Review: Marsh Media

Raine is at that awkward, transitional stage—otherwise known as puberty—and I haven’t been exactly looking forward to The Talk. So when the chance came up to review the Homeschool Special from Marsh Media, I wanted in.

Health Education Products for K-8 {MarshMedia }
Marsh Media has been making videos on puberty, hygiene, and safety since 1969, so they do know their stuff. The videos are available on DVDs, or in our case, online streaming. My original plan was to load up the Just Around the Corner, or Growing Up! videos and park her in front of the screen, and tell her to watch them and go to Daddy if she had any questions. But Raine was also squeamish talking about puberty, so she didn’t want to watch the puberty videos at first. So Plan B—Raine and Breeze watched the character building videos first.

My kids are easy to entertain, especially when it comes to screen time. Which is a good thing. The character videos seemed to be story books that were converted to video. There was no real animation, with movements as in a cartoon or film; but zooming in and out and panning of the illustrations. The illustrations, however, were beautiful watercolor artworks, so it wasn’t much of an issue with us.

Emily Breaks Free--a video on bullying

Jomo and Mata, a video on sibling rivalry

The stories were also wonderful. Watching the videos was like having a read-aloud storytelling session. The girls enjoyed them, and found several funny. The stories were about bullying, sibling rivalry, gossiping, following rules, and so on. The fact that the main characters were animals made the videos appealing (I think that would be great for younger kids as well).

Raine finally warmed up enough to move on to the puberty videos. We watched Growing Up! For Girls and Just Around the Corner For Girls (they also have both videos in a For Boys version, but I didn’t bother checking those out). The videos talked about the changes that the body goes through during puberty—changes in shape, growing hair, getting oiler skin, etc. To illustrate, the videos used a plain drawing to show the growing of breasts, rounding of hips and growing of hair. While the girls found the rounding out of the hips hilarious—“She’s like a balloon!”—I appreciated the not-so-shocking visuals. I’m not so sure how I would react if they used an actual naked human being. I mean, I know that the human body is a natural, beautiful thing, but nudity around my children, even if meant to be an objective learning experience, makes me uncomfortable. And we’re all female! I can’t imagine how it would go if I had a son.

One of the videos explaining reproduction

That look that passed between the sisters after watching a video on how babies are born

Anyway, each video runs about 15 minutes or so, and aside from body changes, they also talked about reproduction, but more from an ovary-egg-sperm-uterus point of view, rather than the actual mechanics of sperm-meets-egg, It’s a reprieve for me, although I know I have to do that talk as well soon. There’s actually a video on that—Straight Talk About Sexual Choices & Consequences—but I will need to watch it myself first. I’m not so sure if I should let her watch it, when she isn’t really asking about it, or just wait until she does.

We also watched one video from the Straight Talk series, Straight Talk About Anger. In this series, a pair of hosts talk about said topic, with phone-in questions from kids. In the Anger video, they talked about how anger is OK, but it needs to be dealt with properly. Raine liked the fact that they showed real situations that could cause anger, and how they could deal with it. One scenario showed how to deal with anger that comes from being the victim of mean girls; another showed how grief sometimes manifests as anger. This one was also good for Breeze, who sometimes still needs help dealing with her frustrations, which comes out as angry meltdowns (but she is learning how to deal with those wonderfully already).

This one is from Straight Talk About Anger

Breeze also watched one of the hygiene videos on her own, the one on washing hands, I think. I will also ask the girls to continue watching the hygiene and safety videos in the coming weeks. Not all the videos on the site are available for online streaming though (such as the one on why manners matter). But for homeschoolers, there’s a special offer, the Homeschool Special. For just $50, you will have access to 59 of the videos until December 31, 2017. Please note that this offer is only available by clicking on this link Homeschool Special, and is not found on their website.

You can preview snippets of the videos before you decide to rent or buy, so the Marsh Media is worth checking out. I’m grateful for the gentle introduction to puberty—at least we have a jump-off point for future discussions.

Other families reviewed March Media as well. Click here to read about their experiences.

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