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Television as an Educational Tool - Page 2

post #21 of 48
Ooh! Ooh! Cynthia! How about Ham radio? That's a huge, time intensive hobby And then they can talk to people around the world!
post #22 of 48
I would totally get cable/sat. TV if it wasn't for dh. He would watch it constantly and that would drive me nuts. I do think there's a place for the History Channel, Discovery Channels, etc. I think on one of the websites for those educational channels you can order the DVD's/videos of their shows. I'm always tempted to do that. I believe that there is a time and place for TV. My kids don't watch it at all in the warmer months. In the colder months they enjoy Magic School Bus and other educational shows (PBS mostly).
post #23 of 48
Cynthia, I think you already have some great ideas. Especially about the bunnies and chickens! I did that when I was a kid and I *loved* it. I learned so much. This is an odd fact about me but...from the age of 12-15 I actually had my very own rabbit business. I had certain breeds that I would mate and sell (I know not PC to some here but I was a kid) and I learned so much about animals, business, caretaking etc. It really helped me to be super responsible at a young age too. I just can't say enough about how all of the various animals in my life affected me as a child. Very positive. I definately think you should do that.

Also, I would *not* go for the cable. I hate to say this but so much on TV is so fast paced that your kids might find a new meaning of boredom when the TV isn't on. If you're going to do any television viewing though I do think some nice videos would be best. There are some really amazing ones of dolphins with beautiful underwater pictures and things like that. We're TV free with the kids but I can see doing this when they're older.

I did have an idea that I don't think has been mentioned. What about your kids getting involved in some volunteer work? Maybe look into it and see what could be available. I think some really great learning and positive life experiences could come from that.

Sorry you don't have more resources there. I think you and your kids will be able to work this out though. Good luck!
post #24 of 48
can I go totally off topic and nosy and ask why you live over there?
I dont suppose letter boxing has taken off?
DO they use the computer?
post #25 of 48
I use to be VERY anti TV. I mean if it were up to me we wouldn't have one. My dh on the other hand is the opp. So we met in the middle with limited TV. What happened? My DS would start telling me all kinds of facts and very brilliant things. When I'd ask him whare he learned something from his responce would be TV. I'd love to tell you that all he learns comes from "educational" programs but that isn't true. Quite often the place he learns great stuff from will be something like Sponge Bob Square Pants. So after years of debating with my ds and dh I have finally conceded. Something I don't do often or easily I've had to change the way I think about TV and realize that learning happens everywhere in everything and you never know where or how it's going to happen.
post #26 of 48
Thread Starter 
What if the changes to a young mind are not reversible? What if watching a few weeks of TV alters the developing brain somehow that can't be repaired?
Suzy, what you're saying is reasonable. I think I'm going to read The Plug-In Drug again so I can give this, and the info it puts forth, more thought.

But offhand, and I know you said 'developing brain', from what you have read and know, would you say that the brain altering hypothesis is of concern at a specific age and younger? Or is it a lifetime issue, something that would affect adult brains as well?
post #27 of 48
Thread Starter 
Shannon, Ham radio is not allowed here. Don't know why.

Amy, can you link me to where you can order the videos? Or better yet, anyone have a source for used edu-videos/DVDs?

The volunteer work around here is, as far as I know, an option for teens. As the kids get older I will definitely try that for them.

boysrus, I'm married to a Saudi. We married in the US after a brief courtship of sorts long distance (he had returned home). A year later I came here to visit his family and loved the country. It's very family oriented in spite of the "lack of freedom" reputation it has. So we discussed it at length and decided we wanted to raise our children here rather than the US. Though I often miss many things the US has to offer I feel like we made a good decision. And the things we wish we could have or have access to we probably really don't need. Or can usually come up with a decent alternative that will suffice.

Okay, so what is letter boxing?

And yes, they do use the computer a bit.

post #28 of 48
Here's the link to Discovery Channel store. Maybe you could find what you like and look on Ebay for it? I know I have more sources I just need to find it.


