Although I was born and raised in Ohio I always find myself learning something new. That was most definitely the case as I read Ohio ~ Here We Come! from By the Way Book Series with the kids as well. Truth be told, I’ve generally not been all that excited about teaching History as it isn’t my forte, but I can’t believe how much we’ve learned about Ohio history and facts while having fun!
By the Way Book Series offers a variety of Children’s Nature Books with a Biblical World View and Values. Author, Joy Budensiek learned most Christian parents don’t actually talk to their children about God and spiritual matters. She started writing this series to help provide talking points for parent and children interaction. She has made sure to include regular references to scripture throughout the books. She has a goal to write 100 books including one book for each of our 50 states as well as different areas worldwide.
Each book follows adventures of a family with children named Alex and Lexi. In the Ohio ~ Here We Come! book, the family is driving from their home state of Pennsylvania to their aunt and uncle’s farm in Ohio. What I found most unique about the book is that it is written in a fun, story-like setting yet filled with SO many facts! I truly did learn quite a few things about my own state and it really kept all three kids engaged! Plus, throughout the story there are also “Spot It” type pictures the kids can find, which they loved. So here we are all sitting together learning all these amazing facts about Ohio and truly having fun while doing so!
At first, I wasn’t sure if reviewing the Ohio book was the best option since we actually live here. I was definitely curious about it, though, and on top of that, I am required to teach Ohio history. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, though. Is it more of a story or would I truly be teaching something? Would it count as “history” or just some fun nature facts? It went beyond that, though. It covers a lot of amazing facts from both the history of Ohio as well as present day. It isn’t just nature, either, though they do spend quite a bit of time talking about God’s wonderful creation.
In fact, I loved all the references to scripture. It didn’t feel forced or unnatural. It flowed very well with the story and helped us relate every day experiences with specific scripture. It made us consider many different things in regards to God’s creation. We learned about the state bird, things that are found outdoors in Ohio, farming, animals, etc., but we also learned about famous Ohioans, Native American tribes, aeronautics and so much more. Everyone’s favorite topic was dairy farms just because the kids know how much I love cows!
The book is broken down into topics and “Did you know?” boxes for detailed, individual facts. It is by no means a book that is too long to read in one sitting, but I really wanted to make sure the kids had a chance to let what they were learning soak in. So, I would sit down with all three of them at once and read four pages from the book. We would do this every other day or every day until we got through the book. After each sitting, we’d talk more about what we learned. I would add my own personal experiences if I had any, which made it personal as well, which was nice. It was fairly easy to break down the book in this way because each “topic” is generally covered in the two pages that are open together. It was great family time, too!
Learning Ohio History in a Fun Way
I am really glad we had the opportunity to review the Ohio ~ Here We Come! book. We did learn more about God’s creation in nature but really learned about Ohio History, in general, as well! It was a great way to learn about our home state, but I definitely would love to check out some of the other books to learn about other states as well! I think the one we’d most like to read next is the Smoky Mountains ~ Here We Come! book.
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