Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Changing Seasons, Changing Routines #StreamTeam

We're slowly getting back into a routine around here, three weeks in to the new school year. I'm very happy that Boo's third grade teacher doesn't believe in homework at this age, so we don't have to worry about fitting that in. She encourages reading every night, but that's never a problem for us, since Boo is an avid reader and books are an important part of his bedtime prep.

We're negotiating the balance of after school walks with the dog, guitar and swimming lessons, and karate classes. Guitar and karate practice at home still need to become habits, but we're getting there. And I'm getting settled in to a regular work routine during the days. I may actually be able to keep my weekends free for family fun this year! At least mostly. Next week I plan to get back to my aquafit classes. It's all coming together.

As the weather gets cooler, we'll be spending more time indoors, and our weekends will start to include more board games and movies. We have an excellent collection of both to keep us all entertained, but we also appreciate the variety of options available on Netflix. I've been turning to Netflix more and more for my shows and movies. Partly because I'm lazy, and it's easier than dealing with the Blu-Ray player. Kidding. Sort of. Honestly, I love the profiles we can set for each family member, providing for individualised recommendations for each of us, based on our viewing history. Boo knows to choose his own profile when he logs on so he can access his special kid content.

After a busy day Saturday, we settled in to watch a re-make of a classic from my youth - The Karate Kid (2010). I thought this would be a good one, given Boo's love of karate as well as the great messages about discipline and anti-bullying it provides.

After moving to Beijing with his mother, Dre falls prey to a bully, so he takes lessons from a martial arts master in this remake of the 1984 classic.

At 2 hours and 20 minutes, this is a long movie, and I think it could have been cut a bit more as it was very slow to start. Actually, Dre meets a friend at the very start of the film, who then disappears from the story with no explanation. Boo commented on this towards the end, "What happened to his blonde friend??" Perhaps that's a portion of the script that could have been dropped.

In spite of the slow start, this develops into a great movie and provides excellent opportunities to talk about bullying, why it is wrong, and what you should do if you are bullied or see someone being bullied. We had a great conversation about how Dre should have told his mom or a teacher what was happening, especially when his mom was getting worried and asking him what was up. He had an easy opening there to talk. There is a scene early on where Dre retaliates against the bullies, so I asked Boo what he thought. He told me that being a bully back was not an answer and would only make things worse. Good boy!

One point Boo made a few times - this is actually a Kung Fu movie, not Karate. He also asked why it was China and not Japan. I can't argue with those, but the messages, the story and the action all made for a good family movie night. He's asked to watch the original Karate Kid next, so we'll look that one up.  Meanwhile, I'm going to check out Netflix for some more memories of my youth to share with him on our cold weather movie days and get him thinking. Maybe this is the form "homework" will take this school year.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam program, and receive special perks as part of my involvement. I was not financially compensated for this post. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

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