Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A TOS Crew Review: Curiosity Quest

We love documentaries at our house. We are kind of nerdy that way. Even better are the documentaries and videos that I can incorporate into our homeschool day. You see. I have this curious boy.

We just finished reviewing some great educational DVDs from (appropriately titled) Curiosity Quest. We received the DVD Combo Pack – Swimmers of the Sea (Sea Turtle Rescue, Penguins, Salmon) and the DVD Combo Pack – Produce (Mushrooms, Cranberries, Orange Packing).

What I Received 

So just a little about Curiosity Quest.

Curiosity Quest is a fun educational program that explores all kinds of topics based on viewer’s questions. Joel Green, the host, takes us (the viewer) on ultimate field trips all over the country. 

Curiosity Quest is all shown on PBS on stations throughout the country, as well. Each episode is 30 minutes long. I don't believe my local PBS station shows them so it was nice to be able to become introduced.

The DVD Combo Packs each come with 3 episodes on one disc and cost $24.95. They are intended for ages 7-14, but I have to say I enjoyed them as well. There is a Homeschool Annual Membership so you might check that out as well. 

How We Used Them

 I really enjoyed having these videos on hand. We watched them during breaks, for science, with friends, when Mama needed a nap….Josiah’s 12 so it’s not like he’s going to get into huge trouble if I decide to take a break, but still. He is 12 and I prefer him to spend his time in front of the television watching something that will educate.

Each video features live interviews with kiddos. Josiah wanted to know when they were coming to our city. I think he has some ideas of his own. Fair warning!

I thought I would give you a brief description of each video and give you Josiah’s thoughts. I told you he has some ideas. 


In DVD Combo Pack - Swimmers of the Sea, We explored sea turtles, penguins and salmon. ($24.95)

Turtle Rescue - We got to visit a Sea Turtle Hospital in Florida. First of all, Josiah wasn’t aware that there are hospitals just for turtles. He was impressed. He also got to watch this one with some friends. They were equally impressed with the turtle named Bubble Butt (true story). There were giggles for daayys over that one. Thank you, Joel.

Penguins – We took a fun trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Josiah said that this one was his favorite. Mainly because the penguins are so entertaining to watch. He would like one for a pet. No thank you. Though it might be an improvement on the Zebra he wanted when he was 7. Did you know that Penguins molt? It’s rather vicious. 

Salmon Hatchery – We went all the way to Alaska on this trip. Josiah learned that the salmon return to where they born to lay their eggs. He said it sounded like a lot of work! So is taking out the trash.  We have been to a fish hatchery, but the salmon are especially energetic. It was neat to see. 


In DVD Combo Pack – Produce, we got to explore mushrooms, cranberries and oranges. ($24.95)

Mushrooms – We headed to the Monterey Mushrooms facility and got to see how mushrooms are grown and shipped all over the world. Josiah spent most of the episode with a scrunched up face. Fascinating, but he’s not touching one. He’s such a “fungi!” I personally love mushrooms. They apparently grow big and fast. Anybody want to go into mushroom farming with me? 

Cranberries – This time we went to a cranberry bog in Wisconsin. It’s cold there! Josiah thought maybe we could flood Papa’s field to grow cranberries. I had to explain that I didn’t think it would work out. Plus, the fields are flooded so that cranberries are easier to harvest.They really don't grow underwater.

Oranges Packing – This one was a fun one, too. We got to visit an orange grove. That was also a good lesson for us. We live in Missouri…not quite a good climate for growing oranges. We found out that an orange tree can produce a massive amount of oranges! Orange juice for life. There were so many steps the oranges had to go through before actually shipped to us. There is a black light that checks for mold after they are sprayed with chlorine. Maybe I need to use one of those here at the house. 

Here are a few more thoughts from Josiah: Straight from his mouth.

“When I heard the phrase “Combo Pack” I thought it would be like a regular combo pack. You know. The kind that has the Blu Ray, DVD and Digital Copy. I was surprised to see there was only one disk.” 

My response: Maybe you worry about that kind of stuff too much. Ya think? He is my future filmmaker (or weatherman…he hasn’t made up his mind yet). 

Speaking of weather. More from Josiah.

“It would be really cool if they made a Curiosity Quest video about Tornadoes. It would be hard to make. I would be up for that.”

“The guy talks to us like real people.” 

He is right. Joel Green is engaging, energetic and doesn’t talk down to the audience. He asks all the right questions. 

I personally enjoyed them and wish we had more in our library. They are worth having. They would be especially good for those of you who use Unit Studies. There is so much information in each one of these videos!
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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for telling us about this product! We are always looking fro new and interesting ways to engage our oldest in school work and this sounds like something he might like.


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