Tuesday, August 6, 2013

TOS Review: BrainFood Learning Fascinating World of Insects DVD

When parents Bryce and Jennifer Mooney went looking for videos for their two boys, they wanted to find content that educated them, while at the same time entertained them.  When they didn't find what they were looking for, they decided to create what they were looking for.  And so, BrainFood Learning was born.  

BrainFood Learning has produced the Fascinating World Of...DVD series, of which there are currently three volumes.  Fascinating World of Mammals, Fascinating World of Birds, and Fascinating World of Insects. As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, we were sent the Fascinating World of Insects.  It couldn't have come at a better time!

Over the summer, we have been studying insects.  It started out when we made our trip to the zoo earlier this summer, but we have tried to learn a little during our summer play.  We even recently found a caterpillar in our garden that we brought in and watched until it was a butterfly.  

The Fascinating World of Insects introduces viewers to over 10 different types of insects.  These include not just your 'common' bugs of ladybugs and butterflies, but also some unique ones like the rhino beetle and the water strider (I'd never heard of a water strider before!).

Each bug is introduced with both its common name and scientific name.  We also learn the anatomy of each bug, for example did you know that a mosquito sucks your blood with its proboscis?  Yeah, me neither.  It also includes a few bits of information about the bugs, such as the fact that fireflies that live west of Kansas don't flash.  It doesn't tell us why not.  I'm glad our fireflies light up!

The Fascinating World of Insects also goes into greater detail about how bugs live, how they adapt, their life cycles, and also discusses how they are studied!

As we did our insect lessons, it was really nice to have this DVD to help out when it was a bit too hot to go out and look for insects in our yard.  

It really came in handy one day when we were blessed to find this dead and dried out bug in our basement (yes only a homeschooling mom would feel blessed to find a dead bug in her basement).  The kids wanted to know what kind of bug it was!  

They had decided it was either a ladybug-because it has 4 small spots on its back-or, it was a female rhino beetle.  

After watching the DVD section on rhino beetles, and observed it's awesome up close graphics, we were able to verify we had a female rhino beetle.

BrainFood Learning also has free study guides to go with their DVDs that are currently available on their website.  The insect study guide includes an outline, sorting games, and two quizzes to test your knowledge from the DVD.  I was very pleased when we went over the quizzes and my children knew the answers!  Charger, especially, was shouting out answers before I could complete the sentence, so I am quite sure that the DVD worked and my children did, indeed, learn.

Overall, we all enjoyed the Fascinating World of Insects.  I asked them what they thought and Charger told me he liked finding out that the rhino beetle is the strongest insect in the world.  Mustang and Mini Cooper simply said they liked it.  

 I appreciated that I had a fun way to teach what an entomologist does, what pollination is, what a proboscis does and what adaptation means.  These are things that are hard to explain, but Fascinating World of Insects not only teaches my children, but does it in a way that they think they are just having fun watching TV.  

The DVD's are very user friendly and you can choose to watch the entire DVD at once, or you can pick to watch just one of the insect chapters at a time-great for when you are doing more in depth studies on different insects.  

The Fascinating World of... DVD's are geared for ages 3-11 and I would say that is about right.  Some of the information is a bit above my 3 year old, but she was still very entertained and picked up the things that were at her level.  Mustang is 7 and really caught on to the harder scientific names and terms.  I have to say that it was obvious Charger, my 5 1/2 year old boy, got the most out of this DVD.

The Fascinating World of Insects retails for $14.99 plus shipping and can be purchased from the BrainFood Learning website.

To learn more, you can watch the trailer for this DVD, or read more on the BrainFood Learning website.  Also be sure to check out the rest of the Crew's reviews for this DVD, the Mammals, and the Bird DVD.  

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Nita said...

My son is studying insects in his current curriculum. It's not as exciting as your approach so I may try this out. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

What fun!! This looks like a very fun and educational movie! Sammy would love it!