5 Stars Out Of 5
Should be Required Reading
July 14, 2011
When I was in school, I learned about The Declaration of Independence. I learned that Thomas Jefferson wrote the words and John Hancock was the first to sign his name and he did so really large so King George could read it. I knew Ben Franklin and I learned sometime later that a nearby college was named for one of the signers, Richard Stockton, but I don't think I ever saw a picture. Honestly, that was all I needed to pass the test.
When I received this book, I was impressed. I thought I was only getting a book to read. I was pleasantly surprised that this was an actual, living book that I could use in our school day to teach my daughter about our Founding Fathers that signed the Declaration of Independence.
In fact, according to the suggestions for using this book, you could use this book as:
--A year's worth of family devotional character studies.
--A pick-up-and-go complete resource.
--A self study.
--A group study.
--Inspirational general reading.
The book is set up by colony. Then, each signer is introduced separately. In an introductory sidebar, is the signer's name and a character trait exhibited by the signer. For instance, Benjamin Franklin's says, "Productive Patriot." Then, a biblical verse is suggested which is exemplified with the character trait. Ben Franklin's suggested verse is Proverbs 10:4. You can look up the verse in your own Bible, which I think is quite nice. A quote follows, as does normal biographical information (birth, death, marriage, etc.).
Next to the sidebar in the main heading, is a picture of signer as well as an image of his signature as it was written on the Declaration. A summary of his life follows. A timeline of the signer's public service record is included in the summary. Each lesson concluded with questions for discussion.
One of the things that I especially liked about this book was that in the summaries, the author tells of the sacrifices these men made and the tragedies that sometimes resulted from the signing of the Declaration of Independence. For instance, Richard Stockton was imprisoned for signing. Then, all of his property was destroyed by the English Army. One of the richest men in all of the colonies, had to ask for money and assistance from friends, after he was released, because he had nothing. Even his personal history, in many ways, was just deleted due to the devastation of property. No where else have I read about the personal suffering that many of these men had to endure because they signed this document. Obviously, since I was a product of the public school system, I also never knew much about the faith in God these men had, either.
I discovered a wonderful little perk with this book when I read the suggestions. A 180-page companion activity guide is available free of charge, which includes coloring pages of all of the signers, character trait definitions and Bible verse memory cards, and quizzes. The website and the password is included in the text.
I highly recommend this book. In fact, I think it should be required reading. I can't help but think of the disservice done to the memories of these 56 men, because the information taught is lumped into a few miscellaneous facts. It's time that we honor them and learn their history.
**I was provided this book free of charge in exchange for my HONEST opinion. No other compensation was received.**