2013 Screen-Free Week is from Monday April 29 to Sunday May 5. This will be the Homeschooler’s second year participating in Screen-Free week and we are excited!
Unlike many American families, we actually ditched the concept of a tv in our living room 3 years ago. Our tv is in an area of the house the children aren’t allowed in (parent’s bedroom) and is primarily used by my husband, Marmaduke, to play video games.
We don’t have cable. We don’t have Netflix.
What we do have is a laptop and a stack of approved dvds which the children are allowed to watch for one hour everyday after dinner.
Thats it. One hour.
We are obviously not big tv people. However there are other screens which plague our children’s childhood. Mainly laptop screens. Marmaduke, LittleMan, and I each have our own laptop. Thats 3 laptops for a family of 4 people. (We actually had 2 more last year which we gave the boot when we moved.)
LittleMan’s laptop is admittedly rarely used outside of teaching him basic computer skills (moving the mouse, clicking, etc..) in a simple paint program, and letting him watch his one hour of “tv time” after dinner.
Marmaduke and I, on the other hand, leave our laptops open all day long, logged into our Facebook, email, Pinterest, etc.. We may only spend 5-15 minutes at a time looking at our laptop screen, but those small chunks of time add up to several hours by the end of the day. Several hours staring at a computer screen rather than engaging with our loved ones.
So what are we doing for Screen-Free Week?
1- We are replacing 1 hour of “tv time” after dinner with 1 hour of board games.
2- We are putting our laptops up in the closet, only to be brought down once a day, after the children’s bedtime.
3- Even though the laptops will only be brought down after the children are in bed, we will still make an effort to engage with each other as a couple and we will do so by minimizing our laptop use to checking email (both), checking football news (Marmaduke), and writing blog posts (myself).
Also, in honor of Screen-Free week, we will be doing one project everyday to enhance our outdoor play space.
Before we moved, the Homeschooler family had a pretty sweet backyard. In fact, here’s a picture of our yard trashed after we had a Messy Playdate:
Now we live in a nice, but tiny, apartment complex. And we are confined to a small patio which leads out to a small common yard we share with other tenants:
Not much to look at. Its understandable that our family spends less than half the amount of time outside that we used to spend before the move.
Well, thats about to change! This week is all about Pimp My Patio!
My only goal this week, to get my children EXCITED to play outside again.
Be sure to check out all 7 days worth of outdoor play ideas in our Pimp My Patio Series!
Day 1- Making Things Colorful
Day 2- Music and Pretend Play
Day 3- Bugs and Birds
Day 4- Outdoor Games
Day 5- Mud Kitchen and Clean Up Station
Day 6- Hide-a-Ways and Sun Protection
Day 7- Gardening