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 Jenny Higgins and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Your Backyard: Birds of the Eastern and Central United States DVD Review by Cindy West

David Crowe
Crowe's Nest Media

I love this DVD! Okay, forget that I'm a nature nut--I'd love it anyway! Crowe's Nest Media has put together a great resource for learning about 18 common wild birds of the Eastern and Central United States. By the end of the 58-minute DVD, you'll be well on your way to identifying all 18 varieties by both sight and sound. Watch the DVD a few times and you'll be a pro!

Three real-life siblings and one animated owl are your hosts for this creation-based, God-honoring informational DVD. The siblings teach you facts about birds in general and introduce you to each of the 18 birds highlighted. The animated owl, Professor Solomon, steps in to teach more specifically about each bird, including its markings, songs, and habits.

Several up-close images are shown of each highlighted bird, including mates when they differ from their counterparts. Even though you can often find these particular birds noted in field guides, the DVD offers real-life videos and photos that make a bigger impact than most field guides. More unique and helpful are the clear and distinct birds' calls that are included. Professor Solomon makes a point to discuss each bird's call, giving you hints about what to listen for and what the sound mimics. Hearing the calls alongside the videos of the birds makes connections that are more lasting than other methods of learning birdcalls.

Information about the birds is presented in color categories. In other words, all the blue birds are introduced on the same track of the DVD so that you can learn about them together, noting variations. This has been a huge help for us in identification! Between each bird color category, the DVD offers some bonus teaching about John James Audubon, making backyard bird feeders, and range mapping as well as a beautiful bird video set to the music of "Amazing Grace."

Even though the video is probably most appropriate for children 12 and under, my teenager and I have both learned a lot about bird identification. For those of you who enjoy nature study and/or backyard birding, the retail price of $19.95 is very fair. Happy birding!

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2010