I was telling Melody the other day that we should turn the tv off for the whole week. Then later that day I found a link to Screen Free Week 2011. So we are going to try it. The girls and I will do it together although I have to get on the computer for my freelance job to do that which shouldn’t take that much time. I think I will do that in the morning early or in the evening if possible. I should just need to check e-mail for that and then I will be set. Earlier this year we were talking about jobs that don’t use the computer. There’s quite a few of them that don’t use one but then there are cash register computers and on-the-truck computers for truck drivers to get their assignments. I can’t remember what they are called offhand.
I think we are really going to be shocked at how much we get done although maybe that’s on my part! I tend to start off with good intentions on the computer and then it goes downhill from there. I check e-mail then I get on Facebook and then I go to Google Reader to read blogs but often I don’t stop. I get on someone else’s site and then find a new blog and then I check my e-mail and it says someone posted something about such and such… I draw or paint or cook or clean up a little when I am not on the computer or online. I also go outside when it’s not raining and this time of year I am trying to get the garden beds going but it’s so muddy!
There’s more information at this site about the screen-free week.
The important thing that I agree with is that time spent watching TV or using the computer is time they could be playing, riding a bike, or having fun with family or friends. This is real life as far as I am concerned. You live it off the computer not on the computer even if you are having wonderful chat conversations with your sister in Israel. You won’t remember “oh yeah remember when we were online and…” You remember the real life experiences you have. You greet your neighbors, pick up a book, take a walk, etc.
As long as it’s warm enough (which it is) and not raining (today it isn’t) then kids should be outside for a minimum amount of time everyday in my opinion. Some days we have two hours outside and others we get in only 45 minutes but there’s so much to do outside that there’s no reason not to be out there. I think one reason I am a big proponent of this is because we need to keep the interest and love of nature alive in children so that they will take care of it in the future.
A lot of older kids use the computer to write stories or do schoolwork. It depends on the age, but you can actually write more than you think you can by hand. If you know you have to look things up online then do it the week before you do screen-free.
I made up a list of ideas for us to keep us busy during our week.
Recycled boxes into houses
Embroidery and sewing
Backyard picnic and garden helping
Make ice pops
Paint birdhouses and magnets
Take photos and print them
Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge
Make our own newspaper
Sand and water table set-up
Paint Melody’s and Willow’s rooms
Build something with wood
Mail a couple of letters to relatives
This is our own list that I came up with because Melody had been asking to do a few of these things anyways including the puppets which I have no idea how to make really. I should mention we don’t have cable, just the basic 12 channels or whatever it is. I go days without watching anything on Tv but I often read Cnn or look at local weather online. The kids watch Tv in the morning on Pbs and then in the later afternoon if the weather isn’t nice. Most days Melody gets home and doesn’t go in the house she walks down the street with Willow and I and starts playing with the neighbors while eating a snack. 🙂
Earlier this week Melody asked if she could turn on the bathroom light? Well yes why? “Well it is using electricity and I thought we weren’t doing that this week?” 🙂 No it’s just screens not electricity. We aren’t going to be Amish for a week we will try no screens and see how that is. 🙂