Goals: Watch more TV

As you know I did a lot of thinking this summer about how we were going to work as we continued this homeschooling journey. One of my goals is “Watch More TV”. I know. Sounds a bit weird to some folks, but we hardly watch any. And in amongst all the trash (and there is a place for trashy TV in everyone’s life, too), there is some really excellent programming.

My first step to achieving this goal was to donate to TVOntario, our local public broadcaster. They have a lot of great documentaries and I figured I needed to show my support in some concrete way. At the same time I signed up for e-lerts about programming so I actually had some idea of what was on and could make a point of watching (or taping) things of interest.

Although Tigger is only 9 she loves documentaries and has no problem with “animal peril”, as I noticed they call it in the ratings guide, or other potentially difficult subjects so a lot of what is shown after her bedtime on TVO might actually be worthwhile. Like Masterworks, for example (though maybe not the program airing this week; we have taped an episode on Georgia O’Keefe to view with her, though).

So, one of those e-mails came today and I now have a line up for Monday to Wednesday this week at 7 p.m. Feels a little like going overboard but each option sounds potentially interesting and could either lead to new explorations or add to things already in the works as far as learning goes.

Tonight we have Shipwrecked, a historical documentary about great shipwrecks of the Great Lakes. You may well have heard of the Edmund Fitzgerald, due to the popularity of a song about it by Gordon Lightfoot. I’m looking forward to learning more. This might lead somewhere. Or it might not. But we have the song and Tigger has heard it so I bet she’ll be interested.

Tomorrow, it’ll be Canada: Undiscovered Land mostly because it is an episode about Atlantic Canada and will include sites we plan to visit on our trip (which starts Thursday!).

Wednesday, I was pleased to see a repeat of something we had talked about watching about a month ago but missed. Richard Attenborough talking about Amber. I lived in England long enough to associate Richard Attenborough’s voice with wildlife documentary. And his are always excellent. Tigger is also developing an interest in rocks so this particular documentary looks fascinating.

I think I might get Mat to tape all 3 episodes of Black Coffee which is airing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It looks fascinating. And as you can see from the Causes I Support list in the right sidebar, deals with a subject we both feel strongly about. Not sure if Tigger is ready for this but I’d like to introduce some political economy into her social studies even from this young age. Teacher Resources (suggested Grades 7-12) are available here and include suggestions for Business, Economics, World History, and World Politics.

It does look a bit intense this week. But it gets us thinking more about TV and what it has to offer to our learning adventure.

I’ve also started to make more concrete plans about our Road Trip (or maybe Study Tour). Stay tuned…


5 thoughts on “Goals: Watch more TV

  1. I am all for that sort of television viewing. I can easily get lost in a subject, and then spend an hour or two later on the internet gaining more information. One of the best parts are the discussions it raises afterward and during commericals, when watched with the family. I got TiVo so I can record the educational specials that History Channel and A & E broadcast at 6-7am…and we will often watch over lunch!


  2. Hooray for tv! Sounds like a good line up. Especially that Coffee thing (off to set the vcr). I lived in Thunder Bay for 25 years–I’m good on the Edmund Fitzgerald (song and history).


  3. The Joggins Fossil Cliffs at the head of the Bay of Fundy are an interesting place to go. There is a smallish but friendly museum in Joggins where staff will help identify anything you find. Our girls were about 7, 9 and 11 when we discovered the cliffs.

    PS Mud Lake is alive with bird migrants this week.


  4. It’s David Attenborough with the animals – brother of Richard (aka Dickie) the short plump actor.
    All sounds most interesting.


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