Tag Archives: Family

“Anne of Green Gables” returns to PBS for Thanksgiving

How many readers of this blog remember the original Anne of Green Gables series of the 1980s? From childhood through courtship, millions of us tuned in to PBS – and some much-watched VHS tapes, too – to see how the spirited, imaginative heroine made her way past any obstacle.

Now a new adaptation, starring Martin Sheen as the beloved Matthew Cuthbert, premieres at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 24 (Thanksgiving night!) for another generation to enjoy with family and friends.

Watch as Anne gets her first glimpse of her new home:

So why is the story of this redheaded Canadian orphan so memorable, decades after its publication? We asked WPT staffers for their thoughts on the matter and got a flurry of responses. (To be specific, the verbatim response from multiple people was “OMG Anne of Green Gables!”)

As you settle in to watch on Thursday night, enjoy reading some of our memories as you make your own.

What are your memories of Anne of Green Gables? Do you have any favorite holiday film traditions? Share them in the comments!
Continue reading “Anne of Green Gables” returns to PBS for Thanksgiving

"Odd Squad" Saves the World!

Odd Squad Saves the World logo
Watch Monday, Jan. 19 on WPT

Calling all Odd Squad fans! Join us Monday, Jan. 19 at 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. as WPT premieres a one-hour special of Odd Squad, a live-action series from PBS KIDS designed to help kids 5-8 build math and collaboration skills. In “Odd Squad Saves the World,” kid agents tackle high-stakes cases and work together to overcome obstacles and save the day.

Parents, did you know your kids can sign up online to become Odd Squad agents? It’s true! And, they can earn rewards as they play math games inspired by the series. Check out the Odd Squad website, which offers fun and engaging games, activities and videos for kids, as well as parent and caregiver resources.

New to Odd Squad? See what it’s all about in this behind-the-scenes video with creators Tim and Adam.

Watching, Browsing and Surfing with Intention

Welcome to 2015. I started out this year a little differently than most. I didn’t make resolutions for myself or my family like I usually do. I am not going to “lose 10 pounds by Valentine’s Day,” nor am I instituting “family game night” every Sunday. Not that those aren’t admirable goals. But this year, I am trying something different: I am going to be more intentional. In particular, I am going to be more intentional with regard to my use of technology.

Like many of you, my childhood television viewing habits consisted of turning on the television after dinner and watching something until bedtime. Maybe there was a show I really wanted to see, but more likely I would simply watch whatever came on, one show after the next. As a kid, I never even considered turning off the television when the program I wanted to watch was over. Unfortunately, that practice follows many of us into adulthood. But now, as a parent and in my job as the Early Learning Services Manager for WPT, it is intentional television viewing that I practice and preach.

As you may have guessed, my family and I are big fans of public television. Each month, we sit down with our Airwaves program guide (mailed free to members!) and choose the programs we want to watch. I actually put them on our calendar. When that night arrives, we make our popcorn and head to the television. We watch our show and then…wait for it…turn the television off. You read that correctly. We choose the programs we want to watch, we watch them and then we turn the television off. We view television with intention.

Regrettably, this habit has not made it to the rest of my technological life. Therefore, it is my goal in 2015 to extend it to my computer and iPad as well. What exactly does this mean? It means no longer searching for a rainy day craft project for my daughter and ending up waist deep in wedding cake topper ideas on Pinterest. It means not getting sucked into taking one Facebook quiz which leads to the next and the next and looking up blurry-eyed an hour later wondering why my coffee is cold. It does mean I will consume my media intentionally; I will choose what I want to see, not just take whatever is put in front of me. Will this be a challenge? Yes. Will I sometimes get distracted by the cute animal videos and celebrity gossip? Yes. But I am going to try it and I encourage you to try it as well. I will keep you posted!


Simplifying the Holiday Season for You and Your Kids

The holidays are a time of joy and excitement, and no small amount of stress for mom and dad.  For young children, the anticipation and change in routines can cause anxiousness, too. It can be hard to remember that while there is value in creating memories and traditions, it’s far too easy to go overboard and get overwhelmed.

Author Katrina Kenison shares some tips with PBS Parents to help simplify the holiday season. She says, “As the holidays approach, it helps to pause and ask:  What part of this season is most meaningful to me?  What message do I want my children to absorb from our celebration?  What brings us true joy?  What activities and expectations are we ready to let go?”

