Thursday, June 18, 2020

Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915 by Rebecca Locklear -- my 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 was I compensated in any other way.

Are you interested in the history of our country? You might like to check out this very interesting curriculum created by Rebecca Locklear called Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities.  Although I have been to a lot of different maritime museums, I do not believe I had ever heard of the US Life-Saving Service before, so I was definitely interested to get to take a look at this resource.

The version we had to review is an e-book, a .pdf download which was easy to open and read. My 15-year old daughter was going through this as a little sideline to her history studies, and both she and I really enjoyed reading through it!

In the prologue, Rebecca Locklear shares her personal connection to the US Life-Saving Service, which makes her stories even more interesting!

This is really a curriculum that you can use throughout multiple class meetings. We are a homeschool family, and we found that many of the activities were really more meant for a larger group (at least more than one student!) but frankly, the content was just so interesting that we both just wanted to read through it in its entirety right away!

She wanted to try out some of the music that was included in the curriculum!

As you go through this curriculum you get the feeling that you are in a museum, reading stories and bits of information interspersed with photos and graphics which enhance your understanding of the topic. The U.S. Lifesaving Service encompassed both coasts of the US and was kind of a precursor to the Coast Guard; it ended in the beginning of the 20th century.  The book is filled with amazing stories of life as a member of the life-saving service. I am just floored to read about and think about the feats of strength and bravery that these men exhibited. Have you ever been to the ocean? Can you even imagine ROWING a boat through those waves to get to a stranded vessel or to help others who were seemingly hopeless? Wow. 

The photos included in the e-book are museum-worthy, they really add to the understanding and enjoyment of the narrative.
The photos included in the e-book are museum-worthy,
they really add to the understanding and enjoyment of the narrative

The book is set up in the format of four separate units, focusing on "Life at the Station House," "Working Together," "The Culture of Character," and "Relevance Today."  There is text to read, illustrations to view, activities to complete (lots and lots of activities!), questions for discussion, and more.  There are many many interesting stories. It does not feel like a text book, but really feels like a written version of a museum.

There are skits and music and group activities; a
rts & crafts; creative writing; public speaking; and more!!

It is like a ready-made co-op course!  I can really imagine using this to offer a year-long class at a homeschool co-op or at a history museum. It would be great for a 4-H Club or Boy or Girl Scouts, or some type of explorer club or camp. It is very versatile and honestly, I LOVED it!! :) 

We took a trip a few summers ago to Chatham, MA on Cape Cod and this really made the book even more real to us. We could just picture the environment that these men worked in. Have you ever read the book or seen the movie The Finest Hours ?  You will definitely enjoy this e-book, then. 

I really enjoyed this e-book, and so did my daughter. I was wishing that we were connected to a co-op or that I was still a 4-H leader, because I would totally have used this in a group setting. I definitely recommend this resource to groups!  It is super-easy to use, everything is laid out for you, and it is a very interesting part of our nation's maritime history. It can definitely be used for a wide range of students (and it's really interesting for adults, as well!)

Here's what my daughter said about this: I really liked this ebook. I learned a lot about the US Life Saving Service. I learned about what it was, what they did, etc. There were many stations along the coasts, and they would patrol and watch for ships in danger. They would rescue crews from boats that had run aground or were in harm's way. They would practice drills everyday, so when the time came, they were very efficient, and knew what they were doing. I really like this book! It was easy to read, and enjoyable!

There are lots and lots of ideas for extensions as well--and a long list of research topics for further investigation. You can visit the author's website and sign up to receive emails as well at  It's just an all-around great product, I am happy to recommend  Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities to you! To read other reviewers' thoughts on this resource (and some on another resource by the same author regarding the Mayflower), please click on the link below!


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