Family Movie Night {Homeschool Review Crew}

Family Movie Night

Homeschool Review Crew

Do you have family movie night?  We tend to do it either Friday or Saturday night depending on our schedule.  Recently it was a mom and two older daughters movie night though.  We received a new movie from Mapelle Films.  This movie is Trust Fund and it’s a new twist on the prodigal son story from the Bible.  We also received Love Was Near, a book to go along with the movie. It’s the to be read after viewing.  This movie and book are geared towards ages 12 and up.


Family Movie Night

Because this is geared towards ages 12 and up it was not an entire family movie night.  But rather just my oldest two daughters and I watched the movie and read/discussed the book.  The rest of the family had a different movie they watched.  We don’t often separate out the family for two separate movies but it seemed like the best solution to this.  I had not prescreened the movie and did not know if it would be something I’d want my four year old to watch.  It’s not just FYI.

Have you ever heard of the prodigal son story from the Bible?  Most people have.  Even people who don’t attend church know this story. It’s a classic of it’s own.  This movie gives it a new twist.  It’s no longer a son but a daughter who decides to go out and leave behind all she’s known for a bright new future.  Only the future isn’t quite what she thought it’d be.

Who do you relate to most in this story?  The brother who stays home or the one who leaves and comes back to much rejoicing?  I never really thought about it much but while going through the movie and study book with my daughters I really examined my own feelings.  The daughter/son who stayed home.  That would be me.  And then it hits me.  Am I really that person?  Am I cynical?  Do I think I deserve that attention and that I’m more worthy?  Lots of great discussions can come from this movie!

About the Movie

The movie is the product of a homeschooler!  Isaac Alongi was someone early on the scene to homeschooling being homeschooled starting in 1982.  Guys I gotta add that was before I was born!  Anyway it’s always nice to see that homeschool kids can do great things too!

Now this movie is based loosely on the Bible story of the prodigal son.  Before you schedule this for your next movie night please make sure and read some reviews and think about the ages of your family.  Due to some violence and hard lessons learned I’m not sure I would alter the age given by the movie.  It suggests ages 12 and up and I agree.  Now I might relax that to 10 or so but not much more than that.

Jessica Rothe plays Reese.  The younger spoiled daughter of a rich man who is an aspiring author.  When she learns her dad has been keeping secrets from her she decides she can’t trust him and goes off on her own.  She thinks she’s found true love. Of course, if that was the end of the story there would be no story.  So guess what?!  It’s not the end of the story. She has an older sister who has to stand by and watch and pick up the pieces when her younger sister runs off.  And there is her dad of course too. Oh and what about this guy she thinks is worth leaving her family for?

Needless to say because it’s the prodigal son story she comes home.  She’s lost everything but her regret and has yet to realize what true love is.  Until she comes home and her father still loves her.  That’s the general synopsis.  You’re going to want to watch the movie to find out all the juicy details.

I’d rate this movie a four out of five.  Not bad.  A good family movie night movie for older kids and parents.  Plus it can spur lots of discussion.


Love Was Near Book

Now the Book

Love Was Near is a book companion for the movie.  It retails currently for $12.99.  Think of a diary where you’re thinking about and reflecting on a monumental part of your life.  That’s the vibe that this book gives off.  It’s more of a reflection and rethinking of the movie than just a story version of the movie.  I think it offers quite a bit of thinking and reflecting on ourselves and our own lives as well.  

There is so much more to life than what we see and hear the first time around.  Sometimes if we reflect and think on the things that have happened it offers up a new perspective and learning experience.  Join Reece as she does just that with what has happened to her in this book.  I personally think it’s a good read and makes you think a bit about your own life and really take away some new points.

Side note:  There is also a study guide to go along with the movie.  This would make a great Bible study type program to do with the movie with your own children or a church group.  Find it HERE.  


Mapelle Films

Learn More

Want to hear more about this movie and book for your next Family Movie Night?  Check out the main Homeschool Review Crew blog for the main post. A great article to read is from a local(to me!!) Homeschool community the Midwest Parent Educators so take a peak at it too! You can also find them on social media through facebook, twitter, pinterest, and instagram


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Owlegories DVD {TOS Crew Review}

We love to watch movies as a family and eat popcorn on a Saturday night.  A few weeks ago we received an Owlegories DVD entitled Owlegories: The Ant, The Fruit, The Butterfly from as a review through the TOS Crew. Review is an online store that offers family friendly Christian videos that are also educational and entertaining.  I chose to receive the Owlegories DVD as I knew it would be something that would appeal to all of my children plus still be cute enough that my husband and I wouldn’t mind watching it!  A fun fact about is that they offer free shipping on all orders over $40.  Great way to stock up on new DVD’s for birthdays and holidays!  They have a wonderful variety to choose from.

The Owlegories DVD that we received to review is actually the 2nd DVD in a series.  The 1st DVD we have not yet seen though it has been added to our must watch list!  I think this has fast become a series that we’re going to want to add all of them to our library.  

This movie is so cute guys!  Like seriously adorable.  The animation is great and not lacking at all.  My kids loved watching it and have had to watch it several times since.  The characters are memorable and are so sweet.  The main characters are respectful and even the own who acts the part of the class clown never does so in a mean fashion or by making fun of the other little owl students.  Our antagonist(named Devlin) is even a rather nice little villain character.

Each DVD has three episodes.  Each episode teaches a small lesson.  After the episode is finished there is a short section where a “real” person comes on to talk about how kids can apply that principle that they have just learned in their own lives.  


Owlegories DVD


We loved this Owlegories DVD and learning about the fruits of the spirit while also watching cute little owls and ants work(or not work) to harvest sap to make syrup.  And of course, everyone enjoyed watching the caterpillars turn into butterflies.  Great reminder for us all of how we are transformed with Christ in our lives.  

The DVD including all three episodes is only 34 minutes long.  So it’s not a long movie that requires kids to sit still for what seems like forever.  If you break it down and only watch one episode at a time it’s even shorter.  The Owlegories DVD we received is currently priced at $9.99 through  They also have the first of the series for the same price if you’re wanting to get both.

Owlegories DVD {TOS Crew Review}


The first episode on the Owlegories DVD we received is titled The Ant.  In this story the professor of our class tells the class that they need to collect sap from the maple trees to make syrup.  Only the ants actually buckle down and look at the long term to complete the task.  A great lesson in doing things that we might not see as fun so that we can get the end result we desire.  A great tie in if you have your kids do chores(which we do).

The second episode on our Owlegories DVD is titled The Fruit.  This story teaches about the Fruits of the Spirit and even includes the class finding some of the bad fruits that we’d rather avoid like anger and envy.  

Episode three of the Owlegories DVD is called The Butterfly. In this episode we watch the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly with the class and see how God can transform us if we let him.  Oh and add in a fear of bugs and this episode will have your kids giggling throughout.

If you’d like to learn about other movies that were reviewed by members of the crew please visit the Main TOS Crew Blog.  You can also find out more about by visiting Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, YouTube, and Pinterest.  A few of the other movies on the review list we’ve had the privilege of watching prior to now and can tell you they’re wonderful!!


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