Andy Griffith and the power of TV

Now what in the world does Andy Griffith have to do with homeschooling?  A lot more than you'd imagine, actually. Mr. B LOVES watching the Andy Griffith show. We have it on Netflix, and he can spend all day long watching the wholesome family show full of silly antics and images of yesteryear. It's that historical connection that can be used in your homeschool.

Andy Griffith once said that while the show was filmed in the 60s, it had a much older feel of an era from around the 30s. There's a huge cultural difference between the 30s, 60s, and today that can be studied by kids of all ages. High School students could analyze the differences between the decades, and even dabble into the causes of the changes that took place. They could pinpoint specifics in the shows that would not work in today's society. Off the top of my head, there's one episode where a man is trying to hide the fact he has a still under his house. The county has offered him a premium price for his property because they need to build a road. He keeps saying no, and Andy just can't figure out why. Of course Aunt Bea thinks it's because the man is above the likes of money, and just wants to keep his home. So she stages protests, etc. and one point Barney tells the ladies that they've put on a real good show, but now it's time to go on, lay down, and rest. Can you imagine if a show did that TODAY?! HAHA!

Mr. B likes comparing the cars, clothing, customs, and more. He's been watching an episode on counterfeiting money. This led to all sorts of self directed exploration and learning. We gathered bills of different denominations, and even different print years, to look at the various security features, and how they've changed over the years. We looked into the Secret Service, punishments for passing fake money, and more. The episodes dealing with various robberies, and one about robbing the Mayberry Bank has led to even more self directed avenues.

In addition to the historical side of things, we've even managed to pull in math and geography. Mayberry was based off Andy Griffith's hometown of Mt. Airy, NC. We are within car travel distance, so Mr. B has spent a great deal of time mapping a trip there. It's our hope to take a trip there this fall so that he can see the Andy Griffith Museum, and other sites around the town.

There's so much that you can do by just watching an old show like this one. Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts!!