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PBS "Educational?" - Page 2

post #21 of 44
Thread Starter 
Reguarding advertising:
A friend of mine grew up playing a game with her parents and sibs. Whenever commercials came on they would play "Spot the lie" and the kids would pick out the deceptions in commercials. They learned to discern between want and need, and they learned to question what they were told and not fall for sales pitches. What a great idea!
post #22 of 44
Lila, we do that with our kids, too. Me and my 8yo play, "what are they trying to tell you that you need?" like for instance, the drug commercials are the best: "if you take this drug the babies will stop crying" for Imitrex. He doesn't even need an explanation for why that is absurd. He's starting to make the connection that the pharmaceutical companies think they can "cure whatever ails you" a frightening opinion in our culture, one that teaches kids to look to drugs in the first place to make them feel better, regardless of the "ailment." It sickens me that they are even allowed to advertise on tv. And we wonder why our teens turn to drugs and alcohol to feel better?

At least with PBS I know when the commercials are going to be on, they aren't popping in every 2 minutes.

Though I will admit, this thread has served as a gentle reminder that my kids are watching too much tv. It so easy to just plop them down in front of it whenever I need to get something done without interuption--dishes, going on the puter, whatever. This week I vow to curb their tv watching dramatically.
post #23 of 44
the only program we have really watched has been sagwa the chinese siamese cat. my dd loves this show(we have 5 cats) and now wants to go to china. instead we have "visited" via library books, eaten chinese food, and talked with my friend who is chinese. i agree that the commercials they have between shows are so obnoxious.
post #24 of 44
Teletubbies are about the only thing Fiona likes on PBS (though she does watch nature shows with me in the evening). Sometimes she'll watch Dragon Tales, but that has to be with my husband because I can't stand one of the voices (the big dumb guy, for lack of better descriptors).

As far as Clifford...those books have been around for at least 15 years and have ALWAYS been heavily marketed by Scholastic...so I don't really consider that one an informercial. I grew up on Clifford books, and was surprised that they'd turned it into an animated series. While I don't like it because the characters don't sound anything like how I'd imagined them, it's no more than my dislike of other movies-from-books in the adult world.

I don't like the mass marketing of the characters either. I wonder what could be done about that? If the studios supported by PBS are the ones responsible for signing those rights away, then a campaign could be started...I'm not sure a startup studio would listen...and then you have the BBC and CBC imports.

I don't really consider much on TV educational. I'd rather my daughter go dig in the dirt, discover scientific principles by playing with playdough, water, and/or sand...or watch bugs and birds and squirrels in the back yard. TV for us is a way for my husband and I to catch a snuggle break with Fia (who is off doing her own thing most of the time) during the day, and because it's fun for us to see her enjoy the show. We like the marketing demon that is the Baby Einstein (hate the pretentious name too) DVD series...but once again, we didn't choose that for its educational value (I find it really funny how they try to spin it off that way though!), but because Fiona saw one at a friends house and really enjoyed it...and it's not violent or flashy or hyper, so we decided that'd be fine to add to her choices of lazy entertainment.

BTW, carrots--Hubby and I LOVE Sagwa, Fiona could care less. Sometimes we watch it while she is building towers with her blocks, cans, and books. How sad is that? ;>
post #25 of 44
...don't even get me started on baby einstein
post #26 of 44
While I agree that I don't really care if the shows are educational, it doesn't bother anyone else that they are brought to you by a grant by the us department of education?
post #27 of 44
Ds loves zooboomafoo. I hate where's Ernie on Sesame Street, when he is in a box somewhere and big bird takes 200 years to find him. geez, it's like watching Groundhog Day!

I find the commercials irritating, especially for products they are going to want to get ...
post #28 of 44
It does bother me but it doesn't surprise me. I wonder, now that seseme street is so watered down if they are going t pull the funding. I swear there isnothing remotely educational left on it.
post #29 of 44
Originally posted by daylily
... the ads for pharmaceuticals incorporated into the show (" 'Z' for Zithromax") ...
Are you serious? We don't watch tv (well, almost never), but I was just starting to tape Sesame Street for dd. I'll have to watch several episodes.
post #30 of 44
That ad is not IN the show. It is just before or just after it. Between the shows.
post #31 of 44
Funny you should mention how "watered down" Sesame Street is! I have noticed since I've had kids (four years now) that there is such a difference between the SS of my youth and the version nowadays. Yuck! Used to be so creative and warm and fuzzy. Now, it just sucks! We don't watch it anyway, but I just had to put in my two cents.

Mallory, now that you mention it, it does bother me that the Dept. of Ed. sponsors PBS stuff!

Not related but, my daughter was freaked out by "Seven Little Monsters" when she saw the one monster take his head off and carry it around!

Had to mention "Franklin" (for older preschoolers) and "Little Bear", on Noggin in the afternoon. Both, esp. Little Bear, are so gentle and enjoyable to watch. Anyone ever see "Little Bill" on Nick Jr.? We catch it on Saturday on CBS (one of the few decent shows on then). What a wonderful, family-friendly show!!! Bill Cosby hit the nail on the head with that one!

We watch TV for the entertainment value, too. I find the afore-mentioned shows OK for my 4 and 2 year-olds to watch occasionally while I get some housework done.
post #32 of 44
Sunmountain, I agree with almost everything you said. I'll take it further though.

