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Heroes of History: Daniel Boone Review

How to encourage a reluctant reader?

Put a fun book from the Heroes Of History series in their hands, such as Heroes of History-Daniel Boone from YWAM Publishing and let the fun begin!  The whole family will want to join in learning about the Frontiersman named Daniel Boone.

Heroes of History

Heroes of History has 28 books in the series.  It is a biography series of true stories of men and women who changed the course of history for the better.

Heroes of History series of 28 books includes:

Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom
Alan Shepard: Higher and Faster
Ben Carson: A Chance at Life
Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire
Billy Graham: America’s Pastor
Christopher Columbus: Across the Ocean Sea
Clara Barton: Courage Under Fire
Daniel Boone: Frontiersman
Davy Crockett: Ever Westward
Douglas MacArthur: What Greater Honor
Elizabeth Fry: Angel of Newgate
Ernest Shackleton: Going South
George Washington: True Patriot
George Washington Carver: From Slave to Scientist
Harriet Tubman: Freedombound
John Adams: Independence Forever
John Smith: A Foothold in the New World
Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Storybook Life
Louis Zamperini: Redemption
Meriwether Lewis: Off the Edge of the Map
Milton Hershey: More Than Chocolate
Orville Wright: The Flyer
Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side
Theodore Roosevelt: An American Original
Thomas Edison: Inspiration and Hard Work
William Bradford: Plymouth’s Rock
William Penn: Liberty and Justice for All
William Wilberforce: Take Up the Fight

Heroes of History-Daniel Boone

Paperback

224 Pages

19 Chapters

Ages 10 and up

Retail: $9.99 on sale for $7.50

Daniel Boone was a Frontiersman who lived from 1734 to 1820.  The stories in this book include events in his life in North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana and some of the many places (Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Missouri, etc) he journeyed in-between.  The book follows Boone from childhood into manhood as he sets out to find his own land and build a life for his family, and latter events in adulthood and the lives of his grown children and even covers his peaceful death in his daughter’s home.  The death’s of several of his children both in their youth and adulthood as well as the death of friends and his wife is also shared. Through out his life he helped many other settlers too.  He was very talented, a great hunter, trapper, and a master of survival skills.   He also had incredible courage and lived through many dangerous situations in the wilderness, as well as living through attacks by soldiers, and being taken captive by Indians.  He learned to survey land and helped develop huge regions of American wilderness.

Unit Study

In addition to these wonderful books, YWAM Publishing has also produced downloadable Unit Study guides for the Heroes of History stories.

These Unit Study Guides provide a wonderful curriculum option for families. They are flexible and can be adjusted to suit the skill levels of kids, and the different opportunities and resources families have for hands on learning.

The unit study is filled with loads of fun activities.  This curriculum is engaging and peeks kids interest with related history, geography, writing, culture and arts, and more woven throughout the books.  Kids can be hands on with Heroes of History Unit Studies and experience an important piece of the past!

The Unit Study guide contains discussion questions and answer key, teaching tips, hands on learning of various topics, and several PDF printables for kids to complete such as:

cross word puzzles,

biographical fact sheet,

hidden word puzzles,

historical time line,

maps,

and more.

Some of the hands on learning topics the Unit Study guide covers includes:

Chapter Questions / Reading Comprehension and Discussion:  There are six questions related to each chapter covering vocabulary, facts in the text, comprehension of story, and opinion interpretation.

Student Explorations:

Essay Questions

American History: war, government, land acquisition, boundaries, Native Indians, pioneers,

Geography : maps, study how to do a basic survey and plot out your neighborhood, 

Science and Medicine: learn about diseases of the day including TB and Small Pox and remedies they used to treat the diseases.

Setting Up Displays: butter churn, leather work, satchel, flint lock rifle, Native American beadwork, braded rugs, anvil, bellows, books about outdoor survival skills, Kentucky or North Carolina, books about Daniel Boone’s life, Boone’s family tree, items related to woodsmanship, items related to blacksmiths, leather moccosans, cross stitch samplers, quilts, hat made of raccoon skin with tail, wool blankets, oil lamp, maps of Boone’s travels, etc.

Arts and Crafts: make a fort, make a banner-plaque-or sign with a famous quote,  make a bound book, make a Boone family tree, draw a riffle and lable it’s parts, and give a demonostration how it works, create clay replica’s of animal tracks, sew an apron from a pattern, make a braided rug like the settlers, create your own beadwork like Native American wampum, etc.

Food: learn about wild food, make beef jerky,

Field Trip: visit a location, a carreer, or a factory related to Boone’s life in someway (a town where he traveled or lived, visit a farm, visit a reservation where Native American’s live or have a museum, visit a blacksmith shop, walk through a forest or go on a nature walk, talk to a surveyor or governor or road worker, a rifle manufacture, a hunter, a tanner, etc), visit a museum with displays from Boone’s life or time in history, also suggests if you can’t schedule a field trip or an interview or meeting with someone then plan an online virtual field trip or watch related videos.

