Keep Them Learning

March 23, 2020

We agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics that it is best to minimize screen time. It’s true that many children watch excessive amounts of TV.

That may be especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools are shuttered. Kids are home. Many parents are working from home, too. It’s tempting but guilt-producing to park the kids in front of the TV.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if parents could flip a switch to turn TV time into educational time? Wait! There is just such a switch and it is a standard feature on many of today’s televisions and streaming services. It is called the closed captioning or subtitles feature.

Over 100 research studies have demonstrated that subtitles offer a wide range of benefits. They improve comprehension, memory, attention, reading skills, vocabulary, pronunciation, and literacy. They are especially useful for second language learners and emergent readers.

So, next time you permit your children to watch a mindless show on television, switch on closed captioning — and turn on their minds as well.