It’s time for another homeschool review, y’all!
I have been so excited about introducing you guys to Friends and Heroes! I only discovered them about a month ago, and was intrigued as I perused their website. I believe my inner dialogue was something like this:
Hey, what is this? Looks interesting!
Oooh, learn about old testament AND New testament Biblical history at the same time? Love that idea!
Eeek, unit studies for homeschoolers that go along with the DVDs?
This is SO COOL!
I am such a typical nerdy homeschool mom. Well, maybe not typical…
Anyway, here’s the skinny:
Friends and Heroes Episodes 1 & 2 Descriptions + Review:
“Long Journey”: Macky and his family risk the wrath of the Romans by taking two refugee girls into their home. Through their exploits and retelling of the Bible stories — Daniel and the lions’ den and Jesus and the miraculous catch of fish — we learn the importance of being courageous and helping others. Watch a preview here.
“A Friend in High Places”: Macky rescues an aristocratic Roman girl, Portia. With help from Portia, Macky and the gang foil a money-making scheme run by the evil Tobias and Brutacus. Through their experiences and retelling of the dramatic Bible stories of Samson and Delilah, and Peter’s friendship with Cornelius, we discover how important it is to listen to God and love others. Watch a preview here.
Our thoughts on these episodes: We were immediately drawn into the world that the young people in Friends and Heroes live in from the first five minutes of the first episode. The adventure kicks off with two young refugee girls running for their lives from Roman guards. Macky finds them and he and his family have to decide whether helping the girls is worth the risk of being caught and killed. There is so much action in these episodes, both my son and daughter were glued to the screen the entire time it played (that’s a feat for two young ones with short attention spans). Between the exciting action scenes and the plights of well-liked characters, we were all hooked!
I really loved how the Bible stories were told in the midst of Macky and Portia’s daily life, giving them encouragement or wisdom when they needed it just as our children (and we ourselves) need to hear them. It demonstrates that even long ago children were learning about God and how they should live through scripture. I believe this will broaden horizons quite a bit! And the Bible stories are shown with 3D style animation, so you always know where the story from the Bible begins and ends:
Friends and Heroes Homeschool Unit Study:
Now we come to the unit study. This is such a wonderful resource! I was sent the first unit study in the series which contains activities and printables for the student based on episode 1. I received a disc that contains PDF files corresponding with what is seen/learned on the show covering the following subjects:
History/Geography: The Romans; Roman trade; Roman money; Roman import and exports.
Creative Writing: Journaling; Written expression and narration; Copywriting.
Bible Study: Daniel in the Lion’s Den; The miraculous catch of fish; The early church.
Science: Silver; Sand and cement; Greek and Roman discoveries.
Crafts: Sculpture; Paper weaving; Pottery.
Discipleship: Trusting others; Pride; Worries.
Our thoughts on the unit study material: The activities suggested are very doable (such as investigating sand in a hands-on way and learning more in depth about where it might have come from and what its properties are) and I definitely appreciate that it is “print-and-go”. For instance, there are lined pages for the student to write mini-reports on, and comprehension questions with space to write answers. The student materials, recommended for ages 7 to 11, are colorful with graphics and characters from the show, making it visually appealing.
There is also a teacher’s guide with answers to questions and instructions for the hands-on activities, as well as covers/spines for your binder/notebook so that everything can be printed and kept together, and easily can be made to look professional.
You can purchase the Homeschool Unit Study 1 for $29.99, and it also includes the episode being studied. Alternatively, if you already have the DVD, you download just the PDF files or order the CD-ROM.
Final Thoughts… on everything: I was really very impressed with both the depth of the homeschool unit study (loved the hands-on ideas!) and the quality of the Friends and Heroes episodes. We enjoyed the DVD so much that I want to collect them all for sure – even Isaac (3) had to stop what he was doing to watch the adventure play out! It definitely appeals And when Emma is older I want to get the next homeschool unit study. At 5 1/2 she’s still a little young for some of that, but I think she will really enjoy the activities when she matures a bit. All in all this has been a terrific experience, and I wholeheartedly recommend Friends and Heroes!
Get 20% off all homeschool materials at Friends & Heroes for the month of January only!
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