IndoctriNation By Great Commission Films Review

As a TOS Review Crew member, I had the opportunity to enjoy IndoctriNation. This documentary from Great Commission Films is an in depth look at the decline of public schools in America from a Christian point of view.

IndoctriNation DVD Review
Are you an accidental homeschooler? Someone who stumbled into homeschooling by default? Or maybe, like me, you began homeschooling because you simply felt you could provide your children with a better education than your public school alternative? I ask, because I’m one of those accidental homeschoolers.

I never really had anything against the public school system. After all, I’m a product of the public school system. And while my education wasn’t stellar, I’m doing okay. Ha! I wholeheartedly believe every family must make the decision that’s right for their family.

But a good decision is a well informed decision. And honestly, the general media isn’t giving us an accurate picture of the public school machine. If you are considering homeschooling, or quitting homeschooling, I highly recommend you watch IndoctriNation. Educate yourself about what drives the public school system and ask yourself if you truly want your children to play a part.

The Premise

Colin Gunn, a Scottland-born homeschooler, takes the viewer on a trip around the U.S. as he seeks to understand the origins of the American public school system and where it stands today.  Gunn interviews teachers, parents, and others who’ve uncovered unsettling truths about the public school system.

Weaving together emotional first-hand interviews, strongly supported facts and statistics, as well as Biblical truths about discipleship of children, viewers are compelled to support an exodus from the public school system.

What to Expect

This movie is meant to shake you. And it does so, in a good way. Expect to feel a myriad of conflicting emotions from deep grief (Columbine), to confusion (how did we get to this point), to anger (the system is usurping the parental role) and maybe even hopelessness (can this be redeemed?). This documentary is truly a wild ride. Eyes will be opened.

The film asks:

  • Who established the American public schools system?
  • Are my kids physically and morally safe in the schools?
  • Are the public schools religiously neutral?
  • Shouldn’t Christians be “salt and light” in the schools?
  • Can the public school system be fixed or redeemed?

My Personal Thoughts

IndoctriNation is a wonderful movie for ANY parent with children in, or about to be in, ANY school setting. Admittedly, it is from a right-wing, Christian perspective.  And while I am a right-wing, Christian, and wholeheartedly agree with most of what this documentary has to offer, I encourage even those who have opposing views to watch it at least once.

Even if you don’t agree with everything, there are MANY things you will agree with – like, the safety of our children being paramount. Or the fact that the public school system has drastically changed from its original vision. And, that there’s room for improvement.

Where to Get Your Copy

IndoctriNation the movie is available at the Great Commision Films website for $19.95.  There is also an IndoctriNation book available for $14.95.  Or, you can get them both together in a bundle for only $24.95. They now offer a Spanish-dubbed DVD as well!

Have you seen IndoctriNation? What were your impressions?

Click below to read more TOS Crew reviews for IndoctriNation:

IndoctriNation DVD Review

Crew Disclaimer

Swish Jr – Fun With Learning

If you read my blog, you know I’ve been on a quest to bring more fun into our homeschool. I’ll admit, in my house, that’s not always easy.  If my kids smell even a whiff of learning during play time…it’s game over.  I have to think out of the box, and sometimes get downright sneaky, to make learning fun. Or should I say, make fun learning. <insert maniacal mom laugh>

Swish Jr Review

I received Swish Jr free for review. Opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Swish Jr – the new stack-it game from Think Fun, brings fun to learning and learning to fun.

Geared for ages 5+, Swish Jr helps players develop both matching and spatial recognition skills.  I can attest to spatial skills development – it took me a moment (or more) to master the art matching and stacking.  This isn’t your basic memory game!  Swish Jr is played with transparent shape cards which need to be flipped, flopped, and otherwise swished to make a match. It’s challenging, but once you get it, the light bulb comes on and fun begins.  I could actually feel my brain working in a new way (I didn’t realize how lacking my spatial skills were!).

Fun and Learning with Swish Jr
Here’s how it works.  The deck is made up of transparent cards with varying shapes, or shape outlines. The dealer lays out 3 rows of 4 cards and players must make a “Swish”.  A swish is made by finding cards that, when layered, create solid shapes.  Like this:

When you see a match you yell “SWISH!” and get to make your match. If you were correct, you keep your match and new cards replace the ones you swished. And the fun begins anew. Still not making sense?  Here, watch this video.  It’s handy.

