Early History of the U.S. Coast Guard:Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915

(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.)

My son was interested reviewing Rebecca Locklear‘s Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities because he liked the idea of reading about maritime rescues.


Author Rebecca Locklear has written this book in order to help students learn about the precurser of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Locklear’s great-grandfather Ernest “Skipper” Eldredge was part of a seven-man crew, helping to row a wooden surfboat over huge breakers into the ocean to rescue crew and passengers on sinking ships. Justifiably proud of him, the author learned a good deal about what he did, and wrote this book to help students learn about what happened during that time, and about the U.S, Life-Saving Service, which eventually became the U.S, Coast Guard.

We received for the purpose of this review the digital version of the book Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities. This book is 117 pages long. It has four units, with 17 student workshops and 120 activities. Here is some of what you may expect, and what grade levels they could work for.

Unit 1: Life at the Station House

  • Molasses and Gingerbread 4 – 12
  • Hunting, Fishing, and Eating 4 – 12
  • Skunk Stories 4 – 12
  • Camaraderie and Drama 8 – 12

Unit 2: Working Together

  • Ships and Signals 6 – 12
  • Beach Patrol 5 – 12
  • Rescues with Boats 6 – 12
  • Rescue Scenarios: Live or Die 8 – 12
  • “The Survivor” and Medicine Chest 9 – 12

Unit 3: The Culture of Character

  • The Polite Surfman 5 – 10
  • The Character of Men 8 – 12 70

Unit 4: Relevance Today

  • Prepare to Stay Alive 8 – 12
  • Thrown into Cold Water 8 – 12

Expanding the Life-Saving Vision through the Arts

  • Choose an Art Project 4 – 12
  • Perform Music 4 – 12

Research Areas Relating to the U.S. Life-Saving Service

  • Archeology
  • Badges
  • Boats
  • Clothing
  • Communication: Coston Flares

And so much more!

“The Artist” chose to focus on Unit 2, and did a couple of the worksheets that were available for it.

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He also did a project related to the smelling salts that were used when necessary.

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I helped my son gather the needed supplies, and he went on to create his own energizing salts by following the recipe. We already had the dried rosemary, so we went to the store for Lemongrass leaves. Unable to find them, we bought actual Lemongrass.

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It was very difficult to grind or grate it, so he just chopped it up. I had all of the essential oils except for Rosemary, so a dear friend gave me the 20 drops he needed. We purchased the course ground sea salt at the grocery store. The day he was going to make this project, my Essential Oils order arrived so then we had enough Rosemary oil along with everything else, to make two jars.

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“The Artist” proceeded to add the ingredients together:

Then, filling the jars! We had spent time at the grocery store looking for just the right size jars when “The Artist said “Why don’t we just re-use those glass jars that gravy came in?” (we had bought some jarred gravy a few days before). So these are the jars he used.

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Filling them was easy, he made a couple of funnels out of parchment paper that we already had, the filled them one spoonfull at a time, alternating between the jars.

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“Mmmm! Smells good!”

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Because the initial 20 drops of Rosemary oil came from our friend Savannah, we decided to pretty one jar up and give it to her. Here it is all prettied up.

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And, gifting it!

All in all, this is a really good book, filled with true-life stories from the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s. There is so much I didn’t know, even to the fact that this organization had even existed! It’s fascinating, and there are projects for each and every unit, allowing you and your student(s) to focus on the area which interests them the most.

Ms. Locklear has a BLOG, and an email list you can sign up for. please gohere  and sign up by entering your email on the side-bar. Facebook is another place to keep up wit Ms. Locklear.

Pease go check out the other Crew reviews to see what 62 othger families thought of this and another book written by Ms. Locklear called The Mayflower at Cape Cod – Stories, activities, and research that connect 1620 with life today, by clicking the banner just below.


As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Filed under Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service, History

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