I may get some hate mail for this, but if you read on and see what my views are on the matter maybe you won’t get hot and bothered…
There are kids who aren’t allowed to watch any TV and there are kids who are babysat by a TV all day.
I’m here to bring some insight on what I think is a balanced way to use television, in moderation, as a teaching tool , if you choose to use it.
Before I chat about it, I ask you to reflect! Ask yourself:
1. Which shows and how many shows do I allow my child to watch each day?
2. What lessons are the shows teaching?
3. Can I set aside time to talk about the shows (during and after) my child watches them?
When I was a student teacher at a phenomenal school, the guidance teacher showed a movie clip (with no commercials) of Franklin to the students. She opened up with some questions, showed the movie pausing it regularly to ask questions, and then had the children reflect, respond, and act out different aspects of her lesson (using props) at the close of the show. I thought that this was a great way to use the TV as a teaching tool because children can make connections, learn new strategies, and practice what they learned with someone guiding them in the process!
Some TV shows are also informative for the parent. You might learn new methods to teach your kids by watching educational shows and what kind of content to teach them.
When selecting and showing episodes keep some things in mind: 1) Moderate the use of TV (Use your judgment on what that would be, considering your child’s best interest), 2) Moderate the TV show choice (I recommend three educational shows below), 3) Pause the TV show, if you are able to, in order to ask questions or get them to interact with the show by pointing out letters they know or words they know, etc., 4) Try to apply the lessons they learn throughout the rest of the day/week.
So, TV can be a plus in education at home, but there are shows that are more contstructive than others…And here are some I recommend:
My Review: I like that this show can accommodate to different levels of readers because it teaches letters, letter-sound relationships, word recognition, word structure, and comprehension strategies in an interactive way.
Casey’s Review: James’ favorite – is all about reading comprehension, rhyming, letter recognition, phonemic awareness, and more. It’s really great. You should definitely catch an episode sometimes.
My Review: This is one of my favorites because kids follow a story line that causes them to interact by finding letters, sounding out words, and seeing words take shape.
Casey’s Review: today specifically they talked about compound words (which tied into the compound word activity I did with him that day from The Mommy Teacher). It’s cute, but we just started watching it, so I’m not as familiar with this one. Everything on the show takes the shape of the object and the word is squeezed into that shape. For example, the word “frog” looks like a frog. They pull words apart and put them back together all of the time.
Sid the Science Kid
My Review: I love Sid the Science Kid. The teacher is so fun, making learning fun for the students, she is prepared with age-appropriate exploration, activities, music and play that teaches the children to investigate their world. I love the teaching strategies and content from this show, and the way questions are raised to the kids. Parents can learn a lot from it 🙂
Casey’s Review: my favorite! This show has led to some super great discussions between me and James. Sid wants to know about anything and everything so he asks his friends, parents and teacher to answer his questions. The kids investigate, ask questions, discover new things and journal about them. It has given us some great science activities to do too.
This is Casey’s little man dressed up as SuperWhy and really becoming the character! “We need to fix the word!” ~James
This PRECIOUS family dressed up as Princess Presto (mom), SuperWhy (big brother), AlphaPig (little brother), and my personal favorite -WonderRed (DAD!!!).
Super Why and Princess Presto have been labeling things around the living room. Super Why is in charge of sticking the letters on objects, and Princess Presto, with her Spelling Power, writes the words on the paper.