Electronics in homeschool: A How-To on using them responsibly.

The big ‘electronics’ debate! Dun, dun, duuuun.

No, I’m kidding. But really, there is so much debate about electronics in homeschooling or just in any house that has a child.

I love being outside, and connecting with Mother Nature, I really should live secluded in the mountains somewhere. But I also live in an era where technology has exploded, and it is quite the amazing thing. I am also a parent in that same technology-expoding era so this is something I deal with every day.

As a homeschooling mom I embrace the opportunities we can get from electronics in our home, and in our education.

As a mom of kids in general, I also embrace electronics and all that it can offer.

Within limits.

I don’t use a strict “one size fits all” for electronics in our home. We base our use of them on each day, or maybe the day before. There are many things we use our electronics for…

– Watching documentaries.

– Researching information.

– Connecting with family and friends, and meeting new friends.

– Watching tv shows/movies we enjoy.

– Listening to music, books, and podcasts.

– Playing games.

– Learning through games.

– Some of our curriculum is online.

– Printing things to use offline.

The list goes on and on because technology, while it can be daunting and frustrating at times, is simply amazing.

There are some days where I feel like the kids have just had too much TV/Tablet/Computer, whatever it may be, and I decide nope, not today. Sometimes that is just needed.

(I have a smart phone, and so does my husband. Our children do not have phones. Our oldest is 9, and I truly believe that is too young, and she doesn’t need and isn’t ready)

Connecting with nature is something that is very important to my husband and I. Most of our days are spent outside (we do live in the PNW so there is a big chunk of time we do spend indoors) but even in the rain and snow, we are outside at least a little. I am not even the slightest bit concerned about my kids having too much down time. A huge part of that is because we homeschool. They are allowed to be outside all day if they choose to do that, they aren’t strapped down to chairs inside a building all day so there is no need to limit our electronics so they can force in enough outdoor time after school between dinner, homeschool, and sports.

My kids have had so much freedom with our homeschooling that most of the time (most, they are kids we’re talking about here! Lol) they choose to be outside, or building with legos, or reading, or creating something somewhere.

There are days where I need to tell them to put them away and do something else, and they usually don’t fight me on the matter. Because it’s balanced. They most certainly have more brain-evoking activities during the day than being on electronics, and because of that opportunity presenting itself to us in homeschooling, we don’t need to set huge limits on our electronics.

– We do have limits on what they are allowed to watch and play. They do not get a free-for-all, and if they are on YouTube, we have strict rules for that platform. They are 9 and under, so there is no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media that they have access too. We’re basically discussing games, and apps here, that can be educational and used to learn. In todays day and age, just about anything can do be used to teach!-

I do have some tips on getting your kids to choose other things besides their tablet, though!

Tips to help lower electronic time:

  • Encourage outside time by being with your kids. Take them outside, play with them. Make up games together, go on nature walks, go to parks, or on trails. Show them that they can experience mother nature, and that it is fun to be outside!
  • Show them the difference they feel after being outside for a few hours compared to staring at a tablet for a few hours. That has always been a big one for me! Sometimes when they do have extended time on their tablets doing nothing productive, they come out of their rooms and tell me they feel sleepy, and their heads hurt. I explain to them that it’s because of too much time on the tablet, not enough sunlight or daylight, and they should probably drink some water. always have to throw in the water one when you can, am I right?! 😂
  • Without being too intense, tell them they will lose their electronic time if they aren’t productive in other areas of their life. We are their parents, and we need to show them, and teach them these healthy habits so they take them into adulthood.

With the way that life is going right now, by the time our younger kids are coming into adulthood electronics will be everywhere. Technology is advancing at record speeds, and no one is going to be able to stop that. I think it’s best that we use technology, teach boundaries, and enjoy it. It can be a useful tool, and it can be fun when used with intention and guidelines. We shouldn’t be afraid to let our kids use technology, especially as they get older. They are wanting to experiment with it, they want to know what it is, and how to use it, and we should embrace that. Using it to teach is such an amazing opportunity especially for homeschoolers!

We love using Netflix, and Prime video for learning, plus YouTube. I don’t pay for any other subscription services, and we don’t have cable which I do think makes a huge difference because the TV isn’t mindlessly playing in the background drawing in their attention to something that isn’t thought-provoking.

How do you use electronics in your homeschool/household?

| Danielle ✨ |

 

 

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