Teaching About Inspiring Women from History

Who inspires you? Maybe it’s the mom at your church whose children have all learned their multiplication tables with minimum tears, or your local librarian who always knows where to find that book. Everyone has a God-given purpose and sphere of influence during his or her lifetime. We each have a story—also called a biography.

Merriam-Webster defines biography as “the story of a real person’s life written by someone other than that person.” It’s not just the facts of birth, marriage, and death, but the in-between moments that make up the excitement in a person’s life story. Right now, your children are developing the gifts and abilities from God that they will use to impact their world.

Women’s History Month in March is a good opportunity to inspire them to grow and make a difference by teaching them about the following women who shaped history in their own unique ways. (Included throughout are links to resources for additional learning.)

Elizabeth Everts “Betty” Greene (1920–1997): Pilot and Missionary

Betty grew up in the Pacific Northwest and took an early interest in flying. In 1936, she earned her pilot’s license and soon began serving her country in the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) by delivering supplies and participating in military training exercises. Because of her advanced flying skills, she also was recruited to test aircraft at high altitudes. After World War II, Miss Greene used aviation to advance the gospel. Her trips took her to South America, Africa, and the Pacific to places that were hard to reach on foot. Today, the Missionary Aviation Fellowship, an organization that she helped found, continues to combine two things Betty loved—service to God and flying.

MAF biography of Betty Greene

“The Seattle Times” obituary

Betty Greene: Flying High

Sandra Day O’Connor (1930– ): Justice of the Supreme Court

A graduate of Stanford Law School, Sandra’s accomplishments reveal not only her well-trained mind but also an admirable gracious spirit as she chose to rise above the social barriers placed before her. Mrs. O’Connor served as an attorney and then the first woman majority leader of the Arizona State Senate before President Ronald Reagan appointed her to be the first woman Supreme Court Justice in 1981. Throughout her career, the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor made decisions based on careful research and consideration of a ruling’s impact on our country. Since retiring from the Supreme Court, she has increased awareness of American civic education by starting the iCivics online learning platform for students.

History.com biography of Sandra Day O’Connor

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, video interview

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896): Writer and Social Reformer

Harriet’s famous father, Lyman Beecher, presented his children with unique learning opportunities that shaped their worldview and enabled them to defend their beliefs. She married young and had several children. But she had a gift. Her use of writing proved a valuable tool for sharing Christian truths during a time when women’s opinions were often overlooked. It also allowed her to earn money to support her family. Mrs. Stowe’s most famous work is Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which incorporates first-hand accounts of the mistreatment of enslaved people. Published as a novel in 1852, it stirred up a great deal of controversy. But Harriet was not afraid to shed light on the social evils of her day. After the Civil War, she continued to support the equal treatment and education of all people as human beings created in God’s image.

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s life

Biography for Kids

Johanna “Anne” Mansfield Sullivan Macy (1866–1936): Educator

Limited eyesight didn’t stop Anne from being motivated to learn. She graduated from Perkins School for the Blind as valedictorian. Miss Sullivan’s impact on the world of education started with one student—Helen Keller. Anne homeschooled her deaf-blind student, teaching her to communicate by spelling on the hand. Her outside-the-box methods of individualized teaching brought respect from other teachers and helped to broaden education for people with physical limitations.

Primary sources about Anne Sullivan

Anne Sullivan Macy online museum

Video with Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller

What woman from history would you add to this list?

World Studies Textbook for 7th Grade

Personally, I love history. It was my favorite subject when I was homeschooled. That’s why I’m so excited about our new seventh-grade World Studies book for 2017. This history book is gorgeous and is written in an engaging narrative style. But most importantly, it treats the subject from a biblical worldview.

What’s Covered

World Studies completes what our Heritage Studies 6 (world history textbook) began. After catching students up on ancient history, it covers the Middle Ages through the modern period. It focuses on the contrasting cultures, economics, and governments of major civilizations during those time periods.

This book tells the fascinating tale of the nations from a biblical worldview. Students learn to think biblically about justice, power, citizenship, and the environment as they watch the peoples of the world grapple with these same issues.

For example, your student will learn about the Spanish conquest and colonization of Latin America. This narrative is riddled with abuse of power and failures of justice such as the denial of citizenship to Creoles. On page 136, students are challenged to apply Scripture in evaluating Spain’s treatment of Creoles. So your homeschool student will not only learn about the stuff of world history, but he will also learn to think correctly about world history.

How It’s Covered

The narrative text carries the book. Throughout the book, engaging photographs, maps, and timelines help to tell the story. The margins include guiding questions and definitions to lead the reader to identify key ideas. And sidebars, especially the ones called “Historical Perspectives,” help students develop critical thinking skills from a biblical worldview.

The text is engaging, the layout is gorgeous, the perspective is biblical. I hope you’ll take a look at a sample of the World Studies Student Text by visiting the product page and clicking on the “Look Inside the Book” icon. I’ve also recorded an overview video of this new textbook for our BJU Press Homeschool YouTube channel. Take a look below.

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