With technology on the rise it’s time to embrace the wide variety of media outlets available to use them to create positive and powerful learning environments for our kids. There are so many amazing media outlets available for kids, parents, and teachers to use as resources. The added bonus, you can tap into these resources as you see fit and use them to create engaging and diverse learning experiences for your kids.
Tips for using Media
Compare and Contrast
As an avid reader myself I love comparing novels with movies. The movies more often than not disappoint me. However, I still love to see how the author/director chose to create the storyline, characters, and setting compared with what I visualized as I read.
This type of activity is a higher level thinking skill that requires critical thinking on the students’ part. By reading a book and watching a movie or something similar, students are required to dive deep into both and analyze them. While this may seem like a task for older students it really is not.
Just this week we read Stellaluna by Jannell Cannon and then watched Stellaluna the movie. I asked my five kids (kindergarten and younger) what some of the differences were between the movie and the book. They could easily spot the major differences and with coaxing began to start to dig deeper. At the kindergarten and preschool level, I don’t expect them to be super analytical but it’s important to introduce and practice those higher level thinking skills. Comparing and contrasting a great picture book with a short film is a perfect way.
For older students, the same concept can be used; find a great novel and the movie if one has been made. If not, find a movie on the same topic. Have your child discuss the similarities and differences between the information provided in the novel with what they learned from the documentary. (This you can take so much further into resources, validity, credibility, etc.)
Enhance Learning with Media
Not everyone learns the same way, in the same time frame. As a homeschooling parent it is our job to determine how our children learn best and to capitalize on that. You may have one kiddo that can sit through a book about horseshoe crabs and pick up all the key details you were hoping they would. While another kiddo can only tell you that the book was about horseshoe crabs. But then you can show a quick kid themed documentary on horseshoe crabs, which totally captivates the second kiddo as well as the first.
In this scenario, you are enhancing the learning of both kids by offering more than one way for them to learn the information about horseshoe crabs. Sometimes just seeing a horseshoe crab in action can capture their attention and really help the information stick.
To take it a step further, have your kiddos act out what it’s like to be a bat. The more learning styles you can hit through your teaching the higher retention your kids will have.
Improve auditory skills and learning
For younger kiddos this could be finding a silly song video like, “The Hokey Pokey” to use to work on those early auditory learning skills. As kids get older, media can be a great tool to really improve those skills.
A fun activity would be to show your child a short film about Famous Inventors and Inventions. Then have them draw pictures of the inventions shown in the film or write a list of top 10 facts from the film.
Including an activity for them to do while they are watching will ensure that they are not only paying attention but will also help them retain the information as well. Just be careful that they activity doesn’t take away from their learning.
I hope that my tips have helped you see media as a positive resource within your homeschool classroom. Be sure to check out the infographic below. The amazing folks at PureFlix, a Christian movie resource, have allowed me to share it with all of you. They have a FREE 4-week curriculum for homeschooling parents so be sure to check that out as well.
I’d love to hear how you already use media in your homeschool, so drop me a comment below!
Until next time,