Try www.netflix.com . We have that and you pay one monthly fee and get up to three DVD's at a time. You can keep them as long as you like. I don't know if they have something like that available to you in S A or not?
post #29 of 48
I have just a quick response. My dd is only 3 so we are just getting into "schooling" issues however I have a very positive view of limited tv. dd gets to watch one hour a week and one movie. She is addicted to Mythbusters and I find it is quite educational. However, her and dh will occasionally have a Mythbusters Activity Day where they pretend to be Mythbusters and try things out. :

My cousin lives in Saudi Arabia and she has done extensive gardening and bug exploration with her son. I personally am not into the bug exploration but botany in such a unique environment seems potentially interesting.

letter boxing concerns the issue of if the movie is shown as it was meant to be seen which is a wider angle than one gets on a tv set. So if you see a movie with a black strip on top and bottom the proper aspect ratio is being shown as opposed to having the sides cut off or worse the pan/scan approach. Here we are big snobs and will only watch the "real" movie.

Could you incorporate film studies into your children's lives? Maybe book adaptations where one reads the book and then watches the movie, lots of discussion points there. I know you unschool but maybe these resources could inspire your kids in that direction as opposed to a tv merely as time waster. I think movies from other countries etc can be have a mind opening element to them.
post #30 of 48
thoughts on tv...well I have not read the plug in drug, but I would like to. My comments are more on the neuology/neuropsychology. Our brains are forming new synapses all the time, they are growing and building on into our early 20's at which point unfortunately we begin to deteriorate. The point that I make is that it is unlikely that the damage would be irreperable unless it was a long term usage. So if you're watching a few hours of tv a day for a year it will be much more difficult to undo that damage...those synapses are hard-wired so to speak. But in moderation if there were damage there is a better shot at "healing" so to speak.

We don't do tv here, but dd is only 2 which is a major factor for why. But we have let her watch a movie recently (chitty chitty bang bang) and I've been thinking of doing something every other friday like watching an old movie. No, this is not educational, but I was more thinking of pleasure which is what media should provide too. Just not a substitue for all pleasure IYKWIM. So that she learns that tv can be something useful. I guess I was afraid of it going the other direction like when she becomes a teen/young adult that she would want to watch all the time.

On the other ideas of things to do..you mentioned being interested in raising chickens/pidgeons...have you thought of doing a container garden on the roof to learn about gardening, nutrients, weather...etc. There's so much you can learn from gardening from how to look for rain clouds (deciphering which clouds are what) to ph in soil. Just a thought.

This has been a very interesting read...
post #31 of 48
I think when letter boxing was mentioned the person meant this http://www.letter-boxing.com/ Similar to geocaching (but more low tech for if you don't have a global positioning thingybob).

That's too bad about the ham radio. I hope to get one some day. My grandpa was into it and I always thought it was cool.

Cynthia, have you asked your kids what they would like to do? Maybe they can come up with some ideas of big projects they could get into.

I admit the lack of a library threw me for a loop! Are there not any at all there or just too far from you?

Babybugmama, my mom read an article recently that said that the brain actually appears to keep growing til the mid 50's! She was bummed to read that because she's in her late 50's so now we joke that she is going downhill but I'm still improving :LOL

I enjoy container gardening. I now have a tiny garden in the ground, but when I was living in apartments I was always able to grow at least cherry tomatoes.
post #32 of 48
Heh. Just out of curiosity I googled geocaching and Saudi Arabia. http://www.brillig.com/geocaching/saudi_arabia.shtml I didn't get any hits for letter boxing in Saudi Arabia though. With geocaching you do have to buy the global positioning thingy but you can use the money you would have spent on the satellite.

I *really* want to get into this stuff when my kids are a bit older. It sounds *so* much fun!!!!

edited to add this article describing it http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald...ss/6498035.htm

edited again because it's a GPS, global positioning system, not a global positioning thingybob
post #33 of 48
yes, that is what I meant by letterboxing. similar to geocaching, but free, no need to buy a gps.
If there isnt any letterboxes there, maybe you could plant some and get people interested?