I don't let my children watch tv in a vacuum. I am always around. I can hear even if I am not watching. We talk about what they see -- not in an artificial way but because these things come up naturally. The problems come up and the good things come up, and they learn a lot, even from the shows that are not "supposed" to be educational.

I trust my children. I give them choices. They can turn the television on whenever they want (it helps that we don't have cable and PBS is one of the few stations that comes in well). They can watch whatever videos we have whenever they want and they can pick videos out of the children's section of the library and occasionally the video store. There are times, like when it's cold and snowy or when they're sick or more tired than usual, that they watch several hours in a day. But then there are other times when they actually go entire months or even seasons without it, completely by their own choice. And when they are watching, they turn it off a lot on their own, when they feel they have watched too much or when they don't like a show, or they feel like going out, or have been inspired by a show to go try something out (this happens with Zoom in particular) or whatever. I also see that my older daughter is a lot more interested in tv than my younger daughter and always has been. But she is also obviously a more visual learner than her sister. She takes after her father (not after me!), and he has done well in life by being a visual learner. My younger daughter is very often not interested when her sister is watching, and she'll do her own thing or hang out with me.

There are shows that annoy me but they like. Why should they be subject to my tastes? And they know what annoys me, and why, and they give me good reasons for why they like the shows, sometimes they even convince me or I convince them, but we always learn from each other. We do examine the marketing ploys as well.

But isn't even Raggedy Ann a marketing ploy? Didn't she have books that went with her? What about Paddington Bear? Aren't these considered classics? How are these so different than shows and books and merchandise going together?

And, as I said, they talk about what they see with me. I allow them their freedom with this, but I am there for them, and I see it working.

The fact that it is sponsored by the department of education bothers me only in that there are these arbitrary definitions of what is educational and what is not. But then, I'm an unschooler so I have a whole philosophy about that.

[edited to add a missing word]
post #33 of 44
Melissa J- We are little Bill fans here My ds loves that show. We don't have cable but I found some lil Bill tapes at a resale shop. I love the family dynamics with Alice the Great. I like how gentle the family is but still real(for a cartoon). It is a fav. of ours. i love the way my ds says "lil' Biiilll".

I also miss the S.S. of my youth. I loved that skit with the pinball machine." 1234567891011twelllllve! Ladybug picnic. They use to focus on the letter of the day and the number of the day more then they do now. It is still one of the few kids shows I enjoy watching with my children though.
post #34 of 44
Sesame street has been "watered down" to make it more aplicable to younger children. Their target audience used to be preschoolers, 4 and 5 year olds, but now their audience has gotten younger so it is aimed at 2 and 3 year olds. The educational focus has switched from numbers and letters that would help a child get ready for kindergarden, to helping them get ready for preschool.

I don't know if I have ever seen the whole show, but the monsters are at preschool right? And the whole pattern of skits to the show is supposed to be a big improvement.
post #35 of 44
I loved that skit with the pinball machine." 1234567891011twelllllve! Ladybug picnic.
They still play these, I know I have seen all of these and more oldies but goodies recently.

hydrangea, we certainly are on the same page
post #36 of 44
Well of all the T.V. out there PBS was the only 'kids programming' I would let my son watch - HOWEVER I'm not sure I would really call much of it educational :

My biggest annoyance was the fact that even though it's called commercial free television it's NOT - before and after every kids show there are adds for Chuck E Cheese, Life cereal and Lego's and while they aren't as blatent as full on commercial t.v. kids are bright enough to get it :

SO....we decided to stop watching it all together, it's been almost 2 months now and we are actually really enjoying it - My son is being more creative, we spend more time together and I think everyone seems happier

Oh, I agree with everyone on the watered down Seasame Street, it makes me sad to see it because it USED to be such a cool show
post #37 of 44
Ah...i can only sigh reading all of this. My husband announced last night that we ARE going to get Direct TV. They're the only television service that has ALL the NFL games.

He doesn't get it that his television addiction costs us an arm and a leg. AND I have to go to work to make ends meet. It's a battle I can't win.

ANYWAY...I used to love Nick Jr. programming. The Busy World of Richard Scary and Little Bear...Blues Clues and Allegra's Window. My favorite was Gullah Gullah Island. Where did that one go? I'm not a big fan of Dora. My dd thinks she knows Spanish now. I'm constantly trying to help her pronounce the words correctly. She just doesn't get it from the tv like she THINKS she does. ARGH!

I was terribly bored the last time I tried to watch Sesame Street. There is another program called "Zoom" that I think is highly entertaining and pretty darn educational. They play neat games and do all kinds of experiments. It's on in the afternoon, though.

I agree that we shouldn't expect tv to be educational. It's a distraction that can be entertaining and perhaps teach something from time to time. We're going to participate in no tv week. With the exception of dh and the tv in our bedroom, I'm sure. :

Edited to add: I do like Noggin. I love the Electric Company reruns. Those are just fantastic! I'm not sure why they were on at 2am, though. LOL
post #38 of 44
Where do you see Electric Company? That was my favorite when I was little. I'd love to see it again!
post #39 of 44
It's on Noggin, I think. It's one of the channels that comes with the digital cable package. (TOO MUCH MONEY)

It's funny to watch because it's soooo grainy. Just like tv looked when we had an antenna and had to go outside to turn it to get certain channels.
post #40 of 44
I just looked at one of my books by Norman Bridwell, the author of Clifford. It was published by Scholastic in 1965. Looks like Scholastic was just the publisher he went with, no alterior motive that I can see.
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