We’ve been reading all about the life of Milton Hershey and we learned there was much more to him than chocolate! Heroes of History – Milton Hershey from YWAM Publishing was given to us to review and we really enjoyed the book and accompanying study guide.
I started this as a read-aloud, but Booger didn’t want to wait for me to finish it. He took off with the book after I read the first three chapters outloud and within a few hours finished it and brought it back. He’s already asked me if we can get more books from the Heroes of History series. We want to get YWAM Publishing’s best seller Christian Heroes: C.S. Lewis next.
I really enjoyed this book and my kids did too. The biography is done in a narrative style and the story is face paced so it keeps their attention. The book is very well written with vivid descriptions of settings as well as details in the characters’ thoughts and feelings.
Booger said: “This is a really good book with a lot of in depth information into the life of Milton Hershey. I liked learning about how he developed his milk chocolate recipe and I also liked learning about how he created the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania. I would have liked to see some illustrations in the book that had to do with his life.”
The study guide is full to the brim with useful tools to help the story of the hero to sink in for students. The worksheets include a fact sheet, maps, and a timeline. We decided (since Booger was so impatient) to followup the book with the study guide and it worked out very well this way, though you certainly can use the study guide as you are reading chapter by chapter. The study guide even includes a special document for homeschooling families that outlines how to use the Heroes of History series as a complete American history curriculum over the course of one year.
The best part of the study guide is the format is friendly for homeschooling parents. Sometimes study guides are meant to be used in schools and using them for multiple ages or learning styles isn’t possible, but with this study guide I was able to supplement the information in book with no problem. My kids ranging in age from 5 up to 12 were all able to participate in the activities.
The chapter questions include some for younger students and some of older students which was very helpful for me. The questions are not just asking for the students to regurgitate what they read in the book. Some questions ask for the meaning of a vocabulary word while others require critical thinking. I liked how the questions were challenging without being overwhelming.
The “student explorations” section is full of activities students can do on their own. There are essay and research topics, creative writing topics (poems, newspaper articles, etc.), hands on projects (charts, dioramas, cooking, etc.), audio or visual projects (interviews, commercials, etc.), and arts and crafts (mural, scrapbook, etc.). There are some very fun and super creative project ideas listed in this guide!
There is also an in-depth section outlining how the students can connect with their community in ways that tie into Milton Hershey’s story. Some ideas include visiting a baker or chocolate maker, a farm, or an exhibition or fair. These are meant to teach students how to plan and get the most from a venture into their community and tie what they encounter into what they are studying.
I highly recommend Milton Hershey: More than Chocolate and the Heroes of History series. The most fun thing about our study is I don’t think my kids will ever eat a Hershey bar or Kiss without remembering Mr. Milton Hershey and how his life was about more than just chocolate.