TV Turnoff Week: Fast, Cheap, & Easy Life Enhancement!
Why not live a little this week? The Center for Screen Time Awareness is once again sponsoring the ever-timely TV Turnoff Week. Pointing out that “television cuts into family time, harms our children’s ability to read and succeed in school, and contributes to unhealthy lifestyles and obesity” (though otherwise, it’s not so bad?!), the Center suggests that during the week of April 21-27, families keep the television OFF. They suggest that
“Turning off the television gives us a chance to think, read, create, and do.
To connect with our families and engage in our communities.
To turn off TV and turn on life.”
We always learn more when we choose to do and be, rather than sit and stare.
If your family usually watches a ball game, try playing a game outside. If you enjoy cooking shows, try cooking instead! If your children like to watch cartoon, introduce them to the comics, and try drawing a few. Do and be, don’t sit and stare! The key is to live, rather than watching someone else pretend to live.
If the statistic stating that “forty percent of Americans frequently or always watch television during dinner” is true, and that includes families with children, think of the wasted opportunity for fellowship, shared conversations, and relationship building!
Among the recommended activities for the week is a family dinner, an activity I recommend having as often as possible. You’ll find, as your children grow older, that it becomes increasingly difficult to find evenings to gather everyone around the table. It’s always worth the effort, though, because it can be a time of bonding and sharing.
One of our table rules has always been that nothing negative, including anything disciplinary when the boys were young, ever takes place around the family table– only pleasant conversation and polite discussion of news and ideas. This way, the family table is a place of happy memories for each of us.
In addition to turning off the television, the Center suggests that spending an evening without any screen-time of any kind would be a good idea. I know that our family finds it easy to get busy on our respective computers, and in so doing, we miss the chance to be together. I think I’ll propose a game one evening this week– perhaps a round of Pick Two, or an all-out Scattergories brawl. Though it’s hard to beat Scrabble for all-around fun!
In closing, I’ll remind you of Roald’s Dahl’s wonderful poem/song, “Television.” You may read the whole thing on the Minstrel’s site, or in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite:
“The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set —
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotised by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk…”
Read more of the poem…
Tuesday, April 22 & Wednesday, April 23 (that’s this week!) at 3pm CST, I’ll be recording seminars for Cindy Rushton’s Ultimate Homeschool Expo, a wonderful online convention with over 50 speakers.
Audio recordings of each talk are included with your ticket, plus an amazing bundle of great bonus e-books and much more. If you’ve never been to an online convention before, this is the big one that you need to try. You’ll come away with inspiration for the whole year!
Tuesday’s topic will be The High-School Transcript: It’s Easier Than You Think, and Wednesday’s topic will be Evaluate Student Writing: You Don’t Have to Be An English Major! Each of these seminars (and all the others in the Expo) are designed to encourage and equip you for the homeschool journey. I hope you’ll join us!
(If you miss hearing it live, you’ll get the recording with your ticket to the expo, so you’ll be able to hear it at your convenience.)