother later passed away on her husband’s birthday. Ten days after the death of his wife, Albert Lewis’ brother Joseph died unexpectedly. Which only made things worse at Little Lea. Three weeks after the death of his mother, Jack and his brother Warren, who had already been attending the boarding school, were shipped off to Watford, London to attend Wynyard House School.
The boarding school was very cruel. Despite the fact the headmaster was a reverend, he was brutal and often beat the boys if they answered questions wrong or squirmed in their seats during lessons.
After Jack had been at Wynyard House School for one year, his brother Warren graduated. Leaving Jack alone in what he called a “hole” for the rest of the terms. Despite the reported and confirmed abuse at the school, Lewis’s father left him to remain in the school.
Despite Lewis’ difficult life experiences in his early years and some into adulthood, he managed to overcome those experiences and become a respected lay theologian, novelist, poet, Christian apologist, which are just some of his accomplishments. Lewis’ story is just one of the many amazing and compelling ones in the YWAM Christian Heroes: Then & Now series. YWAM stories are a bit different from your typical biography. The stories are about people who made the decision to answer God’s call and allow Him to lead in their lives. The people we meet in the YWAM books are overcomers and I find that to be such an inspiration. I think living in a world where there is so much happiness, but also tragedy, these books are ones that should be shared and read by many. They give you the courage to continue, despite the obstacles, and to keep trusting in God.
To further the study of the hero you are learning about in the series, YWAM has a study guide for the reader to use. It is not necessary to use the study/curriculum guide to understand and enjoy the story. The first time I was introduced to YWAM was just with one of its books. I read it to my children for the history and story about the hero and they learned a lot. With the guide, you can turn the history study into one that includes other areas of study with art; Bible study, creative writing; drama; essay writing; geography; public speaking and reading comprehension with the activities included on the guide. It is accommodating to students working independently as well as siblings or students working together in a classroom or Sunday school setting. We used the book as a read-aloud and had good discussion reading through the comprehension questions. I prefer using the books as independent readers for my children to just read on their own time and not as an assigned reader. The knowledge they gain and the lessons they learn are important.
You should really consider YWAM products for your school. YWAM is a non-profit organization and much of the money they receive from your purchase goes back into the mission field, supporting people internationally.
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