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Fieldworkers: A Study of God's Work Among the Nations--Latin America Review by Cindy West

(Unit Study and Coloring Book)
Scott and Jennifer Pepito
Firm Foundation Ministries
PO Box 2098
Imperial Beach, CA 91933

Have you been looking for a unit study that delves deep into a particular geographical area and focuses on God at the same time? I've found one! Fieldworkers: A Study of God's Work Among the Nations--Latin America is a unit study about the people of Latin America and the work being done there by missionaries. It includes a 22-page unit study booklet and a coloring book full of pages to accompany each country you visit.

Adaptable to all ages, this is a great whole family study that should last between one and two months. As with all unit studies, the time spent could be shortened or lengthened according to your family's needs. In the introduction, the authors give an overview of how to use the suggested activities as well as a daily schedule you may decide to use. They encourage the use of flapbooks, notebooks, or another method of your choosing to preserve your child's work.

Following the introduction is a brief section of information about Latin America that you should know as you begin. Next come oodles of ideas for bringing Latin America and a love for the people into your home. You'll find a vocabulary list and a suggested reading list as well as a list of Spanish programs, music, and activity books that you might buy to enhance the study. Then come the activity ideas, covering the subjects of Bible, language, geography, science, and art. There's even a section of ideas for ending your unit with a presentation day. And last, but not least, is an appendix with a Spanish pronunciation guide, Spanish words and songs, recipe ideas, Bible verses in Spanish, and a Latin America map with cut-out labels.

In the accompanying coloring book, each country is represented with at least one page. There is always a small map of the country and some animals, plants, or industries that are found there. The book even includes a color-by-number guide for some of the pictures to help your children know what the plants or animals really look like.

Because there are so many countries in Latin America, the authors suggest that you choose one country in which to delve more deeply during the unit. In fact, they suggest choosing a country where you or your church supports a missionary in order to make the missionary's work real to your children.

This study lends itself well to being personalized to meet the needs of your family. There are many suggested activities from which to choose, and the activities can be easily adapted for use with both younger and older children. The activities also cover a wide range of learning styles to reach everyone--from hands-on to auditory to visual learners.

I found this unit to be very genuine (which is not surprising since it was written by homeschoolers who have actually lived as missionaries in Latin America). It included everything I would expect to find in a comprehensive unit study. I appreciated that there were so many wonderful learning options, yet I had freedom to use those ideas as they best worked for our family. If you use unit studies in your homeschool regularly, you will surely find this to be a welcome addition to your resources. If you're just getting your feet wet with the unit study approach, this study would be a great place to start.

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2007