Review: When I Grow Up, I Want to Be…A Firefighter!

The second book we went through for this homeschool review process was When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Firefighter, part of the Wanna Be series by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. 

This book is designed to be used by kids ages 4-10, but, because I learned at least as much about firefighters as my daughter did, I think they should change the age range to 4-36.  Again, I had a bit of a sinking feeling as I opened another e-book, and yet again, I was pleasantly surprised.  If nothing else, this process just may make an e-book believer out of me! 

This book wasn’t quite as clearly organized as I hoped it would be, especially since I didn’t copy off the whole thing and kept skipping around among pages trying to find the information I was looking for.  At first, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to follow the book cover to cover or if I was to organize my own way to teach the book.  I ended up starting at the beginning by exploring the history of firefighting, firefighting equipment, and reading about the life of a firefighter and then skipping around to the sections that interested us.  The history section was fascinating for my daughter who is, like most young children, enamored with firefighters, especially since she has a good friend whose dad is a fireman.   Sometimes we got a little lost in all of the terminology, though.  I am certainly not a fan of dumbing writing down for my kids (since I was in graduate school when I was pregnant with my daughter, she listened to me read everything from Virginia Woolf to Lady Mary Wroth).  Honestly, though, she didn’t care for learning about friction loss or what it means to be on probationary status or the importance of building codes.  She is just six, though, and those terms might be more interesting to her as she gets older.  She was definitely intrigued as she learned about the history of firehouse dogs, though!

We enjoyed many of the suggested activities in this book as well.  It was fun for Amelie to think and write about things she could do now to help her be strong like a firefighter (eat well, exercise, etc.), and it was also a fun memory and writing exercise to have her write about what she would do if she were a fire fighter and had just received a call that a fire had broken out.  Also, the one firefighter we know should be expecting to receive a thank you note soon for the brave work he does.   

I wasn’t as impressed with the Science section on robots, although I think that she might enjoy those activities more as she gets older, but she did enjoy reading the graphs and discovering which months had the most fires, the least fires, and the number of fires for the whole year.  There was a very long section of copywork at the end, and while we worked through a few of these, Amelie is submerged right now in learning cursive, so I didn’t discourage her from practicing her individual cursive letters rather than the copywork sentences. 

I especially enjoyed the physical activities that were suggested at the end of the book.  As a homeschooler, I find it hard to incorporate specific “PE” type activities in our schooling.  We play outside and we go on walks, but I think that she sometimes misses the organized games from her physical education classes.  Who could resist, though, a game of “Stop, Drop, and Roll” or “Put the Fire Out”?  We couldn’t, and even my 2-year-old got involved in the activities. 

This is a book that we had fun with as a whole family, and while I didn’t like all of the suggested activities in the book, there were plenty of educational, fun options to keep us occupied as we learned about these brave men and women who keep us safe!


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