Sunday, September 16, 2012

Review: Marshall Publishing

My son is currently on a "Little House" track.  We're ready Farmer Boy at bedtime and he's reading Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie for a Prairie Primer co-op class.  So the timing was perfect for us to review Marshall Publishing's  America in the 1880's. 

A 60 minute video on one decade?   I was skeptical too.  When I went to school this era was the historical equivalent to "fly over county" from the American Civil War to World War I.  But you'd be amazed how much occurred in these ten years.

  • The Brooklyn Bridge , Washington Monument, and Statue of Liberty are completed
  • Billy the Kid and Jesse James are killed
  • The gunfight at the OK Corral
  • Sitting Bull surrenders
  • Mark Twain writes Huckleberry Finn
  • The continental US is divided into four time zones
  • The Oklahoma land rush
  • The Johnstown Flood
That's just a sampling, there is plenty more to cover.  The material is presented in a Ken Burns fashion with a narrator sharing information while you look at maps, old photographs, and some video clips (steam trains passing by, clips from a modern production of Gilbert & Sullivan, etc.).   This video could best be described as an overview--just enough to whet the whistle and perhaps introduce your student to a few subjects that they'd like to study further. 

The video itself is shot in standard aspect (widescreen TV's will have black rectangles on either side).  The are no captions, and it is definitely no high definition--a lot of the video has that grainy quality like a watching old TV shows.  The DVD is normally $24.95, but is listed right now at a sale price of $19.95.   (You can even use promotion code TOS27 for free shipping).   While my son got a better idea of what was going on around the country while Laura was living in her Little Houses,  I don't see us watching this video over and over again.   Our homeschooling budget is tight enough that I might first see if I could obtain the video through the library first.

Others on the Homeschool Review got different DVD's to review so you'll want to click on the link below and check out their opinions.


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