The holiday season can be an opportunity to make decisions about what is really valuable to your family, and what might be some things you can let go of. Here are some specific ideas from Kenison for paring down your holiday commitments, and getting back to that joy and excitement:

Downscale holiday plans and expectations.  Keep the focus on family, on meaningful traditions and simple activities that replenish rather than exhaust.

Whether you’re decorating the Christmas tree, baking cookies, or making gifts for grandma, remember that the process is more important for your child than the outcome.  Keep it simple, and you and your child will enjoy it more.

Ask your children what they most love about your family’s holiday.  You may be surprised by their answers.  For my sons, it was:  reading our Christmas books aloud, opening the doors on the advent calendar, our annual carol sing with the next-door neighbors, lighting the ting-a-ling on Christmas Eve. . .

Take away the pressure of going “all out” with every occasion, and you may find that your whole family enjoys time spent simply being together even more.

Go to PBS Parents for more tips on simplifying your holidays.

Sheepshead: A Wisconsin Family Tradition

Sheepshead. If you are from – or have spent time in – Wisconsin, you’ve likely stumbled upon this card game in a local tavern or around a family dining room table. Today’s special animated Wisconsin Life sneak peek takes us inside this classic Wisconsin tradition to uncover the lifelong lessons and memories that can come from a simple hand of cards. Kudos to Michael Williams for the animation of this story that originally appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio.

Discover more Wisconsin Life here tomorrow and on-air Monday nights in February on Wisconsin Public Television!

WPT Holiday Program Schedule

‘Tis the season for family get togethers, good cheer, great meals and, of course, holiday favorites on television. This holiday season, Wisconsin Public Television brings great music, animated favorites, culinary traditions and more into your home to enjoy with family and friends.

It all starts this week with the full second season of Downton Abbey on Thanksgiving Day — a great chance to catch up before the new season arrives in December. Then, catch the all-new holiday special, The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas, airing first this Friday and again throughout December!

Take a look at the full schedule below and mark your calendar to tune in for your favorites!

Happy holidays!

Thursday, Nov. 22
8:30 a.m.  Downton Abbey – the complete second season

Friday, Nov. 23
11 a.m.  The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas
Noon Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas

Tuesday, Nov. 27
7 p.m. Christmas With Nathan Pacheco

Saturday, Dec. 1
5 p.m.  Happy Holidays: The Best of the Andy Williams Christmas Shows

Monday, Dec. 3
11:30 p.m. Great Performances “Rod Stewart: Merry Christmas Baby

Wednesday, Dec. 5
7 and 8:20 a.m. The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas

Friday, Dec. 7
11:30 a.m. Shalom Sesame: Hanukkah: The Missing Menorah

 Saturday, Dec. 15
6 p.m. Keeping Up Appearances Christmas Specials

 Sunday, Dec. 16
11 a.m. Rick Steves’ European Christmas
7 p.m.  Arthur’s Perfect Christmas

Wednesday, Dec. 19
7 p.m. Nature Christmas in Yellowstone

 Thursday, Dec. 20
10 p.m. Nature Christmas in Yellowstone

Friday, Dec. 21
4:30 p.m. Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri

Saturday, Dec. 22
4:30 p.m. Burt Wolf Taste of Freedom “Christmas”
5 p.m.  The Lawrence Welk Show “Christmas”
6 p.m.  Keeping Up Appearances Christmas Special

Sunday, Dec. 23
11 a.m. Lidia Celebrates America “Holiday Tables & Traditions”
7 p.m.  The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas

Monday, Dec. 24
9:30 a.m. Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
7 p.m. Christmas in the Basilica With the Bel Canto Chorus
8 p.m.  Christmas With the Morman Tabernacle Choir Featuring Jane Seymour and Nathan Gunn

Tuesday, Dec. 25
6 a.m.  The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas
7 a.m.  Arthur’s Perfect Christmas
9 a.m.  Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.  Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri

Wednesday, Dec. 26
9:30 a.m. Once Upon a Christmas Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri

Friday, Dec. 28
9:30 a.m. Arthur’s Perfect Christmas

Saturday, Dec. 29
4:30 p.m. Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom “New Year’s”
5 p.m.  The Lawrence Welk Show “New Year’s”

Sunday, Dec. 30
7 p.m. Call the Midwife Holiday Special

Monday, Dec. 31
7 and 11:30 p.m. Live From Lincoln Center “One Singular Sensation: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch”

Tuesday, Jan. 1
7 p.m. Great Performances “From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2013”