This pandemic has been hard on us parents. I’m not going to lie, between working from home and trying to take care of three little boys, I’ve DEFINITELY leaned hard into Netflix and Disney+; and the combined $20 a month is WAY cheaper than a babysitter.
The boys are entertained (for a few mins at least) and I can get a few emails answered. Everyone’s a winner. However, recently the unthinkable happened. My kids watched all of Netflix. No more episodes of StoryBots or Scooby-Doo would hold their attention any longer. And the emails were piling up. A crisis was brewing.
This led me to a desperate search for something, anything, on the internet that is child appropriate. And then I remembered we have access to movies through Kanopy, an awesome video streaming service. My husband and I had used it several times recently to watch some documentaries in the evening. I thought I remembered that there were some movies that would appeal to my 5-year-old. I was blown away by what Kanopy offered!
Kanopy is a treasure trove of movies and documentaries, with just about every subject you can think of represented. And there is an entire section on K-12 lessons (1,016 videos). You can navigate to that section by clicking on the word “browse” located next to the search bar and scroll down to the section for K-12 lessons (located under instructional films).
Not only is there a selection of family films and series, but there are also sections on math, visual arts, health and fitness and language studies!!
So far, my son’s favorite thing we have watched has been The Secret of Kells. This movie is from the same peoplewho created “Song of the Sea” which is on Netflix (a wonderful Irish folk story that is absolutely beautiful). We really enjoyed the animation style of this movie.
This movie tells the story of Brendan, a young boy who lives in a remote medieval outpost under siege from Viking raids. But a new life of adventure beckons when a celebrated master illuminator arrives from foreign lands carrying an ancient but unfinished book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers. I will caution, there is some distressing moments near the end of the movie when the Viking raiders attack the monastery.
We also started supplementing his school’s Spanish lessons while watching “Hola Amigos”. This is a wonderful way to introduce the Spanish language with your kids. This video fallows a little boy named Pablo and his dog, Paco while they go about their day. My son is getting much more confident in his pronunciations after watching this.
The last video series we have been enjoying is The Earth and Space series. My son has recently really gotten into learning about the planets, so he has enjoyed watching these. He really likes how the videos ask questions; he loves being able to answer them!
So, now that we’ve discovered the awesome videos Kanopy offers I can feel slightly less guilty about my son watching the TV while I work knowing that he is exploring Paris, or learning about gravity or the human body, or even learning a new language. Crisis averted!