Science Fiction Indoctrination

My husband and I are fans of science fiction; I've been going to sci fi conventions since my early teens, and I introduced my husband to them. We love the atmosphere of like-minded individuals and enjoy examining costumes created by fans over many hours-- and the prosthetics are just, wow. Needless to say, we were absolutely mortified the first time we took our children to one of these wonderful events. Our son was afraid of Darth Vader and our daughter, out loud, said, "I'm bored." We scrammed out of the convention, tail between legs, in shame, and vowed to properly indoctrinate our children before the next convention.

Why weren't they fans before?

We take our roles as parents seriously, and we tried to protect the kids from screen violence. As a consequence, the kids hadn't had the opportunity to experience this genre at its best. We talked about violence with the kids and explained that the stories were fiction and pretend.

How we taught them about the wonders of the genre

Then, we sat them down for mandatory television viewing, starting off with E.T. (They were young children, after all.)

Now, we don't want to turn our kids into tranced out produce by watching too much television, so mandatory science fiction indoctrination took a long time.

After E.T., the next step was the six Star Wars movies. The kids liked Jar Jar and seeing robots die didn't seem to bother them. By the time we got to the Ewoks, the kids were hooked on the universe.

Meanwhile, Leon reads to the kids every night before bed. Still, at the ages of 8 and 10, they have story time each night, they cuddle together, and daddy reads. The stories changed. They don't get Dr. Seuss anymore. Leon read to them all of the Harry Potters. They enjoyed the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. After hearing the story in story time, the kids got to see the movies. My son, in fact, loves some of the songs from the Hobbit cartoon and occasionally bursts out with "their feathers were charred by the fiery breeze."

The kids and I listened to all the Chronicles of Narnia during road trips to visit my grandma. After Narnia, we went on a Madeline Le'Engle binge. Now, when we go on trips, we head to the library and read the back of CDs until we find something that everyone will be happy with. As a rule of thumb, everyone's happy as long as there are super powers.

Ah yes, comics. They've learned to appreciate comic books and they love superhero cartoons and movies.

The end result

The kids save their allowance for months before the convention. They talk about their costumes for months and demand my help. My son got "beat up" by a slightly older girl in a bat'leth competition, and my daughter was chastised for striking an unarmed opponent.

Yes, these days, the conventions are a joy.

Gwen Nicodemus is a freelance engineer/writer and a homeschooling mom. Visit her website, Notion Nexus, for unit studies, worksheets, notes, and educational videos.