Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Turning Off the Television!

I recently had a friend ask me about our television habits. She was looking for ideas to inspire her and her family to turn off the television.

She has good reason - the impact the television, and our culture in general, can make on our homes is huge. We would be wise to be a guardian over that doorway into our lives. I believe that God has set us moms in place as a gatekeeper, a watchman on the wall to make sure no bad influences are coming into our homes.

In fact, in a book I read recently called The Marketing of Evil, a PBS documentary called The Merchants of Cool was quoted:

“Today, five enormous companies are responsible for selling nearly all of youth culture. These are the true merchants of cool: Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp, Disney, Viacom, Universal Vivendi, and AOL/Time Warner. The documentary demonstrates how big corporations literally send spies to infiltrate young people's social settings to gather intelligence on what they can induce these children to buy next.”

In her book, Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World, written in 2006, Jill Rigby states the following stats: 75% of 12 yr olds watch R movies at least once a month. 90% of 7 yr olds watch PG13 movies regularly. The PG13 movie of today would have received an R rating 15 yrs ago. More than 65% said their parents were the ones who allowed them to see the movies.

So, with that being said, here is the advice I gave my friend regarding shows we watch and what we do to fill the time so we are NOT watching shows! ;-)

First of all, our days are so busy with school, chores and sometimes sports/church stuff that there is not much time for sitting around "letting our brains turn to mush" as we call it.
So when we do watch tv, we try to pick wisely most of the time. I don't know if you mean kids or both of you so my suggestions will be for everyone. In general, what we do watch, we record on DVR and skip the commercials. Also, Craig gets home at 7 and bedtime is about 830 so we don't have tons of time we are trying to fill.

For the older kids:
1. We DO watch: Fetch with Ruff Ruffman (PBS show)- neat field trip kind of show for kids
2. We have also let them watch Mythbusters sometimes, but I don't always love the language on there - I still think our kids are too young for it. But the experiments are interesting so if you can preview it, it can really be learning fun.
3. I order movies from netflix or library that go along with the history we are studying. We are watching The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur this year since we are in ancients. I also found that Netflix has some IMAX type movies on DVD that have been good.
4. My kids are liking the new Electric Company show but honestly I don't know if that is good or not. I need to watch one and see..... ;-{
5. We limit freetime tv by making them pay for 30 minutes with a ticket they earned by doing chores. Sometimes they'd just rather not spend it and save it for buying something else.

Non TV ideas:
Here is what we do when the tv is not on. These are not necessarily in the order they are done in our home!

1. Learning game on computer: Rosetta Stone Spanish, IXL.com for math game (it sends me reports on how they are doing); Carmen Sandiego for Geography, typing websites, or just letting them make a document they want to type up - we limit computer time to 30 min a day and not all days have computer time

2. Wii - we have enjoyed our wii - it is also a "screen" so we limit time but we have a lot of fun racing each other on mario karts, wii ski & snowboard, wii sports or doing Wii fit. It's hilarious watching our littlest one trying to do yoga on the wii fit. We probably do that once a week. Sometimes I am not in the room - doing laundry and catchup while they are hanging out with dad.

3. Games - We have lots of games. Just got Bananagrams. For boys, I would try Risk. They played that at game night at our hybrid school's game night and the boys and dads loved it. It takes a lot of time too!

4. Reading aloud - If I don't get the reading in during the afternoon, then we read aloud at night. Often I will read to the older ones while Craig helps the little ones get a bath. We are reading great books that are historical fiction, that really bring history and sometimes the Bible to life. Sometimes the language is hard, but that is good for vocabulary! Other times it is more simple.

You can find good book guides/lists in the sonlight.com catalog (download it for free), biblioplan (a history program that has great reading recommendations), veritas press catalog, truthquest history. I am using biblioplan mostly for our family reading and Sonlight for the little girls' reading assignments on their own.

5. Crafts - of course, you can always work on crafts! Especially for girls - knitting, sewing, making a miniature dollhouse, quilling. You can get a Keepers at Home girls handbook that guides you through lots of homemaking skills. My girls are in a keepers club but before that we had the book and were just learning things on our own. They also have a handbook for boys (Contenders for the Faith) but I have not checked those out yet since our boy is not old enough! Also boys like making models and stuff like that...

6. Books on CD - we do this in the car mostly but I know a friend who's boys listen to books each night. There are tons of great ones. We have the Narnia set from Focus on the family. It's exciting. We also love Odyssey and recently checked out The Penderwicks and laughed so hard as we were driving along. You can also get Story of the World on Cd from Amazon if you have a history buff among you. We listen to bits and pieces that go along with our history and it's pretty entertaining. The guy has a nasal sounding voice though so sometimes the kids make fun of him! ;-) We have also been listening to True Tales by Diana Waring. Fascinating stories about history and the Bible.

7. Chores & Skills - you can always ramp up their responsibilities to keep them busy. Help them learn a new skill to help out around the house and build confidence.

8. Memorize verses. We follow the scripture memory system at http://simplycharlottemason.com/timesavers/memorysys

9. Bible study--read a section and discuss

10. Quotes with Character -- a book of quotes-- we pick one and copy into spiral notebook either printing or cursive

11. Conversation with Character-- a speech class for ages 9 and up

12. Growing kids Gods way coloring book - great for teaching obedience and how to act for little ones

13. Our 24 Family Ways--short lesson and coloring page

14. Manners-- have a manners lesson and practice learning new manners. There are several books on the market for this.

I hope these tips give you some ideas of something new to try as you turn the tv off. And also, keep in mind that as you do this, you will not be like the rest of the world around you! In fact, you might even be called a dork! So for encouragement that it is okay to be a dork, I leave you with this blog at stuffchristianslike.

Blessings as we raise our dorks and turn off the television!


Seja o primeiro a comentar

  ©Blog Design by Amy Bayliss.

Return to top