Monday, November 12, 2012

Growing up Wild (Schoolhouse Crew Review)


I remember fondly the years in the past where we have added stories of Missionaries to our regular studies. Lately I've been missing that, and I was thrilled when I heard about a review opportunity for the video series Growing Up Wild.

Growing Up Wild takes the viewer into the remote jungles of Indonesia and allows you to walk side-by-side with a missionary family serving there. According the their website, "The "Growing Up Wild" DVD series was developed for the purpose of introducing children to the work going on in foreign mission fields. Our hope is that "Growing Up Wild" will educate and challenge your children, and be used by the Lord to play a part in raising up the next generation of missionaries!"

The Wild family has filmed 15 episodes in the series about their lives in Indonesia. On the videos we received, we learned about their home, their supply trips, and the world around them in the jungle. Each DVD comes with an activity guide that encourages your child to compare their lives with the lives the Wild brothers are living. We watched Volume 1 and Volume 4 of the set.

For instance, after viewing the segment about the Wild house, Brennan completed a Venn diagram listing similarities and differences between his house in Arizona and the Wild house in Indonesia. Another activity has the student calculate the amount of food our family would need if we only went supply shopping once every three months. Each DVD includes suggested activities for math, science, world cultures, field trips, and Bible study.

Brennan's biggest complaint was that the videos were too short. Each episode is only about fifteen minutes long, and there are only three episodes per disc. I think that would be a perfect length to show in a group setting, perhaps a Bible class or a co-op group with a missions focus. The videos are appropriate for ages 5-12, but they didn't capture Lauren's interest. (In all fairness, though, she usually only agrees to watch something on TV if it's her own choice.)

Each DVD costs $18.99 and can be ordered from Growing Up Wild. The complete 5-disc collection is available for $80.99. Each DVD comes with activity guides to accompany the video.

Disclaimer: I received 2 DVD volumes of the Growing Up Wild series as a member of the 2012 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, and I received no other compensation. In return, I agreed to give an honest review of the materials and how they worked for my homeschool family.


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