Survival Skills : learn tracks and habits of various animals, go on a nature walk, spend time in a forest, go camping, learn to use a knife and a rifle, learn to weave, learn to use various tools used by Boone and settlers and the Native American Indians.

Creative Writing: journals, poems, letters, songs, make a pamphlet that could be used to attract workers to the Wilderness Road project,  etc.

Public Speaking

Drama/Audio Video: create a business presentation for the creation of the Wilderness Road project, create a mock website for a general store with 1780’s products, write and act out a play of Daniel Boone’s life,

Suitable for the whole family.

Our Experience:

We were sent a paperback copy of Heroes of History-Daniel Boone and the online downloadable Unit Study guide.  I asked my reluctant reader to give this book a try because I felt the outdoorsman/woodsman nature of Daniel Boone would appeal to him.  Daniel Boone is such an interesting character.

My 14 year old son would much rather spend time outdoors learning about nature and the bush, than spend his time indoors reading.  He does enjoy reading about various hunting, truck, and car reviews.  But to get him to like reading a book is a big stretch.  It is just not his thing.  So I decided that maybe he would enjoy reading outdoors in his element.  He has a campsite in the backyard that he made himself.  He eventually hopes to put up a hammock, but for now, he is quite happy with it.  I sent him out with the book to see if he would enjoy reading the first chapter.

The story of Daniel Boone appealed to him and this worked out perfectly!   He read enough on that first setting to peak his interest and has read a chapter at a time.  He has enjoyed reading in the van, on errands where there is nothing else to do, and he read some on his bed too which he seldom ever enjoys doing.  I am very thankful he enjoyed this book.  If you want to get a reluctant reader to read, find a subject that appeals to them and an environment they enjoy, and you just might find a solution!

Unit Study

My kids enjoyed this Unit Study very much.  But even more so is the effort put in by our reluctant reader. 

I was really pleased with his efforts and he didn’t flinch when I asked him questions about wheat he read and gave him assignments to complete.

Activities:

We participated in several fun activities during this Daniel Boone Unit Study adventure:

Survival Remedies:

Learn about wild medicine plants that were used to treat illnesses in the 1700’s and 1800’s.  For this we looked up plants online and in our handy field guide and went outside to see if we could find some of them.  We use essential oils made from a variety of plants for many applications.  We plan to make some tinctures and salves soon.

Plantain

Rose

Wild Strawberry

Pine

Clover

Dandelion

Survival Food:

Gather foods outdoors:

Some of the wild foods that we are able to find and some foods we can prepare with these wild plants around our yard and the edge of the woods during this unit study included pine needle tea, pine pollen and pine buds, honey suckle tea and jam, wild strawberry tea and jam, wild rose tea and rose petal jam, dandelion tea, dandelion coffee, dandelion salad, wild lettuce salad, wild grape leaves, wild onions, and wild garlic.  Later this summer we will be able to find wild amaranth, mint, wild elderberry, wild chicory root, walnuts, hickory nuts, pine nuts, cat tails, etc.

When Daniel lived, folks depended on their gardens and hunting to survive. Some people had a few farm animals too, but many people did not have an abundance of animals or foods.  Hunting was difficult and not everyone had access to meat all the time.  If they didn’t grow their own food, then they would have to gather what wild food they could find to survive.  The kids decided to make a meal from what they went out and gathered outdoors. They gathered various greens and onion tops from the spring garden they planted.  Then they washed the greens and cut everything into small pieces.

Next they added water, salt, and seasonings and let it simmer for about twenty minutes.  The soup turned out delicious!

This was a valuable lesson for the kids.  If folks had other ingredients on hand, they would have certainly added them.  Foods such as potatoes, rice, dumplings, corn meal, butter, milk, cheese, edible mushrooms, or fresh or dried meat or fish would definitely increase the nutritional value of a soup like this.  I would encourage others to choose a source of protein, fat, and additional carbs to add in to your soup so it is more filling and satiating. Serving it with a slice of homemade bread and butter or biscuits and jam would also help round out this meal.  Bannock is similar to Indian Fry Bread or Flat Bread and would have been eaten with a soup like this.  But if you only had edible greens and herbs you gathered to put in this soup, you would still have the basics of many essential vitamins and minerals to help keep you nourished and survive.

Bannock

Bannock is basically campfire bread.  It is easy to make and take on the go or cook on the campfire.  Bannock is similar to Indian Fry Bread or Flat Bread. You can add baking powder (or buttermilk) if you want it to rise a little of the consistency of a pancake but this step isn’t necessary.

