Teachable Moments Through A Family Movie Night

I’ve found that one of the most fun ways to plan for “accidental” teaching moments with my kids is by having a family movie night. You might think that a family movie night would just end up with no one doing any talking, but that’s not the case at all. Our family has made a tradition out of watching movies together, and we’ve even come up with a game that has been lots of fun for all of our children, is great to play anywhere, and leads to some great parenting moments where we can easily and without lecturing, introduce our children to life issues and offer instruction for them on a variety of topics.

There are several versions of the game as we play it, but the original version is the easiest to begin with. We call it the “Movie Line” game and the idea is very simple. Everyone watches the movie as a family and enjoys the time together, but at the end of the movie, we begin to talk about the memorable lines from the film. They may be funny, sad, thought provoking, or just something that we remember, but when all of us are “replaying” the movie in this way, we can very naturally begin to talk about “why the writer did this or that thing,” “why the characters didn’t know better,” “what would my children have done differently,” etc. From these very natural conversations, we can turn just about any movie into a teachable moment as parents.

The game is very adaptable to other situations though. We can play the movie game anytime we want to just by having a member of the family call out a movie. We usually start youngest to oldest, and the person who leads the round will name a movie and then give a line from the movie. Each member of the family has to come up with another movie line from the same movie. We make the rounds until each member has been stumped except one, the winner, and then the winner gets to pick the next movie. This is a great version to play in the car, at the dinner table, or in any other place where you find that you are all together and want to have some fun. No props are needed, no game boards, just a playful spirit and a good memory!

The benefit of playing the movie game this way is that you gain insight into your children and the types of things that they remember, and the ways in which you might help them to learn other things better as well. For instance, if you child tends to recall the most ironic moments of a movie, then you know that you can use irony to teach school facts or life lessons. On the other hand, if your child tends to pick up on the lines that are the most humorous, use humor when you can to teach deeper truths. Natural learning styles will begin to come through which will help you parent more effectively, but you will also have fun while playing the game and build strong family bonds of laughter and silliness.

Have fun with it – make up your own rules, adapt to children of different ages, but consider a family movie night as a way to engage your children in meaningful play that stimulates conversation and gives you insight into their natural learning styles.

Mrs. Camille Rodriquez is a wife and mother, with experience as a pastor’s wife for more than a decade and as a homeschool mom for almost 20 years. Visit her website at National Homeschool Academy.

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