Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Educational Videos

I know this is just slightly controversial in some circles, but I have to admit I am a fan of educational videos.  They have been a life saver over the past few weeks since we've been hit with a bazillion illness this winter.  Even though Alan is amazingly able to work from home when I am too sick to function, (something I am still not used to since this has never been an option before in our world) he stil needs to actually work so educational videos are awesome on those days.  So while I was upstairs sleeping, reading, and catching up on the last season of Eureka (Have I mentioned my love affair with streaming TV with a ROKU box? It's seriously awesome.), the kids were being introduced to Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego so Alan could work and attend meetings on-line.

This is, in my opinion, a very much untapped resource by many educators.  Sure, I can remember being forced to watch a ton of books made into movies in school, but I can't remember actually learning anything from them.  I do believe that the only thing the guys in our freshman English class remembered about the Romeo and Juliet movie we watched was the slight nudity.  All I know is Alan can still pinpoint the version we were forced to sit through but I haven't a clue. And I say that with all humor and respect.  So, anyway, the point is to avoid the movies shown just for the sake of filling in the time and trying to find something worth while.  Something we sometimes fail at but, hey, at least we try.

So here's my current list of go-to movies in our world. Feel free to toss some of your suggestions my way if there is something I'm missing out on.

Foreign Languages: Muzzy, Visual Latin   
Science: Bill Nye, Magic School Bus, Beakman's World, Mr. Wizard's World, Journey to the Stars, Planet Earth
History/Geography: Liberty's Kids, Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego, The Story of Us, Nest Hero Classics, Learn Our History, Drive Thru History
Phonics: Leap Frog DVDs
Art: Simply Drawing

We also frequently have documentaries in our Netflix queue that the kids will watch.  Most of the IMAX movies are available on Netflix as well many National Geographic movies.  I'm also a huge fan of historically accurate fictional movies.  The hard part on that end is finding the historical fiction that has not been killed under the guise of political correctness or had too many sexual scenes added to it to help it appeal to the masses.  There are still great options out there but I find that we have to preview the movies more than our parents likely did.  I can't tell you how many movies we've watched from our youth before allowing our kids to watch it only to find ourselves asking each other how on earth did this movie slip past our parents' censoring?  So are there any goldmines in your home that I am missing?


Krista Heiser said...

New to the blog, so forgive me if you've answered this already, but are these for homeschooling purposes or educational entertainment? If the former, you may want to check out Kahn Academy vidoes. If the latter, I'm usually a huge fan of the Nat Geo Wild programming. Animals rule!

Cheryl said...

We do use them to fill-in for homeschooling at times and to supplement certain studies. Visual Latin is the program the kids use for Latin credit but I'd say when it comes to the younger crew at least, we just like to have some videos in the back of our mind that we can turn on when life is getting too hectic that we don't have to feel quite so guilty about. We do have the Khan Academy Channel on the ROKU and we've used them a bit on-line but I have to admit that it is mostly an untapped resources as of yet. So thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

We pick movies from piusmedia and use imdb.com to get an insider's look at the movie. If you go to the imdb site and look up a movie you can scroll down to the "storyline" section and click on the "parents guide: View content advisory". The guide is pretty explicit in the descriptions so it will quickly give you an idea of what it is all about.
Thanks for all of the other suggestions.