We made our bannock version in the style of THIN UNLEAVENED BREAD. Bannock or thin bread is made by mixing flour, oil, water, and salt together, let the dough rest a while.  Then flatten it with your hands or a rolling pin and cook on a preheated skillet or rock over a fire or the stove for a few minutes until it turns golden.  Then we added some optional dried raisins, cranberries, and cinnamon.  You can leave this bread plain or you can add any dried berries or herbs / spices you think will taste good.

Some people also wrap the dough around a stick and cook the bannock over the campfire.  It can be used as a bread, or as a crust for pizza and or as a pie type shell, cut into strips or squares and used a dumplings in broth, or use the bannock dough filled with other delicious ingredients before baking or frying.

The kids loved making these and they tasted delicious.

Gathering Firewood:

The boys looked for downed limbs for fire wood over the past several weeks and made quite a pile.    Then they used a saw and hatchet to cut the wood into small pieces for their camp fires.

Archery and Knife Survival Skills:

Learn to sharpen and use knives with a sharpening stone and leather, cut with knives, and whittle wood with knives.  All six of the kids learned these skills.

Learn to throw knives and become efficient to use in hunting.

Throwing knives is a lot of fun.  The boys read books and watched videos on how to do this and dad helped them build a standing target board to throw at.  All three of the older boys practiced learning knife skills.

Learn to use a sling shot archery for hunting food and self defense. We plan to get a long bow soon and we also plan to make a homemade bow.

Our 12 year old son has already created a wooden spear with his knife and a tree limb, practices throwing it, and takes it on walks in the woods.

He has started making his long bow.  He chose a birch limb for his long bow and debarked it and shaped it, but he didn’t get it completely finished for this unit study.  He is looking forward to practicing with this bow when it is done.

We have a cross bow the kids have practiced with before, but we didn’t get it out for this unit study either.

For now, the kids practiced using a sling shot and hitting a target in the hopes that one day if needed they could hunt a small animal or a bird for food.

They really enjoyed practicing these skills.

Learn to weave or braid with cordage:

We got a book and learning cards on how to tie various kinds of knots and what situations they are used for.   We also watched a video on how to make our own cordage with various plants and tree bark and use that to make a mat or rug for the floor or to sleep on.

The kids also used para-cordage and learned to make survival bracelets and handles for tools.  They learned how to store a lot of cord that can be used for survival purposes in a simple bracelet they can wear.

They made several useful items for all three older boys and mom and dad.  We plan to learn to braid a rug and weave a fabric mat, learn to harvest and use cordage made from plants and tree bark, as well as make more items with paracords in the near future.  I hope to get the kids an inexpensive paracord jig loom soon too.  Also the oldest son has requested a larger loom that he can practice making rugs and fabrics with.  He would also like to learn to make yarn from animal fur and learn to weave it into fabric too.

FORTS:

Learn How to Make a Model Fort with paper & hot glue and with sticks and hot glue.

Field trip to see a fort (scheduled for June).  We plan to take a trip to see a real fort from the 1700’s.  We stopped in to see one in May during this study but they were closed so we didn’t get any pictures.  We have visited three different forts in South Carolina a few years ago.  Then about six months ago, we also visited a 1700’s fort in North Carolina along the coast that dates to the Revolutionary War with the British and an 1800’s fort from the Civil War.   These field trips are something our family enjoys doing together.

My 12 year old son went out and found a branch he felt would make a good fort.  After looking at forts on the computer, he designed a blue print on paper with his measurements and a ruler.  Then he went outside and got busy cutting his wood to the exact lengths he wanted to build a fort to scale.

Next he hot glued the pieces together and as of this time of writing this review he has only finished one wall so far.

I will post a story about his fort and several other things all of the kids learn to make using inspiration from this unit study in future stories.

Rifle Skills:

The older three boys learned about using a muzzle loader, and all the kids had the opportunity to practice shooting with a BB gun.

Daniel Boone used a Flint Rock muzzle loader rifle.  We researched these rifles online.  We didn’t have access to this style of rifle, but we did have access to a center fire muzzle loader rifle and the kids got to learn how to use it.

Dad was given this rifle as a gift many years ago before we had kids.  He used to hunt deer with this gun.  It hadn’t been used in many years because he had left it with a relative when we moved years ago, and they recently gave it back to him.  So this was the kid’s first experience learning about a muzzle loader.

One big difference in this gun and the one Daniel Boone used is that instead of firing with flint, this muzzle loader uses a cap.

Dad taught the kids how to add black powder, load the musket ball, tamp it down, put in the cap, aim, and shoot at a target.

