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Jun 1, 2017

YWAM Hershey ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

When you make purchases from this non-profit company, you can know that you are helping with Youth With a Mission.  YWAM Publishing's sales help fund ministries in 140 countries.  Another thing you can be absolutely sure about, is that the uplifting biographies you purchase are always inspirational and appropriate for children.

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We are reviewing Heroes of History- Milton Hershey from YWAM's Heroes of History line of biographies.

YWAM Publishing

I love that YWAM's Christian biographies are safe for my children to read.  They have two divisions of biographies available.  Christian Heroes Then and Now and Heroes of History.  Their biographies are available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, ebook, and audio versions.  I love having these books available in paperback, but now that our very short summer is approaching, it seems like a great time to start thinking more about audiobooks for the car.

We received Milton Hershey: More Than Chocolate by Janet & Geoff Benge in the mail and an email to access the Milton Hershey digital unit study.  The book is a 192 page paperback with a recommended age range of ten and up.  It covers Milton's life beginning with his early life in Derry Church, PA.

I love mail with that "TOS" or "Homeschool Crew" label!

His mother, Fanny, and Aunt Mattie were incredibly supportive of him and gave generously of their time, encouragement, and Mattie's family's money.  Milton was eventually able to support them both and provide their every need.  His upbringing by these women was heavily rooted in the Mennonite tradition and Milton became a man who, despite his great wealth, always wanted to help his fellow man rather than squander his money on lavish mansions and yachts.  His mother and aunt reminded me of Timothy's mother and grandmother in the Bible, always encouraging, being godly examples for Milton. 

Poor Micah.  Every time I had him cornered somewhere (like in the car on the way to Mt. Washington!), I'd tell him all kinds of interesting facts we learned about the Hershey family.  For instance, Milton and Kitty Hershey were unable to have children of their own, so they started a home for orphaned boys.  What started out as a home for up to eight young boys, became the Hershey Industrial School, and is now a residential school for boys and girls in PK-12th grade, renamed Milton Hershey School.  Those children were very important to Milton his entire life, and the boys were proud to call themselves "Milton's boys."  

Xav's favorite part of the book, Milton Hershey: More Than Chocolate, was when Milton went to Cuba and decided to build a sugar cane operation (growing and processing) of his own.  He treated it just like he had in Derry Church, PA and built a small town around his operation and installed an electric railroad.  Xav was fascinated by the "buggy" (a volante) that Milton had to ride to the remote area he purchased.
Hobbes was an OK listener...

Mal, of course, enjoyed reading about all of the train rides Milton got to take throughout his life.  He liked thinking about the progress that was being made over the many years Milton lived.  He also was amazed to learn how many of his favorite chocolate bars were being made every day in that factory.

I was interested in the D Rations which were made by Hershey for the war.  In WWI, it was necessary that they not melt in tropical weather.  For WWII, the requirements were increased to include not freezing in cold weather and packaged in some way to not be damaged if submerged for up to an hour.  Unfortunately, the nutrition and other requirements made the bar pretty unpalatable, but that didn't stop the army from requesting THREE MILLION bars.  Milton had to refit his factory with different equipment for the government bars.  Milton was personally devastated by WWII, as he regularly received telegrams regarding the deaths of "his boys."

I could go on and on about Milton Hershey.  This biography of his life is just. that. amazing.  This is definitely *my* favorite of the YWAM Publishing books I have read.

There is an available study guide to accompany this (and many other YWAM biographies).  The main study guide PDF consisted of the following sections.

  • Key Quotes - Here are quotes either by Hershey or that could be applied to him.  YWAM recommends memorizing some of them or making a banner to put in our display corner or in our study area.
  • Display Corner - This is where our study comes to life.  We are still working through the study, though the book has been finished at least once by most of us.  I think we will need to gather some items for our display corner when we take a drive this summer.

  • Chapter Questions
  1. One factual question
  2. Two comprehension questions
  3. Two opinion-type questions.
  4. One vocabulary question taken from the text.
  • Student Explorations - Essay topics, hands on projects, and fun arts and crafts ideas are here,  A suggested game is Chutes and Ladders because Milton Hershey had a lot of failures in business, as well as his successes.  Just lots of neat ideas here.
  • Community Links - I like the idea in this section of talking to real people around our own community that somehow can be linked to the study of Milton Hershey.  Some suggestions are a candy/chocolate maker, a chemist, a dairy farmer, and several more.
  • Social Studies -These great tie ins to the book cover a lot of new vocabulary, which each of the boys write in a vocabulary notebook and look up the meanings.  There are suggestions for marking significant places from the book on a map of the US and measuring the distances.  There's a timeline to complete and many other topics to cover.
  • Related Themes to Explore - Here you'll find related ideas to explore in history, math, science, literature, and business.
  • Culminating Event - This is a section for ideas to hold a party that ties into Milton Hershey's life and where you could share what you've learned with friends, family, and neighbors.
  • Appendix A is a related book and resource list, beginning with other biographies about Milton, books about his school, and the history of chocolate making.  It also includes articles, websites, and video links.  Several other YWAM Heroes of History biographies are tied in here also.
  • Appendix B - Chapter questions answers for all 18 chapters.
The second half of the study guide is a separate PDF for the following section
  • Appendix C which contains the reproducibles needed for the Social Studies activities in chapter 6. Here are the maps and timeline activities, as well as a biography page to fill in about Milton Hershey's life.
I love that all the printables were in one file.  I could print them all or just one or two.  I *really* like that I didn't have to open multiple files to print each page.

There is a link in Appendix A that Xavier is *very* interested in.  It tells all about candy making and the chemistry involved.  Despite the fact that we do not live in a town, he is convinced he will learn how to make candy and get rich by selling it from a stand in front of our house.

I recently read that Hershey is making changes to their chocolate.  EGAD!  As the mom of a boy who eats almost no candy except plain, Hershey's milk chocolate bars, I'm really hopeful this will not effect the taste, texture, or *appearance* of the Hershey milk chocolate bar!

The best part about this biography and study guide, is that it comes along as we plan to head to Pennsylvania and a possible trip to Hershey.  Now that we've learned so much about Milton Hershey, I'm not sure how he would feel about the whole "Hershey Park" thing.  He was such a generous and simple man (for a man with the money he had - read the book to find out what he did with 60 MILLION dollars).  He is a real inspiration and a Hero of History.

Last year, we learned about Alan Shepherd from YWAM Publishing.

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