From Our House to Yours
Why homeschool? Less screen time, more book time!
One of the biggest battles we will fight for our children in this day and age is too much screen time. We see children using smartphones or tablets, playing video games, working on computers, watching television, etc., day in, day out. As parents, the allure of less expensive books, easily and readily available on media devices is strong. We see brick and mortar schools facing this same allure of a lower budget when choosing media resources. Real books cost more money, plain and simple. We see the results of the bottom dollar. More often than not, schools are investing in media devices rather than books. I believe Charlotte Mason would be appalled.
If all of our children’s ‘books’ are digital, what does the rest of their day look like?
If our children spend all day on media devices for the reading of books or literature, what does the rest of their day look like? This is a battle. We all know too much screen time is not good – it’s not good for us as adults. It is all the more not good for our children, whose brains and bodies are still developing. Too much screen time has been linked to numerous harmful side effects such as obesity, sleep deprivation, vision problems, problems in school, loss of social skills, and increased aggression. As parents, we know our children will have future careers that require knowledge and expertise in communicating and working with media. However, we also see the detriments of them having way too much screen time. What is a parent to do?
In homeschooling, we can choose printed books and resources as the primary source of education materials.
In homeschooling, we have the opportunity to choose printed books and resources as the primary source of our education materials. Simply by choosing printed resources, we can decrease our children’s daily screen time. We can also choose to use media resources only when they truly are the best choice. Furthermore, we can choose these resources in a more controlled and easily monitored way, so our children don’t fall victim to less than desirable websites or links.
In Heart of Dakota, children learn to love to read real books, while still learning to use media resources in a balanced, monitored way.
In Heart of Dakota, we have children use audio CDs, instructional DVDs, online encyclopedias, and interactive websites. However, these are used in a very balanced, monitored sort of way that is cognizant of children’s age and maturity. Whenever possible, real books are used and options are given. Children are encouraged to use print materials, to often write instead of type, and to respond to what they are reading with all types of assessments, including hands-on. So when you are weary as a parent at the end of your homeschool day and your child wants to watch a movie, play a short online game, watch a television show, chat with someone online, or hop on the computer, you can say ‘yes’ to what you are comfortable with, knowing at least for the rest of their day, they weren’t doing the exact same thing.