Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Experimenting On My Homeschooled Kids, Still

We are trying something we haven't done before - NO COMPUTER.

Yeah, I've temporarily banned what's probably the biggest element of their home-based education.

It's been a whopping three days now since the computer next to me, theirs, was even turned on and there are no problems to report, yet. My son is just reading up a storm and both he and his sister have been playing outside a whole lot more. In fact today we went down to the beach (only 500 yards away, Long Island Sound) and the kids were cursing me for not bringing their swim trunks. What...it was only in the low 70s!

Don't get me wrong, the computer wasn't a problem by any stretch. I just felt like mixing things up a little. I'll try to keep them off for the rest of this week right up to the departure for our trip to that homeschooling vacation/conference in Ohio. That way, by the time we get back, they'll have gone a full two weeks without the PC.

While they are getting a whole lot done on the web, I can't help but think it's *crowding out* a few other activities that we could be getting to.

I myself am also trying to spend less time at the computer. Heck for 6 years I've been blogging religiously and perhaps I'm tiring of it???

Lately I've been working hard on my golf game, doing a ton of yard work, I'm amidst about 7 books right now, and I'm focusing more on my kids and their organized activities than I have in the past. Life is very good here in New York for us, overall anyway. We're coming up on *one year* since we moved from Boston's South Shore and a full review of that important life-change is forthcoming.


Laura said...

I'm one of those awful parents who kept screen time of all sorts at a bare minimum, but according to age.

Under five my kids barely spent much time even watching PBS shows or movies. A few hours a week at most. That's because I paid close attention to brain studies and saw there was truly no gain (and lots to lose) from screen time. Even when I did succumb, because I'm human, to the lure of keeping them occupied with some non-commercial tv or educational software I noticed that their ability to amuse themselves suffered a bit for the next few hours.

As they got older I lightened up a bit, because the research doesn't show much in the way of harm for kids spending an hour or two a day in front of a screen. More than that and they're compromising time that could be spent in other activities.

Now that my kids are older they are happy to catch up on old Simpsons and Futurama episodes (that everyone but them saw a decade ago) but aren't obsessed with computer or tv or texting. No doubt I'm more obsessed than they are.... They've got too much real life stuff to do. I don't know if their early years wired them to be more jazzed by hands-on activities, but they certainly weren't harmed by less screen time.

CaptiousNut said...


A friend of mine in college was forbidden from watching color TV as a youth.

But at UPenn he spent all day watching the shows everyone else had already seen ten times apiece.

One day he ran into my room bellowing, "Did you see the one where Peter (Brady Bunch) lost his voice?!"