Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review: Zeezok Publishing

I had never heard of Zeezok Publishing, but when I saw that as a member of the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew, I would be receiving something from them, I had to go check them out.

It turns out I had heard of their products.  At least some of them -- the music products.  They also have penmanship materials, and some other items too.  I was thrilled when I found out that I'd be receiving their Brahms/Shubert special offer.

This is what I received -- two books (The Young Brahms and Franz Schubert and His Merry Friends, two study guides to go along with those titles, and a Companion CD).

We started off with the Brahms book (because I actually own some other Brahms music, and very little Schubert).  This has been fantastic.

The book is wonderful.  At about 150 pages, it has made a terrific read-aloud.  We have been working through it by reading a half chapter or so one day, the rest of the chapter the next, and going through the study guide on the third day.  The companion CD includes 10 coloring pages, which I print up for my younger kids as we go.  It also includes some "fun" pages (a symbol code thing, and a word search) that we are not using.  The CD includes music tracks to go along with the book also.

We are really enjoying this.   I feel like my children are learning quite a bit about Brahms, and they are far more interested in listening to his music now that we have read his biography.

The book captures the attention of all of my kids, which I really appreciate.  We have not started the Schubert book yet, but will be doing that next week.  From looking through the book, it is similar in style, and I'm positive we will enjoy it at least as much.

If I were using this with just younger kids, I'm not sure that I would find the study guide to be of much value.  I tend to lose my kindergartner and nearly 4 year old on our study guide days (which is why that is the day they get the coloring pages!)  My 3rd, 5th and 7th graders, however, really enjoy the study guide.

I am supplementing this with real recordings of Brahms' music.  We are also listening to the Classics for Kids broadcasts about Brahms.  We have listened to many of these in the past, but hadn't done the Brahms one.  However, I think the materials by themselves would also make a great study.

This package is available for $35.80 in softcover.

And you can check out what my fellow crewmates have to say about various Zeezok Publishing products at:

Any questions? I'd love to know what you would want to know in deciding whether or not this is something you want to purchase.

Disclaimer:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I did receive Brahms/Schubert package from Bookpeddler for free.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.  It does guarantee a review. A fair review. But I am not going to praise something unless I think it deserves the praise.  If I don't like it, you'll hear that.  And hopefully with enough detail as to why so you can decide for yourself if what I hate about it makes it perfect for your family.  For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.

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