Bram, my 5 year old, LOVES Swish Jr.  Since it was created for kids his age I expected that.  What I didn’t expect is how much my teens and I would like it!  This is truly a family game. My teens LOVE to play too. They kick the challenge level up a bit by making 3 and 4 layer matches. It works exactly the same as the 2 layer matches, you just have an extra shape that must be filled in.  (Here’s where I admit this is still a little challenging for me, they kick my hiney at 4-layer matches).

I wish I had a picture to share of the teens playing. But they’re, you know, teens. Which makes them too cool for pictures.

6 more things I love about Swish Jr

  1. I’ve never seen a game like this. It’s truly innovative.
  2. The cards are plastic. (translation: washable!!)
  3. It comes with a nifty mesh bag for easy storage (no bulky boxes)
  4. You can use it with younger children simply by using less cards
  5. Great for parties!
  6. It’s affordable (only $12.99). This will be my go-to gift for birthdays and holidays
  7. It’s even more affordable with the coupon code below

What I don’t like

At times the game can get a little crazed. After a swish is made, new cards replace the ones removed, and you look for another swish. If other swishes were spotted before the cards were replaced, the round becomes a race to see who can yell SWISH the fastest. But that’s coming from me, the mom. The kids like the crazy part, go figure.

Get Swish Jr today!

Think Fun has kindly offered a coupon code FOR YOU TO SAVE 20%!! Use SPRING2013 by May 31st to take advantage of this offer. (Psst — they’re also offering FREE SHIPPING on all US orders over $25 – hurry!).

Updates, Projects and Reviews

I was going to begin yet another post with “sorry it’s been a month since my last post, I’ve been busy”.  But I figure, why bother?  You guys know and love me.  You know I’m busy, you are too.  This blog is my heart, not my business – so why should I apologize for that?  I know your sun doesn’t rise and set on my posts.  I know you understand why I’d much rather be enjoying this…

because, chances are you’re enjoying the same thing in your home.  And rightly so!  I am enjoying the three teens as well, but they’re not as keen on having their picture taken.

In the coming weeks I have some reviews of products you don’t want to miss.  Truly, I have fallen in love with Economics for Everybody and Mimic Creme Healthy Top.  And I’m very excited to share with you about a great, family friendly, historical, dramatic-series from Colony Bay!

I’ve decided to do my best to start a new posting series.  A while ago I read The Little Stuff I Leave Undone at Raising Arrows.  This post really resonated with me.  You see, we’ve lived in this new-to-us home for about one and a half years already.  And in all that time I haven’t painted one room or hung one photo.  This is our home, but it doesn’t feel homey.

I leave so many things undone, waiting until I can do it all.  Why hang the picture if I haven’t painted the wall, why paint the wall if haven’t sanded that spot, why sand that spot when we might put up new drywall…and on and on.  This has left us with stark walls and uninviting rooms.

We’ve been blessed with a large home, I say that in profound thankfulness-not in pride.  It’s a big old brick monstrosity of which the original section was built in the late 1700s or early 1800s (I need to research).  A large addition was added in the mid 1800s and a tiny addition in the 1990s.  It was divided into multiple apartments, we’ve taken over all but one of them.  Many of the rooms are large and we call them hoity-toity names like the “den, study and library”.

But don’t envy us.  The only reason we were able to afford this grand old home is because it’s falling down around our ears.  It needs a ton of work – I would estimate at least half a million to restore it to its former glory.  And surprise, I don’t have half a million laying around.

When it comes to doing projects, my mind tells me “why start what you can’t finish”??  But my heart tells me it’s time to make this place a home.  So, even though I can’t replace our drafty old windows, or rip out the plaster walls for drywall, or replace the lovely 90s style mauve and dark green carpets – I can still make this house feel like home.  Fox and Tony are 16 – I want them to have memories of a house that felt like home.  I want to create a home they’ll want to return to and visit often once they’re grown.

It’s up to me to do what I can to accomplish that goal.  And like most things it life, it’s not the big budget renovation that will make a difference, it’s the little things.

I can hang pictures, and stencil designs, I can decorate and paint.  We might not have the budget for a remodel, but I can bless my family with a comforting, inviting space that feels like home.

So here’s my plan:

  • I will do one project a month – something, anything – to make this house feel like home.
  • I am setting a budget of $50 per month
  • The first Monday of each month I’ll share my project with you.  What I did, how I did it, how much it cost and the effect it’s had on my family.

I don’t have a lot of time and it’s a small budget – so some months may just be about hanging pictures or planting flowers.  Others may be about purchasing supplies for a larger, upcoming project.  But this is what I’ve resolved to do.  I hope you’ll join me on this journey and hold me accountable.

I want my husband and kids to have a home, not a house.