Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Our TV-free Week

This is the "children's" vegetable patch that we built and planted this week. We planted sugar snap peas, romaine lettuce, spinach, rainbow chard, broccoli, and there are strawberries planted in the holes of the cinder blocks. We will be adding some marigolds and pansies for color. I cannot wait for it to fill in. It will be bursting with yummy things to eat.

Our week "unplugged" included me making some interesting observations:

I can mix up, in my Bosch, 6 loaves of bread dough and get it divided and ready for rising in the 30 minutes I usually spend on the internet after breakfast. Big conviction for me, especially since I cannot "find" the time to bake bread quite often. Our computer hutch looks much better closed. It is usually open with the laptop *ready* for me to jump on and get any information I need.
Speaking of computer time~ This week made me realize that the internet is a valuable means for finding information and for communicating. It is vital to our homeschooling. It is useful for our finances. It is something, when well managed, can be a great asset to me, instead of an idol. That is the ticket after all. Putting Christ first, and all else after.
We don't listen to near enough music. My children were accustomed to watching a little TV in the mornings before breakfast. I walked downstairs this morning to find they had turned on the CD player and were singing and dancing to "I Will Sing of Your Love Forever" ~ Oh, does that bless my mama-heart.
I also realized that we are actually less plugged in than I thought. The transition was the most difficult for my 11 year old son, who spends much of his free time dreaming of video games and what movie he might want to watch on the weekend. It will take him awhile to adjust to the permanent changes that are a result of last week.
1- There will be no more TV watching in the daytime hours. When Daddy gets home he likes to watch TV. Unless on the rare occasion when I am feeling ill and we all snuggle in the big bed together and watch a DVD.
2- We will keep our "Family Movie Night" on Saturdays. We enjoy picking out a DVD and making appetizer type food to enjoy together while watching a family movie.
3- Computer time for my son will be allowed but monitored. He uses an online curriculum for some of his schoolwork and also enjoys Zoo Tycoon. He use the internet quite often to look up animals and that type of thing to draw. All of those things are learning experiences, so permitted in moderation.
4- Video games are limited to 30 minutes per day.
All in all, I am so glad that we did this. When we pull back completely and then add back screen time sparingly it is so much easier, in my opinion, than just cutting back.
I pray that you all had a blessed week. In God's Love, Tami


  1. Utilizing the computer is such a balancing act. I have learned so much in the creative realm and have truly grown by blogging, but wrestled with the whole process many times. It is such a great homeschooling resource, isn't it? My son loves to play games on the computer, but we allow him very little time. When he gets into a game, he forgets all creativity and responsibility. And then he tries to sneak in a little time here and there and really spirals downward. I can relate.
    Thanks for sharing your experience. The dirt in your garden looks so rich. And your bread delicious.

  2. Tami,
    I, too, think using a computer wisely is a balancing act...and I totally agree with hiddenart. It can be so, so useful in regards to homeschooling, finding creative things to do with my kids and family, and I really, truly love blogging as an outlet for me...

    Just remembering to limit the time in front of the computer can be hard. I've been trying lately to get on early in the morning and late in the evening....before and after our days begin.

    Check out this post for even more perspective on the time we spend in front of the computer and tv...it also really made me think about how important moderation is.


  3. We, too, try to limit tv time. My boys do not watch during "school time" but are allowed to pick one show each to watch each day. If we are busy with other things, sometimes that doesn't even happen. We now have tivo which is a great help. We record what is appropriate, and they can watch it at a convenient time for the family. Picking one show a day has cut down on the arguing of tv watching. We still watch movies together from time to time as well as a family. It looks like you all had a very productive week!

  4. I really think that one of the benefits of turning everything off for a week is gaining awareness of how we use TV and computers in our lives. Once you are aware, then you can figure out how to make it fit your family and not have it take over! It sounds like you had an insightful week (great point about the bread by the way, I never "have time" for that either!). Thanks for joining in!