Monday, October 20, 2014

Love One Another; Veggietales Beauty and the Beet and GIVEAWAY!

"Would you like to review a new Veggietales DVD?"

The reply from my girl was an enthusiastic, "YES!"

The enthusiastic reply makes me very happy!

My teenage daughter with ASD did not enjoy Veggietales when she was a little girl. Now, she enjoys them and the messages in the animated videos are not lost on her. We are finally (in the teenage years) able to discuss the content and meaning. I love to hear her voice singing along with the Veggietales songs.

My daughter and I are excited to have the opportunity to review for you the newest video from Veggietales, Beauty and the Beet. Click on the photo to go to some clips from the DVD.

My daughter gives it the review of "Fantastic!"

The story of sweet potato Mirabelle and her family of singing vegetables. I can't get enough of Mirabelle! Mirabelle is so loving and sweet, even when she encounters an individual who is nothing but nasty. She reminds us that we all deserve to be loved, even when we are nasty. The story idea comes from "Beauty and the Beast" and the scriptural foundation of the story comes from 1 John 4:11, "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."

 Veggietales captured the verse and the concept of offering grace to those around us in a very fun animated story. The songs are catchy and the harmonies have me wanting to hear the songs again and again. Kelly Pickler voices the character of Mirabelle and she creates magic that my kid w/ autism and I are drawn to. The story gives us something concrete that my daughter and I can discuss. For example, I am not proud to admit that I am more like the grumpy siblings who complain about the Beet's nasty behavior and am not very much like Mirabelle who sees the person beneath the nastiness who needs to be loved.

We loved the story. We loved every single second of it. And we've watched it more than once and will continue to watch it again and again. (That's what we do here.)

There are so many concepts that are difficult to teach to a child with autism, concepts that are not concrete and rely on examples. For a very literal child, one example can create a skewed understanding of that concept, and we as parents and teachers need more examples to draw from. As the homeschooling mom to a child on the spectrum, Beauty and the Beet has given us several opportunities to relate events to the story and to talk about them over time. 

If you are homeschooling a teen or tween on the autism spectrum, looking for ideas to present difficult concepts about faith, love, grace, etc, I highly recommend including Veggietales in your box of resources.The musical on DVD is in stores now priced around $10.

I get the impression that the Veggietales folks are autism friendly. "That's Larry the Cucumber," the volunteer in the concession stand told me. We were selling snacks at the high school football game and a tall gentleman was at the window placing his order. The volunteer working alongside me happens to work in an autism classroom and she told me about a day when "Larry Boy" came to her school for a lengthy visit with a boy whose special interest is all things Veggietales. That story makes me love them even more. (If only I could introduce them to my kid w/ autism. She wants to be a voice actress one day. And man oh man, she can sing!)

In the media materials I received, I read this little tidbit that I want so share with you: 
"BEAUTY AND THE BEET is just the start of the fun in store this fall for VeggieTales fans, because the gang will also star in a brand-new Netflix original series, VeggieTales In the House, which premieres Thanksgiving weekend."
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

I have been offered a copy of Beauty and the Beet to give away! Post a comment about what you like about Veggietales on my blog to enter. Be sure to leave me contact info, too! That's it! My homeschooler and I will draw a winner a week from tomorrow, Tuesday, 28-Oct-2014!

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

College Visit Road Trip

My firstborn and I hit the road for a long-distance college visit. We had two days packed with meetings and tours. One of our favorite activities was watching the college marching band on its practice field and later on the football field. We toured the campus, met staff, experienced a college class, ate in the dining facility, shopped at the bookstore. What fun!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wings to Soar

Homeschool field trips are fun. We really enjoyed the Wings to Soar program. I have attended bird shows before, but they were always outdoors and at a huge theme park. The program indoors in a small meeting room was very special.The program was about 40 minutes long and my homeschooler with autism was engaged the entire time. We learned a lot about the birds. My favorite - a tie between the vulture and the bald eagle. The vulture has quite a personality. :)
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