The Geeky Parent Guide is a semi-monthly editorial series by Fanbase Press Contributor (and father of two) Travis Lakata that will help parents and other caregivers to safely and positively navigate various avenues of pop culture with their children.
Are there any geeky parents out there who homeschooled this past year? Well, I did. For anyone considering homeschooling next year, whether it be for uncertainty on when the vaccine might be available for kids or wanting to try something different, let me share my experience.
Star Wars Rebels continues to excel in its amazing storytelling through Season 3. As a fan of a galaxy far, far away, I’m always looking for different avenues that might be acceptable for my kids to watch (either now or once they’re a little older). The third season of Rebels drives home some valuable lessons that anyone can take away, which continues to expand upon why #StoriesMatter for all ages. Beyond the idea of connecting with characters and seeing oneself in similar situations, Star Wars excels at conveying positive messages and, honestly, really bad “bad guys.”
Flash Facts is a fantastic way for parents to introduce STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to their kids. If there’s an opportunity for me to teach my kids about STEM, or expand their own interest, having a collection of comic book stories as an educational resource is a perfect reason to be excited about Flash Facts. As I have homeschooled my kids this past year, some of their favorite activities have involved experiments of some kind. Clearly, the interest with STEM is there, so you can believe how quickly I jumped on the opportunity to bring this anthology into my home. You could say I was quick as… a Flash.
Comic books are amazing! Not only are they fantastic for adult readers who love various genres, but comics are great for kids who are interested in reading or being read to. As my kids get older, comic books continue to be a constant presence in our home. They provide fun, meaningful stories that teach us many lessons: right from wrong, ways to cope with our feelings, and how to share and be kind; however, this past year has made it exceedingly difficult for having a proper in-store experience from our friendly neighborhood comic shop.
Primer from DC Comics is a wonderfully crafted graphic novel for kids, and it’s a perfect comic to have in your household. Having impactful stories in our home is another way of reinforcing positive messages to my kids, which is a significant reason why stories matter (particularly in the comic book medium). Kids can easily see what’s possible in a fictional world and then correlate the same possibilities within their own lives. It’s without question that I look for those types of stories for my kids, and I’m thrilled to share a comic book that your kids will absolutely love.
Homeschooling for me has previously increased the opportunities to explore STEM activities with my kids. This past week, more specifically, has given my kids an opportunity to create some very fun science experiments. As our kids have been learning about various Earth Science-related things this school year, I’ve come across videos on YouTube to help show or explain how certain things happen. Ocean currents is one prime example. Yes, it’s possible to do an experiment at home in the hopes of showing how the interaction of warm and cold water makes ocean currents.
Being a parent is an extraordinary responsibility. While there are days of pure exhaustion or feelings of being a bad parent, looking out for the ones we care for most is the best “job” in the world. Now, one doesn’t have to be a parent to care for another person in such a way that’s absolutely loving and self-sacrificing. Caring for kids, while attempting to harness their very best, is a challenge that many tackle. So, it’s important to watch parental figures in film as a way to look for strength in our own lives, which is a testament to why #StoriesMatter and why people continue to find connections – and after this past year, personally, I want that positive reinforcement to help me realize that I am doing the very best I can as a parent.
NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Mission will land on February 18, 2021. After launching last July, this journey through space to the Red Planet will have taken less than seven months. Whether you geek out over science fiction films, enjoy binge-watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, or you love any and all things related to outer space, then you’re in luck, as there are opportunities to be active on landing day.
Growing up is anything but easy, and we hope to see kids learning lessons from both real-world and fictional stories - whether that be understanding right from wrong or trust versus duplicity. What's challenging for parents is the overwhelming obstacle of letting our little ones learn on their own. (Oh, the last one is particularly challenging for me, but perhaps that’s also just as important for me to learn.) Thankfully, Star Wars Rebels: Season 2 is a fantastic way for parents to share these important themes for their kids to see.
As we start a new year, despite our renewal of hope in believing for better things to come, many things stay the same in terms of the challenges that parents and kids face with education in the face of the pandemic. Whether your kids are being homeschooled like mine or participating in virtual or in-person learning, education has taken a whole other meaning when it comes to the virtual wonder that is the internet. As a major space geek who loves Star Trek: The Next Generation, I’m constantly looking into what NASA is doing to further online educational opportunities for my kids, many of which focus on long-term answers to climate change.