Being a homeschooling mom, I work hard to make sure that my children reach their full potential. To me, that means giving them many opportunities to work hard, a wide selection of good books to read, and plenty of down time to be creative.
Most of you are aware of the childrens’ roles in Goat Milk Stuff (our family business). You know that my children are very hard workers and opportunities to prove that abound. I’ve also dedicated a lot of time and money to making sure that we have an entire library of great books.
To make sure the children have plenty of time to be creative, we limit the technology they have access to. In our house, there are no video games. The children don’t have personal game devices. They also don’t have any toys with batteries. If the toy requires a battery to make it operational or fun, it doesn’t earn a place in our house.
Instead, we have items which encourage creativity:
- lots and lots (way too many) legos
- pattern blocks
- art and drawing supplies
- playdoh (despite the mess)
- a huge backyard
Do my children interact with technology? Of course. It’s a part of the world we live in. They need to know how to use it. But we treat it as a tool. It is a piece of their lives, not a huge part. We are teaching them (particularly Brett who is the oldest) to keep things in balance. Sometimes she is tempted to spend too much time online with her blog or social media. When she questions why I limit her use, I explain it’s because she needs to learn that while the internet may seem essential to modern living, it is not all positive.
In a recent Newsweek article titled “Is the Web Driving Us Mad?” it says:
Now, however, the proof is starting to pile up. The first good, peer-reviewed research is emerging, and the picture is much gloomier than the trumpet blasts of Web utopians have allowed. The current incarnation of the Internet—portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive—may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic. Our digitized minds can scan like those of drug addicts, and normal people are breaking down in sad and seemingly new ways.
It’s a really good reminder that we need to control our use of technology so that it doesn’t control us. Right now we do that by giving the children (and ourselves) plenty of things to do as a family, so we don’t become engrossed in technology.
What about you? Is technology and the internet used properly in your home? Or do you think it’s out of control?