Geeky Parent Guide

Geeky Parent Guide (121)

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.

I try to provide activities that I know my kids will enjoy, and with a summer that’s already reducing outside time because of extreme heat, I’m trying to find some productive use of that time. Science experiments, STEM activities, or really anything that’s hands-on usually garners a lot of interest from my 7 and 8-year-old kiddos; however, like this past week, things don’t always go as planned. But that’s okay. Parenthood is all about adapting and “reading the room” when it comes to our kids, and sometimes that means letting them make the call.

Family movie time is so much more than one to two hours of sitting in the same room with your kids. When they’re still wanting snuggles like my kids (ages 7 and 8), they love sitting next to or against me or my wife. Not only that, fictional worlds are a wonderful way to connect with our kids, especially when it comes to animated films. We watched Raya and the Last Dragon on Disney+ this week, and it was definitely worth the wait.

When gifted with the opportunity to contribute an entry to the Geeky Parent Guide regarding how I’ve maneuvered the pandemic as a parent, I was both honored and completely terrified.  As a relatively new parent (to twin 6-month-old girls), it is always exciting to be able to share your lived experience with others; however, my Imposter Syndrome of *only* having been a parent for 6 months (and, therefore, unworthy of speaking to the concept of parenting) was weighing on me heavily.  

40 years ago this June, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark was released in theaters. 40 years have gone by, and it still stands the test of time. As many readers may have watched this film for the first time when they were young, this is a perfect opportunity to discuss some scary elements for young viewers and important characteristics of Indiana Jones that make this film legendary.

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.

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