Friday, April 1, 2011

The Count of Monte Cristo Z-guide to the movies

As a member of the TOS Homeschool crew, this year I am reviewing many homeschooling products that I have received for free. I am not paid to say nice things about the products, but I am obligated to use the product and share my honest opinions with you. In today's review, our whole family, minus the Little Guy used this product together.

I have to be up front with you. Before I was offered to try one of their movie guides, I already had a little crush on Zeezok Publishing. When Paperboy and Random were younger, we enjoyed their great musician study guides. So I entered into this review with high expectations when I knew who published the movie guides.

I was privileged to try out the Count of Monte Cristo study guide. This was in the form of a down loadable guide. It is available on a cd for 12.95 from Zeezok Publishing.

Our Experience with this Study Guide

Zeezok let us choose from many different titles. This alone was a blessing because I am going to let you in on a little home school secret. When you let your children choose some of their curriculum, they will be more inclined to love it. They will take credit for such a great choice and jump into it with a willing attitude. Paperboy was shown the list of movies and chose The Count of Monte Cristo. He loved that book and had spent time telling me all about it a few months ago. It was a real treat for me because the whole story line was news to me.

I'm not going to review the movie, just the guide. Look forward to my review of the movie in the near future.

I handed the boys the study questions to read before our movie night. We watched the movie as a family after Little Guy was tucked into bed. The next day, the boys worked on the first two activities on their own. The next afternoon was spent discussing the questions. We had planned on doing a few activities a day. We enjoyed the discussion so much, we decided to continue through the rest of the activities together that afternoon. Random piped up and said "I love these guides."  This is what I loved about it. My teenage boys and I were talking about important life principles together. In light of scripture and their worldview, they seem to have a grasp on some things that I didn't figure out until my 20's. It was a chance to see where my sons stood on issues of greed, revenge, and justice. We discussed pride, adultery and fornication, without the giggles, the gossip and the judgment. We weren't talking about people we knew, but characters in the movie. It was interesting to see how my sons who have such different personalities responded to the dilemmas.

In addition to the excellent moral discussions, we enjoyed some history of Napoleon and 19th century France. Comprehension, history, a word search, a lesson on irony, and a treasure chest activity were also included. This guide would make a fantastic group activity for teens. I will be looking for more of these at our home school convention this month.

I give this product high marks. The only downfall is that the price of guides can add up, we completed this much quicker than I expected. I could see our family needing new ones weekly. This product could be compiled with other guides to make a fantastic book. The value in the discussions with your teens and this style of teaching is priceless. This brought me back to my early years of homeschooling, when I used a literature based curriculum that had so many great discussions and natural learning took place.

Don't take my word for it. See what other crew members have to say about Z-guides to other movies here.

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Dawn @ 5 Kids and a Dog said...

Thanks for dropping by for the party today Terri. WOW Those Zeezok guides sound really neat! Makes me wish my guys were older, so we could try a few. :) Ah well, soon enough!

kewkew said...

Love that you mentioned about having children help choose what they like. My children are young still, way too young for this, though I enjoyed reading about the guides for future reference.