The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Tess Hamre and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Paradise Parables Collection 1 DVD Review by Dr. Anne Margaret Wright

Casscom Media
6000 Industrial Drive
Greenville, TX 75402

The value of storytelling has long been known and practiced in nearly ever culture of the world. Jesus frequently used parables to help his followers understand deep and profound principles. Paradise Parables Collection 1 DVD ($9.99), by Smile Isles, was produced to make the power of Biblical parables real for modern-day kids. In only 17 minutes, this short DVD presents nine entertaining and powerful cartoon stories. Each brief tale is centered on a Biblical theme and ends with an applicable verse. The production quality is very good, making this movie fun to watch. Themes include such difficult and important topics as wanting to be first, dealing with sin, understanding the gospel, and evangelism.

Off the record, I was a bit leery while watching Paradise Parables the first time with my kids. The stories were entertaining and beautifully illustrated. For an adult or older child, I thought the parables made their points very well and very creatively. However, the cartoon format seemed designed for younger children, and I thought several of the stories were a bit too abstract for younger children to understand the deeper meaning. Perhaps I didn't give enough credit to our younger audience, though, because the day after watching Paradise Parables for the first time, my five-year-old son made a really profound connection to something happening in our day and a lesson from the stories! So, I'm hard-pressed to give solid advice about what age might enjoy and understand the parables. I would recommend this DVD as a conversation starter with your kids, rather than one to pop in the TV and walk away! "The Patchwork King," "Father and Son," and "Good Day" were particularly touching and thought provoking.

Another great product from Casscom Media is The Story of Jesus for Kids! CD set ($14.99). Using the easy-to-understand Contemporary English Version of the Bible, this 4-CD set dramatizes, word-for-word, the Gospels of Luke and John, using a great cast of narrators. Interspersed throughout the Gospel stories are 50 songs, which not only teach kids some classic Christian children's tunes but also help keep the kids interested in the story. My kids enjoyed listening to these CDs in the car or around the house, and they loved the music. As Psalm 119:11 (NIV) exhorts us, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." What better way to hide God's word in our children's hearts than to give them an entertaining way to explore the powerful message of the Gospels!

Product review by Dr. Anne Margaret Wright, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2010