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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Growing Up Wild

Surprisingly, this post isn't about our family.  Although, some people make think that my kids are growing up wild.

It is about a family named "Wild".

You know how sometimes, when you travel, you secretly don't want to really see the Eiffle Tower or Notre Dame....but the inside of people's houses and how they really live?

Not that the Eiffle Tower is a bad thing to see in person.....but, for me, I was much more interested in peeking behind doors and through windows to see what was on someone's T.V. or what their dishes and wallpaper looked like.

That is one of the reasons the series of videos from the Wild family, who are missionaries that live in Papua, Indonesia, are so awesome.

They are actually awesome for a lot of reasons, but through a set of DVDs, they show you the inside of their home and how everything works.....from electricity, to visitors, to feeding the family, to where they keep their Legos.

The Wild Brothers....Growing Up Wild is a series of videos showing the lives of  the Wild family....but mostly the four Wild Brothers.

We got a chance to watch and use 2 of the DVDs in the series.  This DVD series was designed as a supplement for homeschoolers or a Sunday School curriculum, for ages 5-12.  But, really it is so much more and I would label it as something for ages 1-100.  Fascinating stuff, especially for us safe, middle-class, suburban dwellers.

Volume 1


Volume 2

Each of the DVDs has 3 episodes, so right now, the whole series has 15 episodes.  My favorite part of church when missionaries would come and visit were their slide shows and stories about how the people actually lived.  This is live video and stories of how they live....and, since the Wild family are American missionaries, it is told through the lense of what we think is normal.  Like running water and taking showers, and how you get supplies.

They are a very cool family.  Much cooler than we are.  See?

I loved this comment from Mrs. Wild, or as she calls herself, The Wild Brothers' mom:

I tell my boys all the time,

"We learn and work hard at gaining knowledge, not so that we will become smart or be known as clever, or in order to make a name for ourselves, but so that we can be used for Christ."  I believe that our purpose is to make His name great among all peoples, to glorify Him.  I believe our purpose is to enjoy Him and all He has done and is doing and will do for us, to enjoy all that He has created.

If you remember, we are on sort of a T.V. watching hiatus around here during the week.  So, watching these DVDs was a real treat for us.  One day, I had to be out of the house with D-man for a bit, so, I told the kids that they could go ahead and watch the Growing Up Wild DVDs while I was gone.  We had only watched 1 episode together up to this point. While we were gone, they watched all of both DVDs, including rewatching the episode we had already seen.  They had watched six episodes (which are about 15 minutes each).  As soon as I walked in they wouldn't stop talking.  I got re-enactments of how noise piercing was done. and,  S-girl announced, "We must have seen 100 butts, mom!" 
S-girls version of the nose piercing. 
 A-mans version....the brown thing coming from the side is the Wano tribesmen who "shoved" the stick through his nose. I know some parents wouldn't be happy that there was nudity (local Wano tribe) or even the act of body piercing displayed......both from the local Wano tribe and two of the boys who got their nose pierced during the episode.   But, it is not like nudity or partial nudity that is shown here in the U.S.A. on T.V. shows or commercials.   It is different.  It is real.  It is not gratuitous.  It is how they really live. Plus, bonus, I am fairly sure none of my kids are going to want a piercing in a spot other than their ear!

You can make these DVDs as educational as you  want.  They are really entertaining just to watch.  They are really educational if you just watch.

But, they have included an Activity Guide (as its own CD in the case so you don't have to dig around for it). 

Click here for an example of some of the things included.  The Activity Guide explains more of the Wilds' thoughts on being missionaries, but then also gives you the chance to dig deeper into the Bible, and into simple little things like Darwinian Theory and the age of the earth.  You know.....the easy stuff! Winking smile  The Activity Guide in this section, finishes with a simple, but powerful statement...

We should always be prepared to give an answer for our beliefs.

Or, even to think practically about how to figure out the amount of supplies your family will need for the next 3 months, or 6 months, or researching solar power and photovoltaic cells.

One of the most interesting parts of the Activity Guide was the cultural comparison worksheet that was included.  It encouraged you to fill in the cultural practices in your region and compare those to the Wano people that the Wilds live among.

This DVD series makes what the Wild family is doing to real and accessible.  I sort of feel like all missionaries should do something like this.  It makes it easier to pray for them and the people they are trying to reach.  It is way better than a regular old slide show.

Even if you don't use these DVDs as "education", they are entertaining and learning will happen whether you pull out the Activity Guide or not.  For moms, like me, that have a tendency to feel that there needs to be at least a little "real" school included....the Activity Guide is perfect.

Each DVD costs $18.99, but if you invest in all 5 DVDs you get a price break of 15%, so you can get them all for about $80.

If you have kids, they will love these DVDs.  But, especially if you have a boy....a real boy....he will be fascinated by these videos....the bugs, the jungle, the adventure.  Can you guess how A-man feels about them?  Plus, an extra bonus is, I really don't think he plans on getting his nose pierced anytime soon!  Smile with tongue  Might make a fun Christmas gift or stocking stuffer, depending on your budget.

Go take a look at the whole DVD series that they have put together.  But, first, so see what the other TOS Review Crew members thought.

Disclaimer:  We received Volume 1 and 4 of the Growing Up Wild DVD series for free, in exchange for an honest review.