Our family enjoys having "family movie night." Our greatest struggle however isn't finding a seat in the living room. Our greatest struggle is finding quality movies that we can all watch and not feel like some children shouldn't be in the room or where the older children get easily bored by all the singing vegetables.
My challenge has been met by a new movie called Mysterious Ways It's How God Works. Mysterious Ways is available in DVD format, so we all crowded into the office to watch it on one of our computers. Every person in the house enjoyed the movie immensely. They even rewound some scenes so they could laugh again at the same scene. That's a true test in our house of the quality of a movie!
Some of the comments made by the children were, "Wow! This movie is great! Can we watch it again?" "It's neat to watch a movie about a homeschooling family!" and even, "You're not going to make us eat frog legs are you mom?" "I really enjoyed that!" My son John commented, "I loved the comedy parts of the movie. It was quite clever."
I loved that the project answered a lot of the questions people have about homeschooling, not by simply stating the questions, but by using the questions in an interactive way as the "Mom" explains to the "Dad" that she has been researching the possibility of homeschooling their son who has been having trouble in school because of his religious convictions. When a social worker comes knocking on the door, the drama intensifies as the family makes a decision which affects their lives permanently.
The back cover of the DVD states that there is no suggestive themes and this is absolutely correct. The director even chose to not show girls in suggestive clothing, even though that was an area that concerned the movie family. Because they were working with a visual medium, they would actually have to show a girl in suggestive clothing, and they felt it was wrong to do that.
I greatly appreciate the heart of a homeschool dad who willingly lays everything on the line to create a project like this.
If I were a "thumbs up" kind of movie reviewer, Mysterious Ways would definitely get twenty thumbs up at our house!
Another great aspect of the movie is the additional homeschool opportunities. On the DVD there is a director's comment movie. This is the movie in it's entirety with comments by the director. These comments range from lighting comments, to frustrations that occurred in the process of making the movie. You could easily give your child credit for watching this portion of the DVD. In addition on their website, http://www.mysteriouswaysthemovie.com they will be adding addition questions for homeschooled children to answer.
My first question prior to watching the movie was if it would have multi-play appeal. Basically, if I'm going to spend twenty dollars for a movie I want my children to watch it enough times to make me feel like it was worth the money. After watching the movie, I knew that it would quickly become a family favorite. The extra homeschool materials are a real bonus!
The movie is written, produced, and directed by Manny Edwards. He also stars as the dad in the movie. Not only that, but he's a homeschool dad of three boys.
-- Special review written for The Old Schoolhouse, by Terri Camp, Ignite the Fire
Another review of Mysterious Ways: It's How God Works:
My whole family, including my 7 home schooled children, truly enjoyed "Mysterious Ways." The failure of public schools and the hope of home schooling is artfully and effectively portrayed in this film. The director captures the fear and sacrifice faced by many during the years of battling for the legal right to home school. The scary but humorous depiction of the social worker pursuing the home school family keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat. As a lawyer fighting for the right to home school since 1985, I can heartily endorse this movie to families desiring to instill in their children a love for freedom and strong family bonds.