Saturday, April 2, 2011

What a difference a year makes!

katebdayfranksam                               3girls'11

Same calendar. Same wall. One year in between pictures. Samantha, my fifteen year old daughter, went to Revolve with a group of girls from church. It was her first concert experience, and she came home tonight after being away overnight absolutely exhilarated. In between thoughts of oh my word is she ever going to stop talking? And how does she breathe with that constant flow of words? I remembered what it was like being a teenage girl (does that feeling of that was how many years ago ever go away?) and experiencing new things for the first time. That feeling of wonder and elation and awe. I have a daughter that is almost at the age I was when I had some of the best experiences of my entire life…and also made some of the worst decisions of my life. I remember that time in my life as a time of such extreme emotions. And it made me wonder when my little girl suddenly became so grown up. Then I look at her two sisters who were just babies the last time I checked, and wish I could just slow them down a bit. It always sounds so cliché, but time really does pass way too fast. We get to be with our children for such a short period of time. And in that time we have such a great responsibility to help shape them into the people God intended them to be. In the precious few years we have them we are laying the foundation for who they will be for the rest of their lives. The rest of their lives. No pressure :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

TOS Review: z-guides to the Movies


I recently learned about these wonderful movie guides put out by Zeezok PublishingZ-guides to the Movies are unit studies for movies geared toward middle-high school students, and are a great way to incorporate media into any curriculum. We were excited to receive the z-guide to Red Badge of Courage. For a complete list of titles available, visit the Zeezok website.

For $12.99 you get either a CD or downloadable ebook. Each guide contains a topic overview, movie synopsis, and ten learning activities for an in-depth study of the film. The topic overview puts the film in historical context, giving a student with no prior knowledge of the topic important background information. The one-page movie synopsis provides a more detailed explanation of the movie’s storyline than typically found on the back cover of the video case or on movie review websites. While watching the film the first time through, students answer the
movie review questions. This assignment forces the viewer to become an active learner rather than a passive observer. Nine additional activities provide interdisciplinary educational opportunities built around the movie’s themes.

Activities in The Red Badge of Courage z-guide included character studies, family discussion questions, sketch a scene from the movie, writing a letter of encouragement, and more.

What we thought:

We chose The Red Badge of Courage because Samantha read the book for school last year and really liked the story. Unfortunately, she didn’t like the movie nearly as much. However, she enjoyed the activities in the z-guide and I think they really gave her a deeper understanding of the story. I think these guides are priced perfectly and  have great content. I’m excited to purchase other titles to incorporate into our studies!

To see what my fellow crew members thought, visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.

*As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received a free z-guide for review purposes. All opinions stated are my own, and are not influenced in any way by the free product.

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