Using Movies for a Lazy Day of Schooling

I knew it was going to be lazy Friday before our day even began!

It was almost 10 o'clock last night before any of my boys fell asleep.  Alec slept over in Evan's room and they were up reading their new Minecraft book until well past nine.  Evan doesn't have a clock in his room and the two boys were so involved in the story they didn't realize how late it was getting.

I didn't mind the idea of a lazy Friday.  It's so nice to have a lazy day of learning every now and then.

Fridays we often play games or make it a fun day of hands on activities anyway.  

I figured they would all sleep in a little late this morning.  I shouldn't have been so surprised to hear them all talking and playing in Evan's room at 7 this morning but I was.  I let it go though since all three boys were playing and getting along.  Ian and Evan had linked Kindles and were playing Minecraft while Alec was looking things up in their Minecraft books.

Today I figured we could watch a movie, bake up some special treats, and enjoy our nice lazy day! 

Movies are perfect for a lazy day of learning!  We get to snuggle up on the couch together and enjoy learning.  Here's how:

  • I try to make sure our movie is relevant to what we've been studying or will be studying next.
  • I make sure we have a variety of non- fiction and fiction movies to enjoy
  • We discuss the movie after we're done and follow any little rabbit trails the boys want to
  • We sometimes plan a follow up activity to the movie a day or two after we've watched it
  • I use movie day to introduce them to a variety of genres too; today we're watching a musical

Today, the boys all came downstairs and ate breakfast together so started reading a new World War II book called I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944 together.  I read the first three chapters while the boys ate and then we settled onto the couch to watch The Sound of Music.  

I wasn't sure if the boys would really enjoy the movie or not but it's one of my all time favorites.  I have such fond memories of being allowed to stay up late and watch the movie every year as a child.   They seemed to enjoy it.

We stopped it a few time to talk about what was happening and to discuss all the ways we could see the Nazi invasion slowly taking over Austria.

After the movie, Ian, in particular seemed interested in the story of the real Von Trapp family so we looked them up on the internet and learned that they did not flee at night through the mountains but rather told everyone they were leaving and went by train to Italy where they had passage waiting for them to tour in America as Austrian folk singers.  (history)

We looked up Austria, Switzerland and Italy on the world map. We picked out Salzburg and Vienna on the map too; the two main cities talked about the movie.  (geography)

We learned that the real family had 10 children and not 7 like in the movie.  We also found a picture on Facebook showing the Sound of Music family taken then and now; 45 years later.  We looked up the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT and talked about why they chose to settle in Vermont.  It was fantastic!  I learned a lot myself and all because the boys asked questions I had never bothered to find the answers to myself.

 After the movie  it was just about lunchtime and Ian had a friend coming over so we adjourned school for the day.  The boys cleaned their rooms, got dressed, brushed teeth and made lunches.

 Alec decided to make chocolate chip cookies and set to work mixing the batter and scooping them out on cookie sheets.  Not that surprisingly he lost interest after that and I was left to actually bake them but since I had been planning to make cookies today anyway that was fine by me. Everyone had a few when they were done baking and complimented Alec on his baking. (life skills and math!)

The older boys played outside almost all afternoon while the younger two played Wii and with their Nintendo DS games.  I got to exercise and read my book.  It was quiet and a perfectly, lazy way to end our week (as most of us were still in our pajamas by late afternoon).

 I often find that having another child in our house actually cuts down on the fighting and the noise and makes it more enjoyable for all.

The perfect way to head into our weekend.


  1. I just love how you turned a lazy day into such an awesome learning opportunity! Fantastic ideas. #mg

  2. Ah, one of my top ten movies that is also quickly becoming a fave for our entire family. Growing up as a young Jewish kid, this movie always provoked lots of questions and concerns. It still does today. My kids wach and we discuss things similar to what you have written. This movie has learning opportunities written all over it. Bravo mama! Last night we started reading, Who was Anne Frank and we talk about The Sound of Music as we learn the details of the rolling out of Hitler's regime. I found it so interesting that my little, 6 years old, is the one who chose the book. Your Friday sounds fabulous. My wish is that the whole world follows suit and sees the parallels going on right now in the uS to what was happening globally. Great post! #mg xoxo


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