Learn About the Precursor to the US Coast Guard : a Homeschool Review

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This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series 2020 Homeschool Reviews

 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 was I compensated in any other way.

My husband is a Coast Guard veteran. We met while he was in active duty but we married after his time in service. I don’t know that much about Coast Guard Life (except what he tells me) so in an effort to know more about this piece of family history I’ve gone back in time and have been looking at Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities by Rebecca Locklear.

About the U.S. Life Saving Service

The U.S. Life-Saving Service was a government service unit created in the late 19th century to save the lives on thousands of ships that ran aground on the New Jersey and New York coast.

Initially the U.S. Life Saving Service was manned by volunteers and located only near busy ports. Through the years it was constantly improved upon. And then in 1915 it morphed into what we now know as the U.S. Coast Guard.

About Rebecca Locklear

The author, Rebecca Locklear’s, great-grandfather was a member of the U.S. Life-Saving Service. She made the decision to create a Unit Study about the U.S. Life-Saving Service after stumbling upon memoirs from his time in service.

Rebecca Locklear creates educational material for teachers. She also writes and directs historical reenactements. Your students will benefit from that experience in the following resource.

ABOUT the U.S. Life-Saving Service Ebook

U.S. Life-Saving-Service Coast Guard Military

Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities is created for grades 4 through 12. So you could easily use it with several members of your family.

This 117 page ebook contains 17 workshops and 20 activities looking at different aspects of the U.S. Life-Saving Service and what life was like during this period in history.

Students will work on critical thinking, problem sovling, and teamwork skills while learning about history, geography, social studies, English, and art.

The ebook contains 4 Units looking at the how the men lived and worked as they served. These units are packed with activities and information. In addition to the historical information there is an activity and a skit or reenactment to perform. Take your time unpacking them and fully appreciate each activity itself.

The unit titles are…

  • Life at the Station House: This unit covers every day life while serving in the Life-Saving Service. Students will learn about molasses and why it was so important. And also get a chance to make a recipe. Students will also learn about the average diet and participate in some activities that give them a small taste of life at the Station House. Includes some interesting memories, a skit to perform, and biographical tidbits.
  • Working Together: Students will learn about how duties were carried out to save ships and the lives of those on board. Cooperative activities and learning about the different kinds of ships. More activities include acting out a poem, artwork, critically thinking through rescue scenarios. Also includes a skit.
  • The Culture of Character: Students will learn about manners and how people related to each other during this time period which is actually the Victorian era into the Edwardian era. (I found this Unit particularly interesting). Activities include to wear a hat or not to wear a hat (my name for it),
  • Relevance Today: This unit is about survival. Survival for present day. Things to think about and prepare for when hiking or boating. Students will learn about hypothermia and how to treat it.

After the units there are several art projects to try and a look at the music of the time period. Finally there are tips for taking this study beyond the workshops and do more research on other historical aspects not covered in the workshops.

Using the U.S. Life Saving-Service Workbook

We started with the Introductory Workshop to get an overall view of the workbook. It’s also recommended to do this first to get an idea for what the units are like. I printed out several of the photos with captions and hung them from the ceiling in our homeschool room.

Also making the Gingebread Muffin recipe in Unit 1 is on the agenda.

Having this resource on hand has been a nice surprise for my hsuband. While we always think of our children when homeschooling the saying, “two educations for the price of one” is often the case.

Hanging historical pictures in our homeschool room for a Exploring the US Life Saving Service activity.

While my husband knows about the U.S. Life-Saving Service he definitely didn’t know all of this in depth historical information. This has made a nice activity for him to come in the homeschool room and read through the pages about what life was like before he joined the Coast Guard.

Be sure and visit Rebecca’s website and sign up for her email newsletter where you will find more great historical resources for teaching multi-level history to your students. Including her product The Mayflower at Cape Cod.

Before the Coast Guard there was the U.S. Life Saving Service

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