We’ve tried scheduling a specific time for each kid, (ex: the boy’s time is from 3-3:30 and the girl’s is from 4:30-5). But that doesn’t work, because schedule’s change from day to day due to after school activities, or fluctuations in homework.
We’ve tried giving each kids 30 minutes at a time. But after the timer goes off, unless I have an automatic shut-off on the computer (which I’ve considered), 30 minutes, turns to 45 minutes because they are ALWAYS in the middle of something.
We’ve also had trouble deciding whether they get their allotted time right when they get home from school as a break before they start their homework, or should they do the homework and then go on the computer. Either way, they rush through their homework.
So the new plan? No computer, electronics, or screen time until AFTER DINNER. Dinner time is the only this consistent in our house. You should have heard the groaning and whining the first day it went into effect. I thought I would break…but I didn’t. #momstrong
But after about the third day, something miraculous started to happen. THEY ACTUALLY HAD HOMEWORK. Who knew there was studying to do? Who knew they weren’t giving their all to their school work? (Well, we did, but we wanted them to realize it too.)
And then the next miracle…THEY BEGAN TALKING…not just one word here and there, but whole sentences…paragraphs even! And they started talking to EACH OTHER. And laughing together. The house wasn’t silent anymore.
They remembered the other things they like to do…ride a bike, play outside, sewing, writing, and drawing.
I know you must be thinking I’m a lame mom because I wasn’t forcing my kids to do these things before. Believe me I tried. But it was like fingernails on a chalkboard trying to get them to do something else. I wanted them to WANT to do those things, not just because I was making them do them.
That’s also why I haven’t posted for the past week…I’ve been studying Geometry, German, and recalling Distributive Property Mathematics. I’ve been doing my job helping my kids to do THEIR job…LEARN.
I asked my 14 year old daughter if she noticed a difference in our family the past few days, and she has. She also seems happier, and less argumentative. Of course it’s helped that she’s been working on her Halloween costume, so she’s had something to do. But she’s also been studying a lot more, and drawing more too.
My 10 year old son is a harder sell. He’s 10…Minecraft is his life. He’s still working on finding his hobbies. But he’s working harder at his homework, mostly because he has nothing else to do. That’s okay…I’ll take it.
It’s hard for kids to understand that they have a job…to go to school and learn. I agree, it sounds boring. But not all jobs are action-packed.
Don’t tell them, but my husband is considering having weekends be “technology-free.” That will be a struggle, for all of us. But I think it would be worth giving it a try.