Film and videos rank right up there with books in terms of their ability to educate and inform. As a matter of fact, it’s not unusual for folks emigrating to the U.S. to use movies to help them refine their English skills, pick up idioms and even mannerisms. If you like the idea of using media to support curricula in addition to serving entertainment purposes and want to carve out an area of your home dedicated to both, setting up a home theater area makes good sense. And don’t forget the popcorn.
1. Earmark adequate space for your home theater. Draw up floor plans using your computer’s drawing program or sketch out seating placement using paper and pencil to minimize furniture-moving tasks. Try several configurations before deciding on the one offering the most efficient use of space. Shop for a large-screen television to serve as the home theater’s focal point.
2. Paint the room in a dark color to enhance the viewing experiences of family and guests. Mount the television on the wall once the paint dries. Hang blackout curtains over windows and install a ceiling fan to keep air circulating so folks viewing DVDs and television programming stay comfortable and alert.
3. Arrange furniture classroom style or in a semi-circle. By putting chairs, couches and seating units in rows or a half-circle, everyone gets an unobstructed view of the screen, no matter where they sit. Station tables and lamps in close proximity to seating. Build or buy storage units and hang them along walls to hold all types of media: textbooks, DVDs, films, CDs, encyclopedias, reference books and subject-specific guides and resources.
4. Learn what to look for when choosing films and video. Consult resources like Teach With Movies to find out how to match films and audio-visual aids with lesson plans in instructional areas like math, biographies, history and geography. Screen news broadcasts to decide which offer the most balanced representations of contemporary stories.
5. Add to your home theater experience by scheduling post-media discussions to challenge family members and add an element of fun following screenings that are more instructional than entertaining. Compare and contrast movie versions of historic happenings with literary accounts so friends and family have opportunities to discuss alternative philosophies, theories and facts presented by myriad resources.
6. Keep your home theater on a sound financial track by steering clear of unnecessary bells and whistles so you’re able to purchase new resources as they’re produced and stockpile reserves for future equipment upgrades and renovations. Frequent yard sales and media closeout events to add movies, music and books to your media library so it’s the place everyone likes to visit for entertaining fun.