Have you thought about getting them internet penpals? What about Flat Travelers? That is similar to Flat Stanley, but it is for homeschoolers. Here is a link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FlatTravelers/
when I searched ot flat travelers on yahoo, I also found a flat travelers homeschool one. The first one I listed was originally for hsers, but has expanded. Here is the other group
post #34 of 48

risks to adults

I found this great site with tons of links.
Can't find any specific references to adult tv viewing at this second (except health risks such as obesity and back pain) but will keep looking!
I just skimmed over some of "The Plug In Drug" again. Every time I read it I feel more strongly that kids should not watch tv. I know that many kids learn from watching but I still believe that the research shows that the risks are not worth it. There is nothing on tv they can't learn by reading, playing, or interacting with others.
I am not totally against tv. There are a few shows I watch, maybe about 3 hours per week some weeks, but there are so many other things for kids to do. I have seen my 4 yr old in front of the tv at his grandmother's house. I can't stand to watch it. He sits completely focused, without even blinking. It's kind of scary!
post #35 of 48
Anytime society discovers a new form of media society freaks out. People thought it was going to be the end of the world with the glutenburg (sorry can't spell) press. Electricity, the internet, video games and on and on. What makes TV any different. As I said earlier in this thread I use to be VERY ati TV and have changed the way I feel. I now think that I was the one with the problem not the TV was the problem.

On adults with obesity linked to watching TV. Perhaps it is more likly the sedatary lives that people lead today. If you work in an office job sitting on your butt all day and then go home and sit on your butt and watch TV all night I can understand how that would lead to obesity.
post #36 of 48
At this point I wouldn't call TV new. We have 50 years of research now showing that it does affect us in negative ways.
Just facts, no judgements.

post #37 of 48
Anything can be abused, though, IMO. I mean, if a kid sits in his room reading for 10 hours/day he's being still and not getting much else out of life. What if he's reading only comic books? Or the same books over and over? Things in moderation work best, I would say. There is a lot of crap on TV that we do NOT watch or let our kids watch. They probably watch a few hours of TV/week in the winter and none in the summer. I don't see how that small amount (most of which is educational TV) could harm them. Our TV is closed in a cupboard most of the time. They have limited computer time, time with friends, etc. All things in moderation is my motto.
post #38 of 48
It's not the content that matters, though. Educational or not, the act of watching television changes the way the viewer's brain is working. It's not about parents making sure their kids don't watch crap. It is purely the act of watching that is the problem. Not to mention that they don't need to be sitting still with their eyes glazed over for any length of time. One study found that tv put kids in an "easily manipulated" type of trance. Their brain waves were in a semi sleep/hypnotic state where they were more likely to believe whatever they were watching.
No thanks!

post #39 of 48
Cynthia, Over the years my children have raised bunnies, chickens, chinchillias, sugargliders, and attempted to breed birds. We have found this to be a very educational hobby and a lot of fun too.

We also enjoy watching educational videos and programs on the Discovery and History channels, as well as Animal Planet, PBS, etc. We have also found some interesting radio programs that are broadcast for kids and adults alike on various channels. I don't know what the radio broadcast is like there, but you could check that out. I'm sure that National Geographic and others have audio tapes available for purchase as well as videos and dvds. Another choice might be books on audio tape.

I'm sure you will find the right balance for your family concerning TV.
post #40 of 48
Originally Posted by m&gsmom
At this point I wouldn't call TV new. We have 50 years of research now showing that it does affect us in negative ways.
Just facts, no judgements.

Considering the length of time humans have been around I'd say 50 years is VERY new technology. That being said maybe you wouldn't want children to watch TV just because there hasn't been enough research. Every family is going to have to think about what is best for them.

Waldorf education teaches that TV is not appropriate for children at all. Radical unschoolers will tell you that there is not a such thing as limiting a child's TV. Two very different philosophies from two really great approaches to education both proven to work well. Which is right? I think it is really dependent on the families lifestyle, values, and personality.
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