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Kitchen Sink

How to Get Your Child Interested in Netflix, I Mean History

June 5th, 2015

Netflix

 

Booger composes her outfits like a symphony. Each element fuses to the whole and results in a perfectly constructed blend of beauty. Somehow, in her hands, stripes go with plaid, and scarves go with summer. Her masterpieces take time and plenty of brainstorming, but she approaches each wardrobe arrangement with a positive attitude and heaping doses of imagination.

 

The same cannot be said of her homework.

 

Instead, she rushes through math, mopes into social studies, and postpones reading.

 

No amount of coaxing or threatening motivates her. She’d just as soon eat 20 worms with a spider-leg chaser than practice multiplication. For a parent such as myself who approaches Tiger Mom status with schoolwork prioritization, this lack of interest in anything studious on Booger’s part is disconcerting and aggravating.

 

Until something amazing happened.

 

A few weeks ago, one book captured her attention – the Ripley’s “Believe it Or Not” series – and one story in particular – the Titanic.

 

She couldn’t get enough. “Who found the Titanic shipwreck?” “How did the iceberg get there?” “Did anyone survive?” “Did you know it set sail on my birthday?” “Why did the band play while the ship sank?”

 

We nurtured her curiosity. I purchased Kindle book after Kindle book to feed her interest. We Googled Titanic facts. We talked about intrepid shipwreck enthusiasts, ice formations, and metallurgy. We downloaded Titanic on Netflix.

 

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 (I’m a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam)

 

THAT turned out to be a roaring success. She viewed the three-hour epic again and again. Each time, Celine Dion’s voice nearly drained my earholes of all life, but this was for my kid’s education, dammit.

 

The first time she watched the drama unfold, she ran to me after, excited and completely out of breath.

 

“Mom? I’m going to put Titanic facts in my journal and write a book!”

 

Next I saw, she was running down the stairs two at a time, arms filled with pencils, notepaper, a desk lamp, paper clips, and Harry Potter glasses. Apparently, writers wear glasses. (I’ve found that to be true.)

 

She set up shop at the dining room table, and after five minutes, decided she needed to wear more studious clothes.

 

You can take the outfit off the girl, but you can’t take the girl off the outfit.

 

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I’m just thankful she felt moved by history for a brief moment. At least enough to delve into actually reading and wanting to know more about something. All it takes is happening upon an interesting fact or picture or book or movie that strikes a chord with your child. And if you’re raising a fashionista, flash her a pic or two of the Titanic necklace. That ought to do it.

 

And if you really want to get your kid’s head wrapped around the Titanic for learning purposes, here’s some non-snarky ideas:

 

Read the Titanic story in Ripley’s.

If facts are packaged funly (made-up word alert), it can make all the difference in how kids receive them.

 

Buy or download “I Survived: The Sinking of the Titanic.”

If true stories of history are packaged excitingly (what? no underline inferring this is also a made-up word?), then kids are triply interested.

 

Watch a documentary.

I believe the last Titanic survivor recently passed away, but to watch a documentary where you see the survivors’ faces and hear their words, is a powerful curiosity-piquer (yep, made-up) indeed.

 

Read a bit on the Robert Ballard discovery.

There’s something about this man. His passion for historical significance and exploration is infectious.

 

See the exhibition if you can.

The Titanic “The Artifact” Exhibition was in San Diego a few years ago and I missed it. Now that Booger’s mind pump is primed, I think it’s time to go.

 

Watch the movie as a treat for vibe and mood and sense of history.

And for the necklace-ness. (Had to end on a made-up word).

 

On June 8th, 2015, Sara said:

I homeschool, and love using Netflix for history lessons! Getting a kid to love learning through hands on lessons is so rewarding!

On June 8th, 2015, Joann Woolley said:

Funly is not a made up word…. we moms know this is a true phenomena. I love it that your daughter found an interest in an historical event through movies! Earlier this year my son had read one of the books in the Magic Tree House series and from that he decided he wanted to do his 2nd grade historical figure presentation on Mozart because he was intertwined in the book he had recently read. So good to have our children be curious and seek more knowledge. I may just have to Netflix Titanic for the kids to watch soon.

On June 8th, 2015, Tara said:

There really is so much out there that is fun & educational!

On July 27th, 2015, Paige said:

So excited that your daughter is interested in this piece of history! History was always one of my favorite subjects. Thanks for sharing your story!

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