Friday, August 31, 2012

A fun way to enhance cultural and geographic studies

I made an accidental discovery at the library last week.  I was waiting to check out, and turned around to look at the "New Books" shelf, to see if anything needed to be added to my stack for my own personal enjoyment.  None of the books stood out to me, but I noticed two DVD sets on top of the shelf.  They don't usually put DVDs there, which is partly what caught my eye.  One of the sets was titled Travel The World With Kids.

It looked interesting, though I wasn't sure if my kids would sit and watch them. I checked the set out, just to take a closer look.  I didn't realize how really neat they were, and it sat in my library tote for several days.

On Monday, after we'd finished our lessons, I decided to take a closer look at it.  We had just finished introducing Wee Gillis as our current Five In A Row study, and I noticed this 5 DVD set had two different episodes on Scotland, so I put it in to see what it was like.

There weren't any children inside at the time I started the Scotland Highlands episode, but in a few minutes, 6 yo L wandered into the room.  She was drawn to the kid and family-oriented travel documentary immediately.  She sat down and watched the entire episode, then asked for more.  She spent a couple hours watching all five episodes on the first disc.  Eventually her siblings wandered in and watched it for awhile, as well.  Most of them didn't stay for more than 2 episodes, though.  (Each episode is about 30 minutes long.)

On Tuesday, 6 yo L asked me to get the second disc out and play it for her.  She (and several other kids) watched a few episodes, but not the entire disc.  Though it holds her attention the longest, the 8 yo, 11 yo, 13 yo and even the almost 4 yo enjoy the show.

The episodes are travel documentaries created by a family with two young sons.  They document their visits to other countries, including museums, and cultural experiences.  I was impressed with the many ways the parents engage their sons' interest while they take some rather long tours.  Sometimes, the family gets side-tracked by a new discovery and has to change their plans.  Some of the locations visited include Paris, England, Scotland, Ireland, Bahamas, Florida, New York City, Alaska, Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Peru.  Several locations are covered in more than one episode, with different aspects of the country covered separately.

I went searching for the discs online, and found that Amazon currently has the best price for them ($9.03!).  That's all 25 episodes on 5 discs, in a tin case.  I'd like to purchase them for our homeschool library, but in the meantime, we still have a lot of episodes to watch before we return this to the library.

And no ... this isn't a sponsored review.  That isn't even an affiliate link.  We've just been enjoying these travel DVDs and thought other families might, too. 

April E.

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