It trusts that Life is the best teacher.
Sometimes I really, really want a clean, and organized house. Sometimes I think this is the impossible dream of the home learning parent! I mean, I want the whole thing clean, all at the same time. I may have even began uttering the word "chore", in the direction of my children, in an involuntary way, on a semi-daily basis. I may have made a list of tasks that need to be done on a daily basis. Yes. Actually I did this. This is a confession, so I will admit it. To clarify though, these are not tasks that HAVE to be done by the kids everyday, rather its a list of stuff that inevitably gets done daily. It is in list-form so they could stop asking for a chore, and I could stop having to search for something helpful they could do.
would consider the content and learning value of the screen activities. And to be honest, I did give a fair bit of consideration to that; a lot of learning happens using screens. But I also gave careful thought to the tummy aches, trouble sleeping, vocal ticks, and generally miserable spirit after a full-on, intense, screen-filled day. Combine that with a prevailing spirit of un-co-operation from both our little learners when it came to helping out. To satisfy our value of mutually respectful living our family had many a conversation about our concerns. Finally though, we felt we had to do the "parent" thing. UGH.
Together, us with our young ones, we drafted up some new agreements about screen time. Our motto has been to Put the Relationship First. The level of imbalance and the generally unco-operative spirit, when it came to helping out was not contributing to healthy family relationships. It was contributing to frustration, and constant, exhausting negotiations.
So as a family, sitting very traditionally around the table, we drafted up an agreement that required a "chore" (I hate calling them that, but anyway) before screen activities. This felt terrible to me. It really did. I realize it would probably be all kinds of normal in a lot of families. But not in ours. Actually the new agreement felt pretty yucky to all of us. It was breaking old patterns, it was pushing us beyond Our Normal.
We also agreed on a limit of 1.5 hours of screen time daily; then if another "chore" was done, a bonus half hour. Part of the process of drafting this agreement was brainstorming many agreements.