Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Screen-Free Week, Part II

A week without any screens of any kind, did we survive? It really wasn't as dramatic as it could have been, first off. Did I miss the television (that we use to view videos)? No, the kids didn't really either, unless you count Arthur, who asked me about 12 times to watch a movie. The rest of them were absolutely fine, busy and entertained. Did I miss my computer? Yeeeesss! and no. The reflex to turn it on and "do stuff" was strong, as it was for my older children. One felt the need to "do research" (so we went to the library), the other kept needing just a minute to "get a guitar tab," (so he practiced more of the songs he already knew after 2 of those incidents.)

It comes down to having habits that are questionable, really. Do you need to run to the computer every time you have a question? Search engines are mighty entities, I will be the first to admit. I'm watching "The Tudors" and I want to know more about Henry VIII. I can look it up, in the blink of an eye, and get pictures too, I love it! When I have a child with an odd condition in the middle of the night, I google it to see if I should go to the ER. Now, without google, I would have instinctively felt and known if something was serious enough to merit a doctor, and I still do, but the security blanket of being able to read words concerning the condition written by "an expert" is too difficult to resist. When I was at the bowling alley, holding a 3-year-old with a bloody chin the other day, I knew right away he would need stitches, now. I did not grab my i-Pod (no-touch) and ask how many inches long the gash needed to be before it needed fixing. I went to the ER for stitches. Besides, who wants blood all over their i-Pod?

We had a fabulous week. We went to the museum, the library, to the playdate/silk-dying event with our Waldorf homeschool group , and brought home two of the children from that wonderful home. Our seven children played and played and drew crazy pictures for over 24 hours, almost non-stop (I had to make them turn out the lights at 1am!) And we're talking about teens, who supposedly "need" a screen to survive, to be cool, to entertain. Nada, just card games, jumping on the trampoline, playing some sort of troll/pirate/zombie thingy and drawing. They helped out a lot with dog training too.

We read aloud, baked hot cross buns, played lots of board games with the younger ones, but did not learn gin rummy or take many walks, it rained most of the week. Eggs were dyed, music was played and things were hammered in the garage. For our weekly knitting night, Lily and I listened to "Gilda Joyce" on CD instead of watching something on video. I think it was one of our best knitting nights ever. We had a fire in the fireplace and the speakers connected to her i-Pod. 

And my promised updates during the week? Did I mention how busy we were? I forgot about Wednesday's, besides it did not feel right to have the computer on when I was telling the kids "no." I also became very involved in knitting five little gifts for five munchkins' Easter baskets and by Friday, I was almost at the deadline! I hope your week was as pleasant as ours!


  1. I was keen to read about your screen free week on my screen ;) and am glad to read how well it went. Except for the bloddy chin. Poor baby! We are too attached to the screens to turn them off for a week, unfortunately. I reduce the duration of use, considerably though. It's doubly funny because I lived 10 years with barely access to any tv and no access to any personal computer. How did I manage Well, the day has begun and I have much to do. I Look forward to reading more on your blog! TTFN

  2. This is so true, about thinking that you need a computer to look up everything. Normally, we don't turn on our computer until the evening when the children go to bed. When we need to look something up, we use an encyclopedia! My husband, who is a professor at our local college, complains about students who think that you need Wikipedia to write a research paper. He also thinks that the overall writing quality has drastically declined since students look up sources and background information online. One more reason to teach students to look at a book.

  3. We were playing 'Capture the flag zombie' not trolls, bye the way, and I really did need to use the computer.


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