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Wow, What a Decade!

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Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying, “A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable.”  To understand where we are today, I believe we must know something of our yesterdays.  I think Family History, US History, and World History are vital to our survival and growth as individuals and as a nation.  We read and write about history, build time-lines; and visit battle fields, cemeteries, national monuments and re-enactments.  All of this enhances the learning of our history, and so does Marshall Publishing.

Marshall Publishing and Promotions, Inc. is a multifaceted media publishing organization whose management team has 30 years of experience, successfully producing and representing television and home video programs written for all ages.



You may already be familiar with their trademarked, AS SEEN ON TV “Lots and Lots of” brand DVD’s and books.  In 2011, I reviewed their  George Washington Carver DVD and was pleased with their reliability; so I was quite interested in adding the content of the  America in the 1880’s – A Decade of Progress DVD to our on-going study of US History this year.


Look at the cover of the DVD, how many people do you recognize?  Many are well-known today and several are actually famous over 100 years later.  This film is compiled of photographs, historical footage, and re-enactments; for 4th grade through adult.  We watched it as a family.  We easily recognized Buffalo Bill Cody on the front, but wasn’t sure if that was Geronimo beside him or not.  Susan B. Anthony and the Brooklyn Bridge was easy, too.  My older son recognized the outlaws because he previously studied their lives independently, and I tagged Sarah Bernhardt and Mark Twain.

After we watched the video we were surprised that there wasn’t a train on the front cover.  The 1880’s saw the height of railroad travel.  You could get from coast to coast in 7 days!  There are fascinating snippets packed into this DVD, and this caused two things to occur for us.  First, because the details are few we found ourselves wanting to research our own special interests; secondly, we seem to recall the people, places and events more readily than when we’re bogged down with extra information.  The 1880’s was a marvelous, often overlooked decade; with a vast array of remarkable people and major events.  The circus, theater troupes, and big music alongside life-changing inventions, gun-slinging outlaws, and outrageous clothing designs!  Four states joined the union and while that might have been significant in itself, the fact that the population increased to 63 million by 1890, largely because of the warm welcome given to European immigrants, from its humble 13 million souls in 1880, is astounding!

Using the Study Guide that’s included, our discussion led us to note that although there’s been major changes in technology in the same number of years, and advances in other areas during other time periods, the accomplishments of so many in different areas, all in the same time frame is unrivaled.  America in the 1880’s covers History, Geography and Culture through a decade of wonder.

From the website:  “What was life like in America in the 1880s?  Just like a time machine, this DVD will transport you back to discover the people and events that shaped this exciting decade: the Brooklyn Bridge …Washington Monument …Statue of Liberty …Gunfight at the O.K. Corral …Oklahoma Land Rush …Johnstown Flood …Thomas Edison …Mark Twain …Baby Doe …Sitting Bull …Sarah Bernhardt …John Philip Sousa …Buffalo Bill …Gilbert and Sullivan …Wyatt Earp…Jesse James and Billy the Kid ….Alexander Graham Bell ….John D. Rockefeller ….Andrew Carnegie ….Samuel Gompers ….Susan B. Anthony ….Lillian Russell ….and many others!  You will learn about fashion, politics, sports heroes, famous inventors, Wall Street financiers, railroad expansion, buffalo extinction, Indian resettlement, Civil Rights, union organization, urbanization, the music of the times, and much more!”

 There is also an archival documentary short film about the life of Alexander Graham Bell, his work with the deaf and the invention of the telephone, as a bonus feature of this DVD.  Approx. 60 total min.  This DVD, and the correlated Study Guide, is on sale now for $19.95, plus FREE shipping when you use coupon code TOS27 at checkout.


For more information, questions or comments – Contact:

Marshall Publishing & Promotions, Inc.
123 S. Hough St.
Barrington, IL 60010
(P) 224-238-3530
(F) 224-238-3531
CUSTOMER SERVICE: 888-300-3455 9AM – 7PM Central Time


 Marshall Publishing – the place to find “Lots & Lots of…” fun, entertainment, education, and amusement for the whole family!  Besides, America in the 1880’s – A Decade of Progress, my Crew mates reviewed the 2 DVD Set – Lots & Lots of Playful Penguins and their Toe-Tappin’ Happy Feet, and Lots & Lots of Penguins in the Wild!, The Historic Expedition of Lewis & Clark – We Proceed On!; and The History of The Oregon Trail & The Pony Express.  You can read each of their reviews when you click the banner below and follow the link to the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.





