Linking up with This Ain't the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes.
I have a few rules for screentime (which at my kids ages just means shows/movies) for the kids.
1. Screentime only happens once chores and school are done.
2. It can't be annoying to mom
That last one is really really important.
I try to be sitting in the room with them whenever they're watching a show or movie. Partly to explain anything they don't understand or is intense (like when the crocodile grabbed a gazelle drinking at the river), but also so I understand their play and questions later. John is a store-it-up-and-ask-you-two-days-later kind of kid.
I favor things, like PBS shows and documentaries, because they have the bonus of letting the kids see real things that they will not likely see in person for quite a while.
Here are my top 7, yet in no particular order, shows/movies that I like and are kid approved.
I loved this show as a kid! It's so 90-tastic.
I like it because it is live action, uses good actors, and presents stories of great literature in an age appropriate way while still remaining true to the story,
Wikipedia got all helpful and has a list of Wishbone episodes and which great book is featured.
I find most of these episodes on Youtube. Yea free!
Our original gateway drug to John's love of documentaries. I used to put a Nova on when I was rocking John to sleep because he took over an hour to be solid asleep enough to transfer to the bed (I've since way improved my putting kids to sleep game).
Eventually he began playing interesting games like "Underwater Radar", where you construct ships out of blocks but how they would look as underwater shipwrecks on radar, and "Spinosaurus Attack". Not dinosaur, specifically a Spinosaurus (he only eats fish, but BIG fish.)
Nova lets the kids see real stuff done by real scientists. I love the sense of wonder they get from it. Visuals seem to be really important to thinking about things like planets, nebula, oceans, volcanoes, and extinct animals.
John has an odd love for the American Revolution. My best guess is because it involves snappy uniforms and lots of guys named John.
This is an animated series that tells the story of the American Revolution from the viewpoint of 3 kids: young Loyalist girl, Patriot boy, and the youngest is a French orphaned boy. They all happen to be working for Benjamin Franklin on his newspaper.
CCC Saint Movies
*Contains affiliate link*
No one makes saint movies as good as CCC. I grew up on CCC movies, both at home and occasionally in CCD classes.
My kid's favorites are: St. Nicholas, St. Francis Xavier, and The Day the Sun Danced (Fatima).
They typically inspire John to want to say the rosary for all the "poor souls in Purgatory". I'm cool with that being a consequence of watching a movie. ;)
Magic School Bus
I still contend that my knowledge of things like photosynthesis and the water cycle was largely learned from watching the Magic School Bus.
These do a great job of introducing science concepts in a fun way, and the internet is just full of experiments and other jumping off points you can use to build on the episode you just watched.
There's a free science curriculum from Our Cozy Den to make it super duper easy!
John has his first ballet lesson of the year tomorrow morning (yea!).
I think the best way to get through that hard training of getting the basics down is to have a good idea where all these steps will lead.
Youtube has everything from the full performance of Swan Lake by the Kirov Ballet, variations of from full ballets, to videos made by ballet students.
We're probably a long way off from being able to make it through a full length ballet in a theater, but we can handle 30 minutes at a time.
The British/Vintage "Family Features"
Sometimes after dinner or on rainy days we'll have family movie time. I've found we tend to go for British or vintage movies. Favorites have been The Water Horse, Cheaper by the Dozen (the 1950 version), and Robin Hood.