It’s been a quiet week here at My Ears Are Tired. Early in the week things were just too busy to sit down and write and as the week went on, I found time but not words, at least not useful words, so I remained quiet. While I am usually more than willing to share our struggles if I feel the Lord leading me to, I do not want to come here and whine. That’s not what this site is for. And whining is what I would have been doing Thursday or Friday, so I practiced Proverbs 10:19. In fact, my tongue hurts from how much I’ve been biting it this week.
It was another normal week here. We are starting to finish up some of our school books already and I normally like this to coincide with warmer weather, but Kansas is not cooperating with me right now, so I’ve been trying to find ways to keep everyone busy in the house, all while continuing our weekday media ban (more on that in a bit). I have more ideas of things they need to learn/take responsibility for (things that have been easier to do myself but I am now going to force myself to pass on to them – one of which is laundry because it has become impossible to keep up with and someone else needs to help bear that burden), so we will commence that education hopefully next week. I also see some deep cleaning as well as closet sorting/organizing in our future. Watch, now that I have ideas for them, next week will be 75 and sunny all week and I won’t have the heart to keep them inside working. 😉
As for our weekday media ban, this was our second week of it and frankly, it’s kind of a pain because it is so much easier (and more relaxing for me) to just let them turn on the television or computer (especially during those pre-dinner hours) and then I can do what I need to do quietly and uninterrupted. But, as I think I mentioned previously (although, it could have been just on Facebook), we were noticing some odd/annoying behaviors so we decided to pull the plug for one week. Not a complete fast, but no more mindless sitting in front of a screen for who-knows-how-long. If mom or dad decided to turn on the television (most often for KU basketball this time of year), then the kids were more than welcome to sit down and watch with us. And we are currently in the habit of a family movie night sometime on the weekend, so we’ve continued that. But, like I said, no more mindless vegging out and no more mom and dad using the television as a proxy parent. The first week was fine. By the end of the week the kids seemed to be settling in to the rule and all seemed a bit calmer. Adding it back in on the weekend didn’t seem to cause a problem or confusion. On Monday, it went back off. During our break, I have noticed more piano practicing, more reading, more playing of house, more playing with play doh, more asking to go outside on the nice days, more picking up learning to knit again….all of these things came in to fill their time when camping in front of a screen wasn’t an option. And I was feeling really good about it all.
On Thursday night, I was planning to meet with another mom to talk about home schooling, so Matt met me at Chipotle and we swapped vehicles so he could take the girls home. Apparently, he let the girls play on the computer a bit and on the DS. I was fine with that until Friday. On Friday morning I noticed every was pretty excited and kinda loud. They have their outside classes on Friday mornings and they get to see all of their friends, so I just assumed it was that and tried to roll with it. After classes, I noticed they were still really being loud and a couple of them were suddenly very fidgety again (one of the behaviors that we had been noticing before the media ban). And then it hit me – the two that I was having trouble with had had screen time the night before. And I thought, does it really make that much of a difference??? Perhaps I am over-stating the effects of screens (our generic term for television, computer games, DS, Wii, etc.), but the night and day difference in those two girls was shocking to me and I’m still praying about how to handle it with wisdom and balance.
We will definitely be continuing our media ban during the school weeks but I need to find useful ways to fill some of their time on the weekends. The combination of owning our own business and home schooling means that both Matt and I typically need to use at least part of Saturday and Sunday to work on the computer, which means that we aren’t spending time with the girls during that time. And the fact that we live in the city (i.e., no land/large animals to tend to) and that they clean with me during the week means that they don’t have significant, time-consuming chores to take care of either on the weekends. Like I said earlier, I have some ideas for time fillers. We’ll see how they go. 😉
Well, Matt was gracious enough to take all the girls with him to Emma’s riding lessons so I should go make the most of my quiet time here at home. I wish you all a wonderful weekend fill with time with those you love most!