Thursday, June 18, 2020

Learn about History with the U.S. Life Saving Service {A Review}

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor compensated in any other way.

Flexible and fun history that can be used for home, co-op, classroom, or museum program use?  That is what Rebecca Locklear delivers with her Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities (which we've recently had an opportunity to review) and, I hear, The Mayflower at Cape Cod – Stories, activities, and research that connect 1620 with life today that other Homeschool Review Crew families have been enjoying. 

Engage in Learning about Courageous Life Savers from the Late 1800's and Early 1900's

My family receive a digital version of the 120-page Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915 book which is chock full of information and ideas to guide students in grades 4-12 in an investigation of the time period of 1878-1915 through the lens of the U.S. Life-Saving Service - a forerunner of the U.S. Coast Guard which installed eight-member rescue teams on remote coastlines of the USA.

With portions to read, critical thinking and problem solving activities, group work (which can be great if you participate in a co-op, scouting, etc.), and research areas, the curriculum is a well-rounded one. It also aims to capture and keep student attention and make learning memorable, accessible, and relevant through activities such as:

  • art
  • cooking
  • drama
  • games
  • music
  • science
  • stories

and more.

Material in the book is written at level that students in grades 4 and 5 can enjoy and grasp, while older students, parents, and teachers can learn and enjoy, too. That makes it great for family studies.

It is also broken into four workshops - or units - with additional art and research ideas, which makes it adaptable for a short study (cherry picking a single workshop) or a longer one (moving through all four workshops and extending with research).

Any way that 
Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915 is used, it surely aims to make students enthusiastic about learning about the courageous and good-humored men who rowed out through violent storms to rescue folks aboard shipwrecks and makes for an interesting addition to history studies!

Our Experience

Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915 is written in such a way that entire families can enjoy it together, because my 14-year-old has a heavy, self-selected workload right now, I chose to dive into the Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service workshops with just my 13 and almost-10 year olds.

We started by reading material fro the introduction and watching a linked Youtube video and, then, carried on with other reading, watching, and activities, completing the "Life at the Station House" workshop and dipping into some others.

My almost-10-year-old had this to say about our experience so far:

I never actually knew about the Life Saving Service before. I think it is interesting. Did you know they shot lines out of canons to attach to masts to save people? Did you know that they each had a cooking day? And did you know they had to sit in a tower   number hours and ring a bell every 30 minutes to tell people they were awake? I learned all this and more.

My favorite part so far was making the bread with molasses using the muffin recipe from the book. We learned molasses was made back then by people stomping on sugar cane.

We also made a chowder (with our own made up recipe because the life saving men often created their own recipes with what they had available and chowder was a common dish.)

I recommend this to people who like history.

And my 13-year-old said:

The U.S. Life Saving Service study taught me about the live saving stations. I did not know much about them before. 
One of the worst things I think that they had to do besides saving people in storms was stand up for four hours on watch in frigid weather looking for ships in distress. 

I thought it was interesting that they all took turns cooking for each other. In some ways that sounds interesting, but in others not so much. I like the stories and play they told about it. It made it seem more like actual real life than just reading it, and it was funny. We also learned that these days you cannot kill a lobster in some countries by boiling it.
It is illegal in some place, because they say lobsters can feel pain. Of course, the live saving station men did not follow that rule. They boiled lobsters, hunted for food, fished sometimes when on drill, and more. 

A motto of the life saving servicemen was that the book says you have to go out to save people. It does not say you have to come back in. The men had to be brave, courageous people willing to face danger, death, and terrible weather to save others. In between, they also faced extraordinary boredom at times just doing drills, cooking, watching, waiting...
I liked this study and want to finish using it. I think it would be good for late elementary school through middle school

So, as you can see, so far so engaged here with my kids and this resource. That makes me happy!

Happier still is that the resource connects to local history for us!

We realized that we are blessed to live within driving distance of some of the remaining life saving stations.

So, the other day, we drove to one, hoping to be able to tour inside. 

Of course, though, due to current events, the place is closed this season. Still, we were still able to view the exterior and imagine the life the men led inside.

We also were able to enjoy some of the same beaches that the men may have done their work on. Granted, we did this in beautiful sunshine, not stormy gales, all the while recognizing how the men would have had to navigate the cold, wavy seas during inclement weather to rescue people and, at times, products.

We hope to return to the station we visited once it opens and also hope to foray in a different direction to another one. Having done Rebecca's study, such field trips will be especially meaningful.

We recommend the study as an interesting one that can easily adapt for home, classroom, and group use, engaging students through a wide variety of activities and are grateful for having had this opportunity to learn more about local and national history through the lens of the Life Saving Service.

The life, work, and legacy of the men in the Life Saving Service surely is interesting and worthwhile to learn about!

Learn More

Over 60 Homeschool Review Crew families reviewed either Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities or The Mayflower at Cape Cod – Stories, activities, and research that connect 1620 with life today over the past few weeks. Click through to find social media and blog reviews.

Find writer Rebecca Locklear on Facebook. You can also sign up for Rebecca's email newsletter through her website where you will find more ideas and information from this talented writer and multiple-subject teacher of materials for preschoolers through 12th graders who is also a professional pianist, choral director, and outdoor enthusiast with a motto oDum vivimus, vivamus, which in Latin means “Let us LIVE while we live", which shines through in her work.

We enjoy Rebecca's work!


Related Posts with Thumbnails