Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Unschooling Tools::Televison

Fact:  we have never been a family that shunned the television.  David and I did make a very conscious decision before we were married that our house would, however, have only one TV.  We did not want everyone to end up in separate rooms watching different shows.  We wanted to be the kind of family that always watched TV together and I am proud to say that we have remained true to that original decision.  We love family movie night and the snuggle time that comes with it.  And Sundays are all about Cupcake Wars and The Amazing Race.  Since TV has never been something that was off limits the girls have never had any trouble when the TV was not on one of their shows.  They never sat there like zombies and they would often get what they needed out of it and move on to something else. 

It's thanks to the Wild Kratt's that the girls have learned all sorts of amazing animal facts (many that David and I never knew or had forgotten) and that show pairs nicely with their subscription to National Geographic Little Kids, Big Backyard and Ranger Rick magazines.  What would we do without those fabulous Kratt Brothers?! 

The They Might Be Giants Here Comes the ABCs  and LeapFrog's Letter Factory are the two DVDs that really helped Grace master identifying the letters of the alphabet!  Seriously, is there anything better than listening to the girls sing "The Alphabet of Nations"?! 

Other shows that the girls love or have loved are:
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic -This one has brought up many wonderful discussions of various social situations.
  • Super Why - Letters, sounds, spelling.  The list goes on.
  • Cupcake Wars- Teamwork.
  • The Amazing Race- Geography, teamwork, problem solving.  This one pairs nicely with the Intro to Geography app by Montessorium that we have for the iPad. 
  • Schoolhouse Rock DVDs- enough said.
  • Fresh Beat Band
  • YouTube - A variety of things from different types of music, to dancing, to anything we can think to look up!
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • The Voice
  • Unwrapped
  • Chopped
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • Franny's Feet-Franny goes on different adventures to different countries/places depending on what shoes her cobbler grandfather is working on for that episode.
  • Pinky Dinky Doo-vocabulary building, storytelling, problem solving.
  • A variety of shows and movies on Netflix
I feel like there are more but these are the ones that came to mind right away.  Our list of Family Movie Night movies is pretty extensive too.  Some favorites are:
  • Charlotte's Web (the one with Dakota Fanning and Julia Roberts)
  • Kiki's Delivery Service
  • Pollyanna
  • Fairy Tale: A True Story
  • Despicable Me
  • All of the Tinkerbell movies
  • The King and I (orignal, of course)
  • Sound of Music
  • Cheaper by the Dozen (original, of course)
  • Tangled
  • Enchanted
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks
  • The Eloise movies (Eloise at Christmastime, Eloise at the Plaza).  The little girl who plays Eloise totally reminds us of Emma!
  • Princess Diaries (and it's sequel)
  • Milo and Otis
  • Mary Poppins
  • Charlie Brown holiday DVDs
  • The American Girl movies
If you have a list to share head on over to Ordinary Life Magic and link up to todays Unschooling Tools post.  Hope to see you there! 


  1. That sounds very familiar (nice word!), Shel. When my girls were young, same thing. I did not like the idea of "parking" them somewhere out of sight watching THEIR screen. It's only recently that we've gotten a second TV, in deference to the cold winter nights, but even then it wouldn't occur to Alison and me to watch them separately, at the same time.

    Love your list! Mine included (of course) Sesame Street, and we wore out a VHS tape of "Follow That Bird!" A Dr. Seuss "A B C" tape from Random House, very well done for its time, also was a huge favorite because we also had the book.

  2. I think I recall many a night watching "Follow that Bird" with your girls, that is when we weren't watching Mary Poppins, of course! :)