September 2, 2010

Disney Inspired Education

"Crowded classrooms and half-day sessions are a tragic waste of our greatest national resource -- the minds of our children."
-Walt Disney


Lately, my kids have been asking me questions about the origins of things.

"Who was the person that invented fire?"  As if they made this discovery, and then sat down to write a blog post about it.

"How were mountains formed?"  Robotson thinks lightning must have been involved in some way.

"What was the first kind of paper?"

Of course, they ask me when I am driving, or at 11:30pm.  But at least they are thinking.

One of the benefits of homeschooling is finding the learning opportunities in everyday situations.  We aren't privy to this, but I've found it's not mentioned as often by parents of children in the school system.  The recent spark for these questions was our trip to Disney.  My kids love Ellen's Energy Adventure, Spaceship Earth, and Figment's Journey Into Imagination, and we often listen to the audio tours while in the car.  Some of the audio comes from rides that are no longer running, like Body Wars.  Robotson wasn't tall enough when it was running, but he's memorized the audio and imagines what is was like.  And this is just Epcot.

One of my favorite things about Disney is the encouragement of continued thought.  The Carousel of Progress makes them wonder what the world will be like when they are adults.  Tom Sawyer's Island and the Swiss Family Robsinson Treehouse get them curious about literature.  Dinosaur! inspires them to dream about time travel.  I could go on and on.  My kids are definitely a little spoiled by our trips to Orlando.  Robotson has now been seven times, but it's not just about roller coasters and thrill rides.  We come back talking about going into space, saving the ocean, Jules Verne, Abraham Lincoln, and art.  I have no doubt if we ever got the chance to move to Florida, we'd get an annual pass to Disney and spend our unschooled days there.  At least a girl can dream...


On a slightly different note, but related because it's so timely for our interests:

Are you a Netflix customer?  Did you know they just added over 600 selections now available to stream online?  I mention this because several shows from The History Channel were part of that addition.  Shows like How the Earth Was MadeThe Universe, and Life After People.  Looks like these may have already been available online, but we all prefer Netflix's interface, especially through the Wii.  Even Dimples can make selections on her own. (Hah, I sound like an ad for Netflix.  I'm not, just passing along something I found really neat.)

5 comments:

  1. "One of the benefits of homeschooling is finding the learning opportunities in everyday situations. We aren't privy to this, but I've found it's not mentioned as often by parents of children in the school system."

    I've always wondered this too. I mean kids that go to school experience many natural learning opportunities but they seem to be rarely, if ever, discussed as such by the parents.

    One thought I had was that the kids are at school 'learning' all day so I suppose the parents don't bother about any of the learning they do elsewhere. Afterall they are getting all they need at school!! Was just a thought I had had on the topic, anyway. :)

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  2. Honestly, I might fall into that trap if my kids were in public school as well. Like that's somehow not my "job". Plus if my kids were in school, I'd be back at work. I worked until Robotson was 3. It's was exhausting.

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  3. I completely agree with this post. Disney often gets a bad rap and I think people forget how much they have done to advance the cause of real education.

    On a separate note, I think Netflix should pay me for the constant marketing I do for them. I love it; it's the only thing we watch on TV anymore.

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