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#StreamTeam: Using Streaming Media to Educate Kids

My son started first grade a few days ago, and I couldn’t be happier. Not because he’s out of the house and fighting nonstop with his younger brother. But because he truly enjoys going to school and is eager to share all that he has learned during the summer with his teachers and friends.

For the most part, we have a quiet summer. We hit the slo-mo button on our lives and decided to focus on things we normally take for granted.

My boys are six and two, and it hit us that the number of summers we have together is dwindling, and we should spend time disconnected from our phones and connect with our boys. So we toured the city, hit the beach, and simply enjoyed each other’s company. We spent a lot of time outdoors, and on those hot, humid days, we spent them watching their favorite shows on Netflix.

My oldest is a total science nerd and loves everything The Magic School Bus, Bill Nye, and ocean related. So it is fair to say that I learned more than I ever wanted to about ocean life, and I love that.

And my little guy is in full-fledged terrible-two mode and only seems to get calmed by the active and imaginative crew of Leap Frog (which I am totally fine with). He, like his brother, is a visual learner, and the educational shows and movies available on Netflix have helped to better understand them.

So in keeping with our summer theme of simply enjoying each other and not sweating the small stuff. We made a conscious decision to become better observers and in our children's lives focus on:

  1. Playing to their strengths. My oldest loves science, my youngest, not so much. So being able to stream Netflix on various devices, we can give them each what they want without the fighting.
  2. Being present. I love to sit and listen to my son tell me about the midnight and twilight zones and how humans can't swim that far down. Taking part in what he enjoys connects us on a different level.
  3. Bringing out our inner child. Thanks to the Internet, my boys can watch shows I loved as a kid. From The Magic School Bus, Reading Rainbow, Sesame Street, to Bill Nye are just some educational shows I vividly remember watching as a kid and enjoy with my own.

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