A veteran unschooler recently replied on a yahoo e-list how the word “screen time” strikes a nerve with her. As someone who has used these two words in the past, I took notice of what she said. I also notice how the issue of screens seem to come up quite a lot in homeschooling period.
Somewhere along the way we have come to the conclusion that books are good and screens are bad. I know because I was one of them.
Here lately my eyes ,as well as my mind, have been opened to a whole new way of learning but it took a statement from my daughter to finally see the light.
“Mom why is it that we can’t watch television, play on the computer, or play video games when you and Dad can?”
Sure, I could have given her the “Because we are adults and you are not speech” (All of the sudden I am reminded of the book Matilda) but to be honest she had a very legit point. What IS my problem with screens anyway?
For me nothing, I think they are great. Whenever I need to learn something a screen is my best friend. I mean I LOVE to read but let’s be honest here there is no way I have time to read a book on the revolutionary war unless I really (really) wanted to. No “I” would much rather look my question up on the computer or watch a documentary on the subject, and to be (even more) honest this is how I learn best. And since I am on such an honesty roll I will even go as far and say I don’t know what I would do without my computer. Sure I could live without it (I did for a whole week) but it would be hard, too much today is computer based.
It has been well over a month since I lifted all bans off screens and started to unschool. At first my academically trained mind couldn’t see much actual learning going on. I mean watching cartoon episodes of X-men replaced our reading. Miss Sky no longer has a spelling or vocabulary list and then it happened(not really you see ,it had always been there I just could never see it). While watching the last season of X-men Evolution the word verbally abused was brought up. “What does verbally mean?” Me: “Well verbal means words, so what do you think it means?” I couldn’t believe it we literally paused the show to have an hour-long conversation about verbal abuse, and this was not the first time an episode struck up a conversation(oh and the dictionary is now next to the couch).
So that whole image of children zoned out in front of the television like zombies frying their brains really isn’t true because we both were using ours. Actually I think I still have most of my brain cells even with all the screen time I’ve been exposed to.(Could it possibly be those images were created of “school”children who need to zone out from sitting in a classroom all day?)
I asked Little Sis if watching X-men cartoons, where a character has built in knifes in his hands, made her want to go out and try to beat someone up.( I so wish I could have captured her express here) “Why would I want to hurt someone?”
Then Papa thought it would be fun to do a dinner and movie( like as in a recent one,what the heck is even playing?) Okay after deciding maybe Thor or X-men First Class may not be 5 year-old material we decided to see Mr. Poppers Penguins(but wait we need to read “the book” first).
We had a great time and as the credits were rolling Miss Sky leaned over to me and said “I can’t wait to read the book, can we read it next?” Um sure!
I guess it was a week full of “myth busters” 🙂
Wishing everyone a great weekend.