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 –
16th, 17th, 18th & 19th Century Europe
American and French Revolution
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 Place. Click 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
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-Guides. Click on the banner below to read what my crew mates thought of each one.
Comments or Questions?
Contact Zeezok Publishing
P.O. Box 1960
Elyria, OH 44036
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