Friday, April 28, 2017

Drive Thru History

My kids like when we get curriculum to review--new stuff is always exciting--but it's a real treat when the product isn't typical "school" type of work. They especially love whenever I tell them we're watching TV for school. This time, we were able to study the subjects of both Bible and history in a fun way with Drive Thru History®. I had never heard of this world-wide, award-winning television series that debuted in 2004, but a quick look at some of their video clips had me intrigued, and I knew I needed to see more.   
Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” is the latest title of the collection. The 18 episodes focus on the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus as accounted in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The host, Dave Stotts, takes you on an an exciting journey to over 50 ancient sites as he drives all across Israel and "thru history." His energetic personality and conversational style along with bits of humor tossed in make this series a joy to watch. The amount of information and facts that he spouts off throughout each episode is astounding. The story of Jesus' life is woven as you learn about the people, places, and events showing evidence from history, archaeology, and geography. 

Here is what you can expect to learn from "The Gospels":
  • Episode 1: The Historical Landscape
  • Episode 2: The Announcements
  • Episode 3: Jesus is Born
  • Episode 4: Jesus Grows Up
  • Episode 5: Jesus Starts His Ministry
  • Episode 6: Jesus Returns to Galilee
  • Episode 7: Jesus Begins His Miracles
  • Episode 8: Jesus Teaches with Authority
  • Episode 9: The Sermon on the Mount
  • Episode 10: Jesus Travels the Sea of Galilee
  • Episode 11: Jesus Travels North
  • Episode 12: A Final Trip to Jerusalem
  • Episode 13: Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem
  • Episode 14: The Last Supper
  • Episode 15: The Trial of Jesus
  • Episode 16: The Crucifixion of Jesus
  • Episode 17: The Resurrection of Jesus
  • Episode 18: Who is Jesus?

Each episode showcases multiple ancient sites that are still preserved today. Synagogues, cities, the remains of a fish market, Herodium, and even possibly Peter's house. Dave travels all over Israel and visits cities including Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Capernaum, Chorazin, Magdala, Hippos, Cana, and Samaria and places such as the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee, the Mount of Beatitudes, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Dead Sea. He recites Scripture (though not the version we personally use) and references ancient quotes. He explains the culture during Jesus' life and shows how the rule of the Romans influenced the people. Dozens of paintings and illustrations that depict the stories are shown throughout each episode. Dave makes it easy to visualize the shepherds as the angel announced the birth of Christ or John as he baptized Jesus in the Jordan River or Jesus Himself as He healed blind Bartimaeus. The stories come alive.

Included with the 3-DVD set is an accompany study guide. It is broken down by disc and episode. The format is consistent for each episode: a famous quote, summary of the episode, a list of discussion questions, corresponding Bible passages, and an additional tidbit of information or "side road." The pages are covered with additional art and photographs. The guide contains no answer key as it is meant to spark discussion for families, small groups, or Sunday School classes and not designed for testing purposes. My kids are enjoying looking at the various pictures and reviewing the topics of discussion. The study guide itself is attached to the middle of the DVD case. While I appreciate the fact that my little ones cannot misplace the booklet, it does make it somewhat difficult to use. I would rather have the guide printed as a separate book that could be placed in a sleeve in the case.

Our entire family has loved watching "The Gospels." I like when the kids shout, "Hey! I know this story," or "I learned about this at church." It is always fascinating to me to see how the Bible and other historical events line up. Though I know that the Bible is fact and the events truly happened, it can be difficult at times to see how everything comes together. Drive Thru History® has done a phenomenal job of portraying the chronological telling of biblical stories mixed in with information from other resources. There is so much information that we could watch this multiple times and still not remember it all. While some documentaries can be dry and boring, Drive Thru History® is fun, exciting, and entertaining. It is appropriate for the whole family and is an excellent educational resource.

Take a peek at the trailer and experience a little of Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels”.

You can connect with Drive Thru History® on the following social media sites:

If you'd like to see how other homeschool families used this resource, please read the reviews on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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