Tuesday, September 22, 2015

YWAM Publishing, Ben Carson: A Chance at Life {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

We've been enjoying learning more about Dr. Ben Carson, through reading Ben Carson: A Chance at Life from the Heroes of History Series from YWAM Publishing, and the Unit Study Curriculum Guide.
 Ben Carson: A Chance at Life (a 192 page biography) covers Ben's life from early childhood, up through his retirement from Johns Hopkins a couple years ago. Ben grew up in inner city Detroit, in a single-parent home, while struggling with poverty, overcoming poor grades, and dealing with racism. His mother worked hard, and pushed her two boys to do their best to be all they could be. She turned off the TV, and told her boys to visit the library, and choose two books a week to read, and write a report on.

Through his hard work, and because of his faith in God, he became a well-known pediatric neurosurgeon. He performed numerous brain surgeries, most notably several surgeries in which he separated conjoined twins.
The unit study guide contains chapter questions, which are great for reading comprehension and even improving vocabulary. There are also other resources and activity suggestions, such as: key quotes; suggestions for a display corner; student exploration (research suggestions, creative writing, hands-on projects, audio/visual projects, and arts and crafts projects); suggested community links; social studies (maps and timeline); related themes to explore; and a culminating event. There is also a list of books by and about Ben Carson.
The boys enjoyed my reading the book aloud to them. Usually we stuck with one chapter a day. Then I went over the chapter questions with them. We also marked the timeline, filled in the fact sheet, and marked the maps with the cities Ben and his family lived in.

I think I'd like to implement Ben's mother's plan of having the boys read two books a week, and writing book reports. My boys aren't too keen on the idea, though, but I'll keep working on them. Dr. Carson is certain that that was one of the main things that helped him improve his grades to the point of being able to get in to Yale.

We've also watched the movie, Gifted Hands, and hope to read the book (my mom is sending us a copy to borrow). I also downloaded You Have a Brain audio book for the boys to listen to on their devices. We truly have been enjoying learning more about Dr. Ben Carson.

I've long admired Dr. Ben Carson. One of the reasons is because we are members of the same Christian denomination.

I think our local libraries should carry Ben Carson: A Chance at Life, as well as Dr. Carson's books, since we live in a largely African American community. He would be someone the children and young people in this town would be able to look up to, and be inspired by.

The message Dr. Ben Carson wants to pass along is this: "I would like people to recognize in looking at my story that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you is you. It's not the environment, it's not the other people who were there trying to help you or trying to stop you. It's what you decide to do and how much effort you put behind it."

Be sure to read the rest of the reviews by the Crew, because we reviewed a very wide variety of their books and curriculum guides. We also enjoyed reviewing George Washington a couple years ago.

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