Educational TV Shows You Can Feel Good About Letting Your Child Watch

I know screen time is not ideal and we try to keep it to a minimum, but whenever my oldest son who has special needs is stressed or anxious it calms him down and helps motivate him to get on with life. Even just a 15 minute show can encourage him to try new things. As much as I was always against screen time, I needed to understand that he learns MOST by watching shows and some days when his fatigue from his mitochondria disorder is just too much he relies on these shows to keep his brain active and learning. 

I wish I could say it is me that teaches him everything, but that would be a lie. He is an extremely visual learner and he will watch shows over and over again to learn from them.  

I made a list of his Favorite DVDS/TV shows that have taught him some pretty important concepts.

•For ALL preschool concepts we really love DVDs and materials. The repetition, and memory strategies they use are phenomenal. Both my kids are advanced in reading because of this. I am very engaged with them when watching these DVDs because there are so many opportunities for instruction to solidify concepts. I talk about how I helped my son learn more sign language through preschool prep DVDS here.

Word World and Super Why are super cute for reading and spelling.

•For Art we love Creative Galaxy on Amazon Prime. It has motivated us to try a lot of new things.

•For Math we love Team Umi Zoomi. My son learned to skip count by 2’s and many other math concepts from this show. We also love the PBS shows Odd Squad and Peg+Cat.

•For social skills and routines we love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Btw my food adversive 6 year old tried a bell pepper today solely because of Daniel Tiger. The song “flush, and wash, and be on your way” is sung daily here 😂

•I hate to say it, but Curious George has increased his vocabulary exponentially. I have no idea why, but he is always talking about new words he learned on that show. It doesn’t make any sense to me, but whatever works I guess. Me personally, I don’t see the value in the show, but he has proved me wrong.

Rachel and the Treeschoolers hands down is our go-to science concept show. You can get that at signing time’s website. We also love Magic School Bus, Popular Mechanics for Kids, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

•Nothing compares to Signing Time DVDS for learning signs.

•For learning about creatures and all aspects of wildlife we stick with Wild Kratts and Octonauts.

There you have it. The truth. My kids watch TV too. Well actually just my oldest. My youngest doesn’t care for TV at all and would rather be playing games. You can find all of these shows (aside from Rachel and The Treeschoolers) at your local library for free.

September 2017-The Homeschooling SLP

2 Replies to “Educational TV Shows You Can Feel Good About Letting Your Child Watch”

  1. Yes our kids watch a lot of these plus tons on Netflix and You tube. In the beginning days they watched these wierd unboxing videos that open up boxes of toys and they watched what was in there and how to play with them. Perfect for kids with apraxia and autism!

    I wanted to add that we have closed caption on computer. So anytime they watch a show, they have closed captions. Now they watch a lot of video game walk through. Not sure if its good for anything…maybe some vocabulary.

    I will be adding more documentary and books on tape this year. I have homeschooled 8 kids. Three of them have seizures and three of them have autism . Two with adhd and autism and one with apraxia and epilepsy. One had bipolar on top of autism and epilepsy. Sigh . He is deceased now as of April 2018. He was 23yrs old

    Everything you have mentioned resonates with what I have used with all or some of my kids. I also used Headsprouts with 7 kids and ST Math with 8 of the kids too. I have looked into Acellus too which is a video based education program. Not bad either especially when it is flu season.

    For science with my last two–I just bought a bunch of Magic School Bus science kits and and Kiwi STEM kits and they go to town and the 8yrs old writes a science journal afterwards. This year the younger 5yrs old can “write” his. More like illustrate. We are having issues with rhyming and phonemic awareness for him. Ideas?

    1. First off, I’m so sorry for your loss and I commend how diligent you have been with all of your children! You use amazing techniques and programs. Great job!! I am definitely going to look into Acellus as my son is sick A LOT. Sounds great! Phonemic Awareness I absolutely love the DVD Meet the Phonics: Letter Sounds. Also, obviously lots of reading and repetition, but for rhyming we watched the PBS show Super Why and there was a song by Red (riding hood) on rhyming. We used that song for any rhyming needs we had and talked about how things were -at words or -og words, etc. There were some good books at the library too, but I found an activity online and I can’t remember what it is called now as it was a while ago, but it was a bunch of different rhyming words that you cut out and then there was a wagon. They were to put rhyming words in the wagon. So, I would take a word and go through all the others and say is this also an -at word and if not then I would do this big production like “NO, Get out of the wagon and he would throw it backwards” and if it did rhyme we would get excited and sing Red Riding Hood’s rhyming song from Super Why (I bet you could find it on YouTube easily). Surprisingly, this worked better than anything else haha. Rhyming is so hard. We just worked on it for years until it finally clicked. I think patience and persistence with rhyming is the most important as well as finding something that works for you.

      There are so many phonemic awareness ideas I should probably just make a post about it, but I really do love how the preschool prep DVD I mentioned uses memory strategies of associations through story lines and repetition to help. Working memory is always an issue over here so finding something that really works on basic principles of memory are a go for me. Basic memory strategies are repetition, visualization (see it in your mind), association (tie it in with something they already know), grouping (place like items together), and write it down ( or in our kids cases-multisensory activities).

      Good Luck to you!! Sounds like you have and are doing an amazing job! If you are on Facebook, join the apraxia-kids homeschoolers group. Always lots of great dialogue and advice on there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.