Disclaimer*   I received the DVD, America in the 1880’s – A Decade of Progress,  in exchange for my honest review; as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.



Thank you for your comments.



Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.





It’s a Wrap!

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At our house, a school day might begin something like this…

A Younger Child:  “Hey, Momma, did you know that all of the Anderson’s have the flu?”

ME:  “I didn’t.  When you talk to Katie, find out if they need anything.”

Younger Child:  “Okay.”

An Older Sibling:  “Did you know that our great-great-grandmother died from the flu?  Nana was born in 1912, so she was only six when her mom and her little brother died in 1918.”

ME:  “The worst plague in America was the Influenza Epidemic of 1918.  More people died from the flu in that year than died in all of World War I.”

Younger Child:  “She was younger than me.”

ME:  “She was.  Then, her dad died when she was just 12.  She was your sister’s ages living through The Great Depression.”

Older Child:  “1929-1939 or 41, or something?”

Younger Child:  “What’s The Depression?”

ME:  “I’ll tell you what, after breakfast, I’ll show you some pictures of kids during The Great Depression.  I’ve got a book, someplace.  I’ll find it.  It’s called Children of the Great Depression.  Just the photographs will give you a good idea of what The Great Depression was, but we’ll talk about it, too.”

At this point, my brain is charging ahead with plans for today and tomorrow, and beyond.

THINKING:  “I’ll make breakfast a little hardier than I initially planned, so I can just give them bread & water for lunch.  Seriously, hunger was real during The Depression.  Maybe we’ll follow a bare-bones-potato-soup recipe for dinner and eat by the light of an oil lamp.”

I know my older ones read The Great Depression, America 1929-1941, by Robert S. McElvaine, but the mids haven’t, yet.

THINKING:  “I’ll pull that out and we can read excerpts from it, to everyone, but they can work on reading the whole thing, themselves, over the next week.  They’ll definitely need to start a vocabulary/spelling list.  I have some Penmanship/Copywork pages I can add for the younger ones and an essay assignment for the oldest.”

DANCING INSIDE MY HEAD:  I can download an instant e-Book from Zeezok Publishing!  One of their Z-Guides to the Movies for the Depression era.  I’m pretty sure they have one for Kit Kittredge, and since we already own the movie we could actually work on it this week.  They love that movie, but with the Z-Guide they’ll see it in a whole new light.”




Books, movies, the internet.  The library, Netflix, museums.  I use them all.  Anything and everything that I can get my hands on and afford, that will stimulate my children’s desire to learn and successfully educate them.

Zeezok Publishing has been providing materials for the homeschooling community since 1993.  They’ve published government and history texts, and sixteen classic biographies on the great composers.  In 2010 they introduced us to Z-Guides to the Movies.



Each Z-Guide is developed for a specific movie.  We’ve found many of the movies at our local library; most are available for rent on Netflix, Zeezok sells a few and some you may already own.  There are more than 30 Z-Guides available, now, and another 25 are due to be released in the spring.


$12.99 gives you access to an instant e-Book download, of your choice, or you can have a CD shipped.  Many topics and time-periods are covered –

 Ancient Civilizations

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Greece

Ancient Rome

Medieval Europe

16th, 17th, 18th & 19th Century Europe

American and French Revolution

Westward Expansion

War Between the States

The Roaring Twenties and The Great Depression

World Wars 1 & 2 and Post-WW2

and the Vietnam War

You’ll get a topic, time-period overview; a movie synopsis, giving you an understanding of the relationship between characters, events and situations.  A list of review questions to be discussed and answered as the movie is being watched, and additional activities prompting research and writing.  My favorite section of every Z-Guide is the Filmaker’s Art and Dramatic License Activity.  I do not have the ready knowledge that I find in this section.  Even as my children are learning, so am I.

“The Filmmaker’s Art activity helps the student recognize the tools being used to influence the viewer.”  Without the Z-Guide, I don’t always discern these as clearly.  “The various guides discuss how filming techniques, music, lighting, humor, character development, irony, foreshadowing, and even character names are used by the director and producer to influence the viewer to get their agenda across.”  Z-Guides to the Movies has changed the way we see a movie and that’s their goal.  They “want the student to be able to discern not only the agenda of the movie, but also how they are being influenced by it. The goal is that when the student goes to the theatre and watches a movie, he walks out not thinking it was an entertaining movie, but understanding the bigger message behind each film.”

