One item in our homeschool is the use of DVDs and they come in handy when we need a break from our textbooks or because a child is sick or because I may be feeling under the weather – DVDs truly come to the rescue. So when Curiosity Quest agreed to send two of their DVD combo packs I know my children would enjoy them, especially if it would get them out of school for a day. These DVDs are shows that have aired or do air on PBS, check your local listings, however we had not heard of the show before so we were in for quite an experience with the DVD Combo Pack – Produce and the DVD Combo Pack – Swimmers of the Sea. What is great about these DVDs is they are for ages 7 through 14 and they really do keep the attention of both the younger child and the older ones – all three of my children found something to engage them while watching, quite a feat with all the different viewing tastes in the house.
I’m going to go over the Swimmers of the Sea DVD pack first – as that seemed to be my children’s favorite – they are huge animal lovers. My 9 year old daughter was especially excited to watch the episode dealing with penguins – she has been fascinated by these non-flying birds since she was a young child. These also went along great with a science curricula we finished about swimming creatures, so if you’re looking for a supplement with your current science dealing with ocean animals or swimming animals this would be a great place to start. During this pack you’ll ‘visit’ a salmon hatchery, an aquarium, and the Sea Turtle hospital in Florida. Joel Greene, the host in the episodes is very upbeat and engaging through out the entire episode, which helps in keeping the children’s attention, including those with short attention spans. My only issue with this one was during the turtle visit it was mentioned that turtles have been around since the dinosaurs and are over 100 million years old. Even with that this is a DVD we will watch again and again, and it opened up discussion as to why we don’t believe in evolution or a million of year old earth.
I’m surprised at times by how little we know regarding how our food makes it to our tables, now my children have seen me garden, but at the grocery store there is quite a bit of disconnect from purchasing the food to how it got there. Having a son who enjoys mushrooms fresh from the pack (after having washed them) I knew he’d be intrigued by seeing how a company, Monterey Mushrooms, grows, prepares and ships mushrooms for sale. All my children enjoy oranges so seeing how oranges are picked, packaged and shipped so that we can enjoy them was another bit hit for this pack – and gives a new meaning as to what actually has to happen and those who make it happen, before it gets to our home. Then we watched about cranberries – we aren’t much into them in our house, although I do enjoy the bitter juice from time to time. Again host, Joel Greene, kept my children and I attention with his wit and enthusiasm for the education he gives in these episodes.
Each episode runs for approximately 30 minutes so each is about 1 1/2 hours total and provides a lot of great educational benefit not only to the children, but also the adults – I learned that mushroom businesses aren’t our hunting in the forests for mushrooms! The DVDs sell for $24.95 and given that they can be enjoyed by many ages and viewed over and over it’s definitely a good bang for your buck – it seems we picked up something different each time we watched an episode. Through out the episode there are children and adults who are asked questions like “how long do turtles live?” and they give their thoughts and then the expert is asked to give the real answer. Also are fun facts which are some little known facts that are intriguing about the subject being discussed – although my children ran around saying fun facts in the little tune that was on the DVD. Since these DVDs are educational and kept my children’s attention the entire time these get a huge thumbs up from me.
If you’d like to see what other homeschool parents thought about Curiosity Quest please visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.