Why go screen free?

Have we ever let our kids play tablets or watch tv mindlessly?  Yes.

Will we ever again?  Probably not.

What happened?

It was the first practice for my girls’ competitive cheerleading team, and my boys were looking around, bored, sticky and hot in the crowded viewing area to see if there were other kids to play with.  There were, there were almost ten other boys Caleb’s age, but they all had their necks flexed as far forward as possible, transfixed by tiny flashing screens.  There were even kids as young as Owen (who is two by the way) breathlessly holding onto their parents’ cell phones as surprise egg videos played for them.  At one point, a mom was receiving a call, when she tried to retrieve her cell phone from her toddler… you would have thought she was trying to pull out her kidney!  All the moms seemed to nod, knowingly.

Hey, I am a mom of 4, I totally get public displays of bad behaviour, but can we not see a causal link here parents?  This technology is addictive and inappropriate for this age.

The day this happened, I did still allow my kids to access screens at least most week days.  When Owen napped, the other kids could have an hour or so of tablet or tv time. Although I didn’t love it, I figured it gave me a chance to catch up on work I needed to do or have some alone time.

However, watching those small children clutching onto those screens as fiercely as a drug addict would his next hit… it flipped a switch inside of me.

It has now been a month, and I can’t see us going back to screens.  The changes that I have witnessed have been spectacular and as I have researched further into screens and their impact on young people, it has solidified my decision.

Look out for part 2 on how we have removed screens.

Homeschool week 4

This has been an exciting and busy week!

We have been working as diligently as ants at our academics, and I am happy to report we are getting into a rhythm.

Caleb has been doing very well in his math and language arts, he even did two math lessons in one day this week… His idea!  Which if you were a fly on our wall last school year, you would know is just short of a miracle.  (Most of our math lessons ended with crying, pages torn out of books and frustration… mostly me, but once or twice Caleb *wink*).


Elise has been flourishing, easily doing 2 or 3 math lessons a day, which is not surprising she loves a good worksheet.

I am finding that the content and activities are so engaging the kids are happy to do more on many days, but I am trying my hardest not to push.  However, I am not sure, but I have heard a rumour that the Good and the Beautiful will be doing their math as an online course from level 3.  I am hoping that is not true, because we avoid screens as much as possible, and we are really enjoying their math so far.

Belle is really enjoying her kindergarten material.  We play a lot of math games, sing math songs, practice our early reading skills and all that takes less than an hour a day.  We also do art most days and she is included in as many household activities as I can manage.  We have also been baking bread once a week, Owen and Isabelle love that!

This week we spent time reading two Grimm’s fairy tales, Cinderella and Mother Holle.  We also really enjoyed the root children and dog heaven. We also read a lot of books about apple season, and have many for next week. We have also been repeating a poem by Jack Prelutsky, “I often repeat myself” many many many times.  I don’t know if I will ever get it out of my head head head.

We also completed our Safety Unit for science.  The kids loved the activities, I found that it covered a lot of subjects I would have tried to cover myself, but less efficiently.  Some of it was a little too mature, for example the lesson on internet safety and pornography, I only worked through this one with my oldest.  But this unit is going in the “keepers” pile and I plan to redo this unit again, because the subject matter covered will have a different meaning to the kids as they mature, for example peer pressure, gun safety, body safety and much more.  Our next unit is on Space Science, the kids and I are very excited!

This week I also read two really great books, the first is Heaven on Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer and You are your child’s first teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy.  Both talk about how to implement rhythms into your daily life to add peace, stimulate creativity and playfulness in your children and improving indoor and outdoor playspaces using natural materials.  These are definitely wonderful reads for parents interested in Rudolph Steiner’s ideas on education, and how they can be applied in a home environment.  I have been trying to find all their recommended resources, and feel I am learning a lot!

We are taking most of the next two weeks off because of guests, but I will try to post if I can, because if you know me, you know I will be trying to sneak learning into everything possible…