Posts Tagged ‘Videos’

Pottery Wheel Video Controversial?

Monday, October 29th, 2012

With my Kid’s Pottery Wheel video getting over 16,000 views, you would think that people liked it. After all, I stated lots of helpful tips on how to successfully make pottery on a toy pottery wheel. But I’ve had lots of people hit “dislike”on the video because they hate toy pottery wheels in general. Hello, people. You are rating the video, not rating the topic in general. Who would have thought that I would get so many vicious remarks, some of which I had to delete? Who on earth would “dislike” some sweet children making pottery? And why cuss at me about it?

I’ve gotten pretty much an equal amount of likes and dislikes on my video, indicating that it’s a controversial issue. I agree with the people that say that toy pottery wheels are lousy. A lady e-mailed me a few days ago about what brand I recommended. I told her, “Since I recorded the pottery wheel video 2 years ago, I don’t own the pottery wheel any more, and I don’t know the brand. Sorry about that. In my opinion, all toy pottery wheels are the same.”

She e-mailed me back again, insisting that I tell her the brand. She said that all the reviews on toy pottery wheels were bad. I almost just copied and pasted my previous e-mail, since I had already told her that I didn’t know the brand. Instead, I just took a deep breath and wrote: “I agree that all toy pottery wheels are lousy. If the person using it is angry or impatient, they will not have success. You need to be gentle with it, and using the tips in the video, you can have success, even when you use a lousy toy pottery wheel. Like I said, in my opinion they are all the same. Most people can’t afford an extremely expensive real pottery wheel, so I show people how to use a lousy toy pottery wheel effectively.”

I’ve gotten a similar reaction to my YouTube video “A Typical Homeschool Day,” with people hitting “dislike” because they dislike homeschooling. At least the “likes” far outweigh the “dislikes”–32 “likes” and 4 “dislikes” out of almost 10,000 hits. I’ve gotten 51 comments, including an atheist who was angry with me that I teach my children the Bible. I answered him, and then he was just picking a fight and I was tired, so I asked my husband to deal with him.

At least in “Bible Costume in Five Minutes” (over 15,000 hits), only two people hated my Bible costume demonstration, while 41 people said they “liked” it. And nobody has said anything vicious about my Bible costume. Nobody is cussing at me over it. So that’s good.

The Reformation

Thursday, June 28th, 2012


Part of teaching Renaissance history is learning about the Reformation. My husband and I listened to some Reformation sermons years ago before the kids were born, and we bought a set of six tapes. Yes, the church sold cassettes 15 years ago, even though no one uses them today. When we arrived at this point in history in our homeschooling, I whipped out the cassettes for my children to listen to. Only one of them got swallowed up in the cassette player and had to be thrown in the trash. It must have been the hundreds of sermons my children listened to back when we were at a family-integrated church, but my kids actually learned by listening to the Reformation sermons. They commented and wanted to discuss different issues, and they enjoyed the Gregorian chants.

For some reason, I didn’t feel like we had adequately covered the Reformation, so I was still looking for more materials about this event in history. While at a used curriculum sale, I found a boxed video curriculum of six half-hour programs on different major characters from the Reformation. This “Reformation Overview” came with a booklet with teacher’s notes and discussion questions. I forced myself to read all the teacher stuff so that I could accurately discuss the videos with my kids, but I did not use the discussion questions. We enjoyed the video, and I often paused the video to explain something like “indulgences.”

Before I put the first video in, my 8-year-old son asked, “Is this going to be boring?” I said, “I have no idea if it’s boring or not, but I want you to pay attention to it anyway.” Thankfully, the videos were actually interesting and moved at a good pace. They did not drag on or feel musty or like you had to force yourself to watch it. No, they were good. I never learned so much about the Reformation until I went through this program with my kids. The series includes John Wycliffe, John Huss, Martin Luther, John Calvin, the Anabaptists, and William Tyndale. It was actually enjoyable.

Since I only paid $5, I have no idea where normal people would buy it, so you can do your own search for “Reformation Overview.” I don’t care if you buy it or not, but I know someone will ask me who produces it. It’s Christian History Institute. Now that I think about it, this would be a good purchase for a larger homeschool group, who could get together for discussions. The discussion questions are really for high school students or adults, so it should be more free-form if you are teaching it to elementary kids. And you could have a Reformation Day at the end of a six-week study where everyone dresses up like Reformation people. Only make sure to tell the kids not to be nailing things into doors without permission…

Ancient Greece Videos for Kids

Monday, February 28th, 2011


Videos are often helpful to understand history, geography, or literature. All three subjects are covered in the following Ancient Greece videos for kids. I would watch these videos with your children, so that you can comment. For example, if a cartoon Greek hero is praying to a god or goddess, I point out that it’s sin, because we’re only supposed to pray to God. I also point out that these are just make believe gods. Children know the difference between truth and fiction if you teach them about it. With that said, I found the following videos at the library:

Greece, Athens” by World Odysseys Series gets a hesitant thumbs up from me. I always like to start with a video that shows you the country you are studying, so that you can get your bearings. The views of Athens were breathtaking, and they reminded me of my trip to Athens and the Greek islands. (Back when I was single and was a student in England, I traveled the world during my free time. I got really cheap rates for being a student.) My 10-year-old son was mentally engaged and made various comments about what was being said. It was a documentary, and for this reason, my 9-year-old active son was bored half out of his mind. He briefly perked up when an underground cave was being explored. His eyes were glued to the TV for that brief scene. My 7-year-old son kept slipping down on the couch, just for something to do. And, of course, the sculptures included nudity, but it wasn’t bad. It was mostly male nudity, as my 5-year-old girl pointed out when she yelled, “It’s a wee wee!” So, taken in its totality, the video gets a hesitant thumbs up from me. If the kids hadn’t been there, I would have enjoyed the video more. Let’s put it that way.

Greek Mythology for Students” is a cartoon series. I love it! I’ve only watched three so far out of the ten. A man walks up and narrates for about two minutes. Then an animated video shows the greatest stories of Greek mythology, making all these stories accessible and understandable even to my 5-year-old. Later on, my husband was lying on the bed, telling my daughter that he had a splitting headache. She shouted, “It’s just like Zeus, whose head cracked open, and Athena came out!” I’m not sure if my husband was impressed or not, but I sure was.

Secrets of the Island of Minos” The labyrinth of King Minos was shown not only in real life (the ruins that are on the island of Crete), but in a computer animated cartoon that shows what the palace would have looked like on top of the labyrinth. Apparently the palace was like a city, and under it was the labyrinth. I’ve actually been to Crete myself, and the beautiful red columns and fresco paintings on the walls are marvelous. During the first half of the video, my boys paid attention and my 5-year-old girl fidgeted slightly. A couple of drawings had slight nudity which wasn’t offensive. However, later in the half-hour video, there were female sculptures which were, I’m sorry to say, offensive because they were highly evocative. I give a strong thumbs up to the first half of the video, and a strong thumbs down to the second half. The reason I’m giving the video a thumbs up at all is because the first half was so fascinating, it was worth watching. Right in the middle of the video is a 5 minute section on Santorini which is extremely boring. This is ridiculous because I’ve been to Santorini, and it’s beautiful. Anyway, as soon as you get to the boring bit in the middle about Santorini, shut it off. Oh, they also mentioned the lost city of Atlantis, but it was such a brief statement that it left me wanting more. I was dissatisfied about the amount of information about Atlantis.

That’s it for now. I know there are many more Ancient Greece videos for kids about the Trojan War, but I will have to pre-watch those with my husband. Maybe I’ll wait until high school for those.