Using Educational Television Programs

When homeschooling, one of the first complaints is often about the television. Grandparents (who may not approve of homeschooling) may mistakenly believe that the children will do nothing but watch television all day long. While more conservative homeschooling parents may decide that this is the perfect opportunity to rid the house of the television all together and spend more time reading living books or listening to quality family based audio programming.

For those who like to use television (or don’t mind watching it for fun) there are plenty of educational programs that can help enhance a lesson, or even can substitute for a textbook (on occasion, I would have to warn against consistently using the television instead of reading). But with that said, the television does have its benefits and can be used as an effective learning tool.

Whether you are using videos, watching DVDs, or simply enjoying an educational program, there are great advantages to using the television. You can enhance a lesson with a program, and for some learners, the television is a great way to capture their attention. One of the best ways to stay informed is to receive various teaching guides made available by individual stations.

PBS has different programming across the nation, so it makes the most sense to visit your local PBS website and discover what teaching options are available for you there.

http://www.PBS.org

Cable in the Classroom is another series created to allow teachers (and homeschooling parents) access to broadcast taping. Did you know that there are strict copyright laws in effect that prevent teachers from recording educational programs at will? Cable in the Classroom allows teachers to have discount Cable in their classrooms and allows them to record certain educational programs at various times in the day.
You can find out more about Cable in the Classroom at: http://www.ciconline.com/default.htm

Some other channels have their own sites as well as have many teacher’s guides, lesson plans, and other educational resources (such as web activities) that you can use as well. Here are a few great sites:

History Channel

http://www.historychannel.com/

The History Channel’s Programming Guide
www.historychannel.com/global/listings/listings.jsp?NetwCode=THC

Save Our History

http://www.saveourhistory.com/index.html

The Discovery Channel

http://www.discovery.com/

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