My children are enhancing their critical thinking skills.  Besides movies, they now look at reading material differently, and also examine the influence and impact they may have on others with what they personally write or visually and musically produce.

I think  Z-Guides are impressively thorough.  In 2011, I used one with The Hiding PlaceClick the link to read my review.

Recently, we did, indeed, use the Z-Guide for Kit Kittredge.  Written for elementary and middle school, it was easily adaptable to include our K5 through high school and adult.

Topics and Activities covered ~

The Great Depression



Family Unity

and Hobo Life

It was a perfect wrap to an interesting study!

The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew has had the opportunity to review several different Z-GuidesClick on the banner below to read what my crew mates thought of each one.

Comments or Questions?

Contact Zeezok Publishing

email –

write –

P.O. Box 1960

Elyria, OH  44036

call –






The next time you study, tie everything together with a Z-Guide and a family movie night!




This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.


I am not affiliated with Netflix and I receive no compensation for references.


*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.



I appreciate your encouragement.  Thanks for your comments.  PK



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A Reliable Resource

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I don’t think there’s anything I’ve found that I won’t use to reinforce a lesson, subject or concept, if the content is acceptable and the source is reliable.  Some things are much easier to use than others and don’t require nearly the manipulation or contortions on my part.  Oh, the stories I could tell you…but, I’ll leave that for another time.

Marshall Publishing & Promotions, Inc. has Lots and Lots of DVD’s, Books and CD’s AS SEEN ON TV and not readily found in stores.  They have won numerous awards! They say that it is their goal to amaze, amuse, entertain and educate and we think they reach that goal.  They meet the criteria of acceptable and reliable, with the bonus of thorough and convenient, with little effort on my part.



Marshall Publishing is the exclusive distributor of Kaw Valley Films DVD programs, and Kaw Valley Films is the producer of a DVD, George Washington Carver – His Life and His Work, that is an excellent resource for a recent study in our history.

Suggested for ages 4th grade – Adult, we watched it as a family, including Kindergarten through High School.  It is a detailed, well written, 29-minute documentary of an extraordinary life.  We’ve previously studied Mr. Carver, yet we still discovered more about him!  Did you know that he personally never used the name “Washington?”  At the time, there was another George Carver in the school he was attending; so, to distinguish between the two of them, he added the middle initial W to his name.  George W. Carver.  Some time later, he was asked if the W. stood for Washington and his reply was along the lines of, “why not,” but he never included the name when he signed it or introduced himself.

“Born into slavery and reared during the Reconstruction years in the South, George Washington Carver struggled through poor health, poverty and prejudice…to become a great benefactor, not only to his people…but to his country as well. Carver is known in history books as the “peanut man” – for his research into and promotion of alternative crops to cotton. As one of the world’s foremost experts in agriculture and horticulture, Carver, through his research and teaching at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama practically reinvented land management in the South. He is said to have compiled a list of over 300 uses for and by-products of peanuts such as cosmetics, dyes and paints, plastics, gasoline and nitroglycerin.

But his work as a creative scientist stretches far beyond that endeavor. He marveled at the world around him and his ability to inspire those closely associated with him may well have been one of his greatest lifetime achievements. As a living example of the importance of hard work, a positive attitude and a good education, Carver was instrumental in changing the stereotype of the time that the black race was intellectually inferior to the white race.

Here then, is the story of Carver’s life…a life that should not be forgotten, for it is full of hope, meaning and inspiration.”

As quoted from the website at:

Study Guide available – click graphic for access

Among their Lots and Lots of DVD’s are several other Educational Historical Documentary DVD’s:

Lincoln at Gettysburg:  The Battle and The Address

The Complete History of America’s Railroads

The Historic Expedition of Lewis and Clark

and more.

Regular price is $24.95.  Web sale price is currently $19.95.  For a limited time, I have a 15% discount for my readers, making your cost just $16.96.  When purchasing item #KVFD-106 use code TOSC1 for savings.

To contact Marshall Publishing & Promotions, Inc. write to:

123 S. Hough St.

Barrington, IL  60010


telephone:  224.238.3530


customer service:  888.300.3455



Although we were impressed with the amount of content found in the George Washington Carver – His Life and His Work DVD, the format of the production seemed rather dated.  We did not think the photography was quite as stunning as suggested, because the whole film was shot in rather muted tones.  We appreciate the humble and brilliant life of the man and noting his love of horticulture and agriculture, we found it odd that there were so few “green” plants, and little floral beauty interspersed throughout this movie.  Mr. Carver loved his flowers and was known to wear a fresh one in his lapel every day!  Overall, though, this documentary was a nice addition to our studies.

