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You can use media in your homeschool to help your students learn new material, practice concepts, and to introduce broad topics. It’s very versatile!
However, too much of anything is never good. So when you’re thinking about your children’s relationship with media, do make sure it’s not the only activity they’re participating in.
And as long as you’re doing all those real-world things, a little media can be a great supplement to your child’s education.
As the mama to a boy with severe special needs, I’ve come to appreciate the inclusiveness of media in our homeschool. It really can teach things that he can understand better than any other source. And he can’t eat his iPad or the TV like he can the books he rips and destroys.
Here are some tips for integrating media into your homeschool.
Make It Active
Passively sitting in front of the television won’t offer many educational benefits. To use movies or episodes as a learning tool, you must engage the brain with some activity.
Here are some ideas for making that happen:
- Encourage your child to draw while watching–they can draw:
- The setting of the movie
- A main character
- Their favorite part
- What they think will happen at the end
- Talk about what you’re watching. Don’t be afraid to hit pause.
- Work on a hobby while watching; crocheting, knitting, drawing
- Do jumping jacks during one commercial break and sit ups on another
This post shares some questions you can ask to encourage literacy while watching tv.
Tie it Into Your Schooling
Is your child studying pioneer life? Are they learning about ocean life?
No matter what your child is studying, there’s probably some form of entertainment you can use. Look for documentaries, child friendly films, or apps that reinforce the concepts.
Have your child read the words on the video games, look for patterns in the levels they play, and describe the characters with adjectives.
There are so many ways to tie media into your homeschool!
Extend the Learning
Don’t just shut the television or tablet off and walk away. Spend a few minutes extending the learning, to help your child make connections. Try to find activities that activate different parts of the brain, and rely on your child’s learning strengths. You could:
- Act out a favorite scene
- Write a review
- Do a craft project inspired by the media
- Create a matching game with index cards inspired by the media
- Share three facts you learned while watching
- Draw a movie poster
This purposeful learning will also help relieve the boredom kids often face when shutting off the screen.
How Do You Use Media in Your Homeschool?
I’d love to hear your best tips for enhancing learning with media. Do your kids have a favorite series, app, or game that reinforces what they’re learning about? Please share in the comments!