Monday, October 24, 2011

The Peanut Man

"It is not the style of clothes one wears,
neither the kind of automobile one drives,
nor the amount of money one has in the bank that counts. 
These mean nothing.  It is simply service that measures success." 
-- George Washington Carver

By his own definition, and mine, George Washington Carver was a man of huge success.  Freed from slavery as a young child, he worked diligently to free his people from ignorance and poverty.  His achievements during the Reconstruction period are amazing.  He was the first black man to study at Iowa State, earning a Master's degree in Botany.  Later, he gave up a lucrative teaching post there to work for Booker T. Washington at Tuskeegee Institute.  There he worked with students and farmers to improve soil and crop conditions.  He taught the importance of rotating crops.  And, after the boll weevil had its way, he helped in the propagation of peanuts and another plants that would become their own industry.  As a naturalist, Carver recognized and gave God glory for all that he saw.  He spent his time working and pulling up his brothers, rather than in fighting or despising the white man that put them down.

George Washington Carver -- His Life and Work is a thought-provoking DVD published by Marshall Publishing & Promotions, Inc.  It has a slow, relaxed feel to it.  It opens with beautiful views of nature, plants and animals, and quotes from Carver about God's creation.  The slow pace continues as a very southern voice narrates his life story and accomplishments.  The peaceful pace remains as we see still photos and a few live recordings of Carver.

The video is aimed at children 4th grade and above.  My middle and high schooler found it a bit tame, and would have preferred more drama and his life acted out.  But, I appreciated the continual references to Carver's knowledge of God and the wonders of His creation and felt that the information we learned was valuable and meaningful.  The video is only 30 minutes long, so there isn't too much time for boredom to set in from the pacing.

There was one comment troubling to a young-earth creationist like me (Carver says "millions and millions of years"), but other than that, evolution is flatly negated ("it couldn't have happened by accident").

Marshall Publishing has several educational DVDs available, including The History of the Mississippi River, Lincoln at Gettysburg, The Oregon Trail & The Pony Express.  Videos sell for $24.95 if you want full public performing rights and $19.95 for individual use.  If you decide to buy this video due to reading this review, you can use the coupon code TOSC1 at checkout to save an additional 15% -- that makes the DVD only $16.95!   On the same site, you can find other fun and educational DVDs, books, and audio CDs.  Be sure to check out what they have to offer!

As part of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew, I was provided this DVD free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  For more TOS reviews, click here.

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