Growing Up Wild is probably best described as a foreign missions curriculum, but it really is far more than that. Yes, it is the story of a homeschooling/missionary family who are raising their four boys in Papua, Indonesia. And yes, the Growing Up Wild episodes are enormously insightful as to what the day-to-day life of a missionary family is like. But they are also educational, covering a wide swath of subjects, and just plain entertaining. I could not have been more pleased with Growing Up Wild, and I am hopeful the Wild family will continue to create more episodes.
I received Volume 1 & Volume 4 from their set of 5 DVD's. Volume 1 contains the episodes Home Sweet Hut, Supply Trip, and Sun & Water. Volume 4 has the episodes Amazing World Around Us, Adventures in Culture, and Tribal Calling. Each episode is about 15 minutes long, so each DVD has about 45 minutes worth of video time. But each one also has a CD with an Activity Guide that has fun things you can do with your children to reinforce each episode's subject matter. Every episode focuses on some aspect of living in the jungle and remote tribal missions. And as I mentioned before, they really are very entertaining.
I really don't want to tell you what happens in each episode, because I'd rather you find out for yourself...so this isn't a spoiler blog post at all. Instead I'm going to share how we have been using Growing Up Wild in our homeschool, and describe the benefits of this curriculum to our family.
We usually watched each episode together as a family, but there were a couple of times one of my girls needed to watch one on their own due to conflicting schedules (yes, I have teenagers and yes, even homeschooled teens have busy lives!). Then we just ran with what we saw in the episode! For example, in Amazing World Around Us (Volume 4) the boys were seen handling large snakes, spiders and stick bugs. We took that as an opportunity to learn more about the interesting creatures in the episode. So I guess you could say we studied geography, zoology, biology, and improved research skills as a result of Growing Up Wild. When we viewed Supply Trip (Volume 1) I thought we could learn a little more about helicopters. After all, they truly are amazing machines that differ from other forms of aircraft. My husband knew what type of helicopter was flown in this episode, and he helped us understand differences from one helicopter to another.
Each episode ends by mentioning the additional activities you can do (these are explained in further detail on the accompanying CD). You can choose which ones you would like to do, and they are in pdf format so printing off pages is a breeze. This "bring it home" aspect of Growing Up Wild is one of the things I like best...but honestly, I like everything about Growing Up Wild! But the activities are a really nice addition to each episode and they're well thought out. We couldn't do all of them, but like every homeschool family, we just used the "pick and choose" method.
The narrator changes from one episode to another: one time it may be mom Wild, another time dad Wild, and sometimes the boys narrate too. It kind of makes you feel as if you are getting to know this family as friends, including their pets, and you end up endeared toward them. I am hopeful that they will be abundantly prayed for as a result of this curriculum, and that many people will take an interest in missions work.
Now, I do have four daughters, and the Wild family have four sons...so you can imagine we had some squeamish moments as the boys did all kinds of boy-type things that my girls would probably never dream of doing! But in all seriousness, I truly appreciate the way that these young men are growing up in a way that allows them to be "all boy". That isn't always welcomed in our society today, and in the average American suburb, we kind of squash the "boy" out of our sons at times. These boys are living the kind of life every little boys dreams of! My hat goes off to the Wild family! They truly are a wonderful group of people, and the way they love the Lord and serve the indigenous people of Papua is a beautiful thing to witness.
In closing, let me say that Growing Up Wild is a unique curriculum in that it's aim is to "make" future missionaries and to grow families in their knowledge of missions work. It really is terrific stuff, and I hope you will consider making Growing Up Wild a part of your family's homeschool.
You can visit their website at www.TheWildBrothers.com.
To purchase any of their products, click HERE.
Each of the DVD's sells for $18.99. They are also available as a set for $80.99 (plus S&H) ~ that's a savings of 15%.
To read what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew have written on their blogs, click HERE.
Disclaimer ~ I received this product free of charge for review purposes. All opinions shared here are solely my own.
Lord bless you today!
Day 241 done :)
Jan L. Burt