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In today's digital age, many parents grapple with the dilemma of screen time for their young ones. However, it's not all doom and gloom. When parents actively engage in what's termed as "co-viewing," watching TV can transform from a passive activity to a rich, interactive learning experience. The key lies in being present and involved. By watching alongside their preschool or elementary school-aged children, parents can turn screen time into an opportunity for bonding, discussion, and shared learning.
Active participation by parents can significantly amplify the learning potential of screen time. For instance, when kids watch educational shows with their parents, they tend to retain more information. This is because the back-and-forth discussions, questions, and interactions between the child and parent reinforce the content. Shows like PBS's Peg + Cat, which teach early math skills, become even more effective when watched together. Beyond just academic learning, these shared viewing sessions also offer a platform for parents to discuss emotions, behaviors, and real-world applications of what's being shown on the screen.
But the benefits don't stop at learning. Co-viewing also serves as a tool for parents to address and challenge stereotypes presented in media. By discussing the roles and behaviors of characters, parents can guide their children in recognizing and questioning societal norms and biases. Moreover, shows that model positive behaviors, like emotional self-regulation, can be used as references in real-life situations. In essence, by simply sharing the screen, parents and children can foster a deeper connection, making TV time both fun and fruitful.
Charlie took to the written word like a fish takes to water. That is to say; they found themselves immersed in literature from before they were born. They've been known to tell their friends how they can still remember the passages their parents read to them when they were in utero - Emily Dickinson, Jane Austen, and a bit of Hunter S. Thompson thrown in to balance it out. Charlie keeps their feet wet, whether they're whipping up pithy one-liners to tease your brain or busy working on their second novel (the first one is available on Amazon under a pen name they refuse to disclose). You’re sure to get a kick out of giggle-worthy explanations and outrageous hints, and still come away feeling like you’ve just expanded your knowledge base.
Bee and PuppyCat's visuals are inspired, in part, by 90s anime like Superbook and Sailor Moon. The idea for the show was initially rejected by Eric Holman, the head of creative development at Frederator Studios, before it eventually got a thumbs up. Phew! The pilot aired on YouTube and was met with such a positive response that a Kickstarter campaign successfully raised $872,133, and an entire season consisting of 10 short webisodes became viable. The show would go on to become the most highly funded animation project on the crowd funding website. Well-known internet personality Hannah Hart of My Drunk Kitchen fame voiced Temp Bot for an episode, and the show's gentle soundtrack was composed by electronic musician Will Wiesenfeld, who also goes by the stage name Baths. His debut album, "Cerulean" (2010), was critically acclaimed. There's also a fictionalized, fan-made version of the show Bee and PuppyCat are addicted to out in the world so look out for that. Finally, if you didn't already know, Frederator CEO Fred Seibert, accidentally leaked the entire second season on Vimeo in 2020.
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