When I first had children I was not going to be one of “those” parents. You know, the ones who just plop their kids down in front of a television. Everything we did had to have a purpose. And then I started homeschooling and I discovered that my children did not learn the way I learned. They are visual learners.
One of the most useful tools I have encountered for my visual learning children is Netflix. Not just Netflix, but Hulu, Amazon Prime and You Tube are all wonderful tools for the homeschool family (when properly monitored of course). These websites have an array of programming that can help bring history and social studies to life. And for families with visual learners, these types of venues help keep your students engaged.
Thanks to the increasing popularity of homeschooling, you can find guides online to just about any movie or subject out there. Movie guides are my favorite as you can usually find lesson plans that include everything from subject matter to vocabulary. Many times, these guides are created by parents who have written down what they used for specific programs in an effort to help other families. You can also find programs like Teach With Movies which focuses on lesson plans for thousands of movies from kindergarten through high school.
Why would you choose to teach with movies? First, let me say that it’s not “plopping your kids down in front of the old boob tube.” Teaching with movies can help visual learners absorb the information better. For my children, they learned more about history by watching it on the screen than from reading it in a book. They could see the uniforms, the weather, and the conditions people lived in. They can hear the dialect, see emotions and envelope themselves in a time period.
Using movies to enhance education is both entertaining and visually stimulating. For students who learn “outside the box”, movies are an inviting way to engage them in the time period or help them get more in depth with the topic at hand. There is something about “seeing it” that helps my students better understand and grasp periods of time.
Using movies to enhance your lesson plans is a wonderful way to get your visual learners plugged into new eras and unit studies. And for parental support, just log into your facebook account and search for “Homeschooling with Netflix” for a great support community that can help you start using movies as a homeschool tool.