My crew mates had the opportunity to review other products from Marshall Publishing.  I know that several of them enjoyed the educational fun of Lots and Lots of Fire Trucks and Firefighters Book and Safety Songs DVD SetClick the graphic below to find their reviews.



This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

I appreciate your comments.  Thank you.

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

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The Hiding Place

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I was a teenager when I read, The Hiding Place, a 1971 book based on the life of Corrie Ten Boom, and written by her, together with John and Elizabeth Sherrill.  In 1975, The Hiding Place, one of the best movies of that year, had it’s premiere showing.  “In wartime Holland, the Ten Boom family quietly sheltered Jews in their small house – until Nazis discovered the “hiding place.”  This is the remarkable true story of Corrie and her sister Betsie’s endurance of the death camp, and their sure hope that God alone is the true hiding place.”


Psalm 119:114 “Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in Thy Word…”


This movie impacted my life. It has given me perspective on my own circumstances, time and again.  God has used The Hiding Place, and Corrie’s testimony to strengthen my faith.  My God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He is faithful to see us through…


My children knew about this story, but because of the difficult subject matter, we hadn’t watched the movie, yet.  Zeezok Publishing has a z-guide to the Movies for The Hiding Place and more than 25 other movies.

Given a list of movies, with available z-guides and the option of choosing one for review – which of these do you think I chose?






























Which one will you choose, first?  Zeezok Publishing also sells the movies for your convenience, if you don’t already own the one you want; most are available online or at a local retailer, and many can be found through Netflix.



The Hiding Place- z-guide eBook is available for instant download or on CD, as a printable PDF file of the complete study guide.  Each z-guide to the Movies is $12.99.




Z-guides contain a topic overview, a movie synopsis and 10 learning activities. A suggested 2 activities a day.  Helping your student remember what the story is about and reinforcing the heart or message of the movie, throughout the week.  There is freedom to “pick and choose” the activities that fit your family and to alter the schedule to suit individual interests.


Our printed z-guide and a Netflix DVD


The activities for The Hiding Place were in-depth. 

  • Activity 1 –Movie Review Questions – 25 questions to be answered while watching the movie.
  • Activity 2 – More About German Concentration Camps – Using print and internet resources, answer the questions listed.
  • Activity 3 – Design Your Own Hiding Place – Answer questions about the Ten Boom’s hiding place, then design and draw to scale your own hiding place.
  • Activity 4 – Could You/Would You Hide Jews? – Discussion and essay writing.
  • Activity 5 – Working for the Resistance – Discussion and role playing.
  • Activity 6 – Crossword Puzzle – Answers to questions fill in the puzzle.
  • Activity 7 – World War II Map – Using print and internet to label a map of Europe.
  • Activity 8 – Surviving a Concentration Camp – Answer the questions listed.
  • Activity 9 – Concentration Camp Photos (2) – Observation, questions, discussion or writing.
  • Activity 10 – The Filmmaker’s Art – About the movie:  Theme, Music, etc.  Discussion and questions.

A “For Family Discussion” section made way for heart-talks.

?Would your family have disobeyed the German occupation government and helped the Jews?  Why or why not?

There is a list of additional resources and an answer key in the back of the book.  It is easy to see that a lot of time and effort has gone into creating a complete guide.

By making The Hiding Place a study, my children gained much more than I alone would have given them.  These are not ordinary movie guides. Zeezok believes that “it is better to build children than to repair men.”  It is their desire to help families build a foundation of love for God and country.  We say, ” Zeezok has Z best  z-guides for Z movies.”


You’ll also find literature and educational books under the Zeezok Publishing banner:








telephone – 800.749.1681



Zeezok Publishing Blog


Different Crew Members + Different Objectives + Different z-guides = Different Opinions and Reviews

To read what was written about your favorite, click on the TOS banner.



This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

I am not affiliated with Netflix or and I receive no compensation for references.


Categories : Movie, reviews
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Heather, @ The Blessings Pour Out is having her first giveaway – MOST (movie).    Christianity Today called the movie “life changing.”

Stop by for a visit and tell her PK @ Knee Deep In Grace sent you.


Say hello, while you’re here.  I value the gift of your comments.  Thanks.  PK

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