As parents, especially first-time parents, we’re all trying to do the best for our children. We may make some mistakes, but we genuinely want to keep our children out of harm’s way and turn them into well-rounded individuals. We worry daily about the dangers that our children are exposed to, from other people, their friends, and even under our own roofs. Their exposure to shows, movies and news on the television can be a particular source of concern for many of us.
The good news is that we no longer have to hold such negative connotations of “television”. It’s not an evil that should be avoided at all costs, but rather a tool that when used properly can be beneficial and educational to our children. Read below to find out how you can use television shows as a teaching aid.
There are a lot of different shows on television that can introduce your child to new places, people, and ideas. Certain shows may even inspire your child’s future career! While there’s certainly the “traditional” educational shows on stations like PBS, there are some other’s that might not immediately come off as “educational”. Keep an open mind when you’re looking through the channel guide.
There are several channels today that are devoted to cooking, such as The Food Network and The Cooking Channel. Watch Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook Off with your child and copy down the recipe. When you have time that week, have your child help you re-create that recipe in your own kitchen. This is a great opportunity to teach your child measurements and how to convert measurements. This kind of interaction can foster a love of cooking in your child; it could even inspire him to become a chef! Plus, you can use this time with your child to discuss his day, and help him through any issues that may be going on at school.
If your kid has an affinity for animals, Animal Planet and National Geographic have a plethora of shows about animals and wildlife. Watch a documentary about lions on National Geographic, or check out Animal Planet’s Meerkat Manor. Have your child write a short essay, or draw a picture of whichever animal was featured in the show you watched. Follow up with a trip to the zoo to see the animal in person. Your child might imagine himself as a future veterinarian or zoologist.
The History Channel has endless documentaries on the history of the United States, Vikings, and more. If your child has a vivid imagination, history might very well capture his attention. You can also try to watch certain shows that coincide with what he’s learning in school. For example, if they are studying the Civil War in class, watch a Civil War documentary at home. Have your child write a short essay on a particular general or battle. You could follow up by taking your child to an historical re-enactment of the Civil War to show him an example of what war was like.
These channels and shows are available on most basic cable and satellite subscriptions. Even if your budget is a little tight, there are plenty of deals online from sites like satellitetv-deals.com that can make it more affordable. When you consider that you can teach your child cooking, math, nature, history and more, purchasing a subscription is definitely worth the investment. By simply watching television shows with your child, you can foster their interests and creativity, and help them toward a bright future.