Friday, April 1, 2011

TOS Crew Review: Zeezok Publishing

Zeezok Publishing has come out with a brand-new product called z-Guides to the Movies. What exactly is a z-Guide? It's a unit study that has been created around a movie. They have over 25 guides currently available. Each guide is geared for middle to high school students. While the members of the TOS Homeschool Crew received the guide as a download, they actually come on a CD ($12.99). The CD contains numerous pdf files to help make the movie watching more educational. All the movies are also available on Netflix (which we watch via our Wii) or you can purchase them directly from Zeezok or other sources. 

I allowed my 14 year old son to pick from the list we were given. I was a bit surprised at his choice and I would have most likely picked a movie we own, but it worked out well. He chose this...

This is the 1938 version with Errol Flynn. It was nice to see how far movies have come over the few years.

This particular z-Guide (32 pages) was focused on:
  • Medieval English history
  • Ethnic Conflict
  • Chivalry
  • Civil Disobedience
Each guide contains a sample schedule, a movie synopsis, and ten activities to complete. For instance, our guide contained:
  • Activity 1 - Movie Review Questions (4 pages)
  • Activity 2 - Research questions on King Richard and Prince John (3 pages)
  • Activity 3 - Are You a Norman or Saxon? (2 pages)
  • Activity 4 - Learning about the Feudal System (2 pages)
  • Activity 5 - Take the Oath (create a life oath) (1 page)
  • Activity 6 - Target Practice (practice a skill to become good at it) (1 page)
  • Activity 7 - Word Search (1 page)
  • Activity 8 - A Feast for Your Enemies (doing random acts of kindness for someone) (1 page)
  • Activity 9 - Worldview Activity (2 pages)
  • Activity 10 - The Filmmaker's Art (2 pages)
  • Bonus: Family Discussion (1 page)
Also included are additional resources and an answer key.

My thoughts:

What I liked about the z-Guide is that it helps to tie on your history study in a fun way. We spent all of last year studying the medieval period so B14 had a good basis here. The boy loves a good movie so he was thrilled to learn he would have to watch one for school.  It's rough here sometimes.

Overall I thought it was a great way to infuse a bit of fun in to learning history. However, it was sometimes over my poor boys head. He is used to watching a movie and just enjoying it and not analyzing it. This was definitely something we will be working on and this product helped me discover that.

I thought that the majority of the activities were well done. I would most likely do most of the questions orally in a discussion type format. I did think a few activities were more "busy-work" and I would most likely treat them as optional.

Be sure to head over to the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to see what other members had to say about the various guides they were able to check out.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review.  All opinions shared are my own. TOS Crew Members are given the product free of charge in exchange for our unbiased opinion of the product.


  1. I love the reviews! Do your kids enjoy trying out new things? I've applied for next year! I hope I ge on the Crew!


  2. I think my kids just know the routine at this point. ;-) We've been doing Crew reviews for the last two years.


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