Monday, October 18, 2010

its all in the interpretation

There are always different ways to look at everything. I learned a while ago that I needed to stop looking at everything in black in white.

For example take this weekend:

Perspective 1~
we sat around all day long in pjs cuddled under blankets and snacked on food. We watched movie after movie and didn't plan anything else all day.

Perspective 2~
we spent the entire day immersed in education. We explored cyclones, learned all about the great depression & how hope was reborn, we journeyed to China & learned the true meaning of Kung Fu and then we adventured into medieval times where we learned about the code of honor.

Now perspective 1 is the typical view of how things are done. You certainly would not assume that if a family sat and watched movie after movie all day on a Sunday that they learned anything at all. Of course we are talking about movies and can we really trust the Hollywood version of anything? Well the truth is that a movie is where the interest sparks. Once we see interest in a subject we can delve deeper. As an organic learning parent my goal is to teach the children how to recognize their passions. So we spent the day watching movies and exploring where our passions could lead us today. 

For those of you sitting here wondering what movies we watched.
We started with a classic, The wizard of Oz. 
This movie has so much educational experience all rolled into one movie that its no wonder its a childhood favorite. You learn how to make new friends, but keep the old. You learn how to trust your friends will be there for you. You learn how to defeat witches, even if this requires you to have either A) a house or B) water. you learn that sometimes those minions who are doing evil deeds simply are doing them to have a job to do and would be happy to see the evil power vaporized so they could go about doing good instead. Of course you also learn the obvious things like you do not need a degree to be smart, you don't need to be noticed to have courage, you certainly do not need to wear your heart on your sleeve (or your metal chest) in order to prove you have one, and if you are lost Home is only as far away as your loved ones are. 

Next we watched Seabiscut. 
If you do not know the story of this amazing horse you should certainly watch the movie. Not only is this movie done well it is a heart warming story. The story of Seabiscut tells us about the Great Depression and how broken men and a broken horse came together to beat the odds. The horse was a tiny horse in comparison to all other race horses, he was broken in spirit and broken physically when his new owners took him and turned his life around. Seabiscut beat the triple crown winner War Admiral in a Match Race at pimblico. There is something to be learned from watching a little horse with a big heart win a race that most thought he could never win.
If you have never seen this match race before check it out:

Our next movie was the New Karate Kid
This was actually not a movie I had ever wanted to watch because I am a fan of the original and I honestly HATE remakes. That being said this was a great movie. Not only is it done differently with a different feeling and setting but it has same general gist of the original that you are compelled to watch it. Jackie Chan brings his expertise and is a wonderful edition to the movie. Jaden Smith is a talented young actor who I foresee going far in this business. The movie holds some great morals and teaches that fighting isnt always the answer. It also is great at proving that you can and do learn things in ways that are not typical to how everyone else learns. Jacket on Jacket off. ;) its the new wax on wax off. Get with the groove. 

Our final movie choice is a little known movie called Dragonheart. I know that many people do not know this movie but it is a good one. This movie teaches a lot about the code of honor. This code is what honorable knights of the round table fought by and is used throughout the movie as the basis for why the honorable knight does what he does. 

I learned a long time ago that it is important to change the way you view things. If I didn't change the way I viewed things I wouldn't believe that my 7 & 6 year old who are playing at my feet with their duel electric pianos were learning anything at all. I wouldn't believe that children could learn while watching movies, or that not everyone has to do everything exactly alike in order to learn. 


  1. This sounds like a great day. When a movie prompts discussion or research, there's learning happening. I wouldn't count The Wizard of Oz as science, but I'd count research into tornadoes prompted by it.

    We do a lot of homeschooling by discussion. Our kids learn a lot about politics, current events, logic, and other things I can't think of right now, just by talking about the kitchen table.

  2. I certainly do not count any of the movies as factual. I do count each movie as a teaching experience though. There is more to learn in life then science, math, reading, and history.

    The discussion and the facts that are peppered into movies are often enough to encourage children to show an interest in a subject they otherwise would not have considered.

    We indeed do a lot of homeschooling by discussion. I love the fact that we are able to talk about a topic and then we can run to the computer and look it up. I love that my kids, even the youngest two are willing to learn about subjects that most would think are far advanced for them, like the Great Depression.