For most children, family is the most important influence in their lives. However, coming in at a close second is television. Television informs, teaches and most importantly for children, entertains, and studies have shown that television does affect how children learn. Nonviolent programs, with high educational content can have a very positive effect on learning. Research has proven that preschoolers who watch educational television tend to do better on reading and math tests than children who don’t watch these programs.
If used appropriately, television can be a positive educational tool.
Educational television can repeat information without causing children to become bored with the material. Repetition of numbers and words aids memory and reinforces concepts.
Children’s programming can tell stories in ways that are easy for children to learn. This aids children’s comprehension skills. Watching a program prior to reading about it, makes the reading a little easier, especially for children who need remediation.
Children’s programming allows parents and children to watch television together, and parents can ask questions about the program. This is good for parents who may not be able to read to their children.
Children’s programming helps to build confidence and teaches values and character. Most children are able to tell the lessons learned from television programs.
Certain programs for children model reading. These programs emphasize phonic skills and basic reading concepts.
Children’s television programming can expand a child’s vocabulary. Children may hear words or phrases that aren’t spoken in their home.
Most programs for children provide closed captioning. When used with sound, this aids in developing and strengthening reading skills.
Whether children know that they’re learning, isn’t important. Children like to watch television and developing educational skills at the same time is a bonus. However, remember that you still need to limit a child’s television exposure to no more than one to two hours per day.
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