They wore ear plugs and were surprised how loud this gun was.  It also leaves behind a small cloud of smoke after it fires just like the guns in the old days did.  Dad said you only get one chance to get a deer with this gun because if you miss, the sound alone will scare them far away.

The muzzle loader rifle literally sounds like a cannon going off.  It is hard for me to grasp how Daniel Boone and men of the past lived with a muzzle loader gun as their means for hunting and self defense and fought with it in wars.  Muzzle loaders in my opinion take so much extra effort to lug around (the powder, the ammo, tampers, and the heavy gun), in addition to the extra steps to load the powder and ammo, and the loud incredible “BOOM!” it creates.  However, my husband and sons think it is great!

Daniel Boone and his family lived such an interesting life!  They exemplify the life and challenges many of the early settlers faced.  It took sheer courage for the pioneers and explorers to survive the dangers of the wilderness, war, setting up homesteads, growing crops, and the numerous almost daily altercations with wild animals and people during this time in history.

This is a fun book and unit study.  It is interesting to read and a testimony of human strength and courage.   I would encourage homeschool families to pick up a copy and enjoy this learning journey!

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Sunset At The Beach

Have you ever watched the setting of the sun at the beach?

It is such a beautiful site.

We spent a November evening on a North Carolina beach watching the sun go down.

The Fall air was cool and crisp, but we didn’t let that hinder our joy.

There is something very special and exciting about being at the water’s edge.

The colors in the sky were beautiful!

The smell of the ocean and the sensation of breathing in the salty air is a completely different experience than our day to day experience.  If feels energizing, like it is renewing something inside the body and the mind.

I could watch the ocean and sky for hours and never get tired of the view.

The sand feels amazing and was cool to the touch.  We collected some seashells along the beach.

We saw a flock of pelicans flying above us.

Even though it was chilly, we decided to get our feet wet.

We tried to catch the waves coming into the shore.

The waves and the pull of the under tow current were quite powerful and knocked us off our feet several times.

One fella didn’t want to get wet.  He said it was too cold.

But the rest of the group was eager to get wet from head to toe even though we only agreed to get our “feet” wet.

Even though the water was cold and the current was strong, I enjoyed getting my feet in the water too.  The waves kept a constant rhythm with perfect timing.

It felt so peaceful.

We enjoyed an evening walk on the beach and walked to a fishing peer not far from where we played.

The sun set was stunning behind the peer.

It gave the appearance of a glowing fire off in the distance.

The fishing peer went out so far and then was blocked at the end.  It seemed as if the peer would have gone further, but perhaps had been lost in a storm.

Even though a major hurricane, Hurricane Matthew, had come through days earlier,  the rest of the peer was still in good standing and many folks were using it for fishing and enjoying the evening.

I loved the contrast of the peer and the evening sky and ocean waves.

You could sense the determination of this peer to withstand whatever the elements of nature could beat it with.

The structure seemed to rebel against the constant waves, the salty air, and the gusts of wind.

The setting sun was gorgeous!  It peered through the dark clouds sandwiched between the sky and the water.

This experience reminds us of what it might of been like at the beginning. The bible talks about the beginning.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.”

Genesis 1:1-10

Looking away from the sun, in the opposite direction, the sky and the water seemed to be a reflection of each other, a matching blue that seemed to go on forever.

But looking towards the sunset, the colors were vibrant and seemed layered like a rainbow that had been deconstructed.


Sitting above the waves, felts as if we were sitting on them.   Resting on the benches of the peer was a special experience. 

The peer puts you out on the water, away from the shore.

Though you are sitting still, everything around you is in motion and has a rhythm of it’s own.  Everything is moving with a beat, the water, the sky, the salty air on your face, and the sound it all makes has a nourishing rhythm that feeds the soul.

All your senses are enhanced and focused on the beat, the soothing sound of the moving water and the amazing colors of the sky.


After we watched the sun set, we walked up the beach a little bit further for some food.  Later we came back outside to watch the beach in the darkness.

We sat on the steps of a small gazebo looking out over the water.  It was so peaceful.

A long way out, there was a small twinkle of light from ships on the water. 

We could also see the lights of the fishing peer reflect on the water.

But otherwise, we could no longer depend on our eyes to understand our environment.  We could not see the sky, and we could not see the water, we could only sense they were still there in the darkness.

Instead of using our eyes, we tuned our ears to the sounds of the night.  All we could hear was the familiar sound of the waves hitting the beach in a soothing rhythm.  It was peaceful.

The older kids and I wanted to stay outside all night, but the younger kids and daddy were getting sleepy, so it was time to head inside.  Bedtime seemed to come too quickly, yet we welcomed the end of this day feeling relaxed and renewed.

We definitely want to experience the sun setting on the beach again soon.

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