How do you decide whether or not your kids have been spending too much time glued to a screen? If your children are virtual schooled, the computer is a vitally necessary part of their education. If they’re more traditionally homeschooled, they may well be getting a lot of their lessons on the computer anyway, simply because that’s where the majority of them come from these days. Special needs children or children with poor fine motor skills may benefit from being able to type their lessons instead of having to handwrite them. And then there are educational videos, apps on phones or tablets, and the inevitable video game or movie requests when work is done for the day.
Where do you draw the line?
For many families, technology feels like it is taking over. Unfortunately, there’s only so much of that that can be prevented. However, limiting screen time—even educational screen time—can be of immense educational value.
Kids need to move around during the school day. They need to be active and engaged, to spend more time in active learning than passively staring at a screen. Many apps require them to be actively involved, but it’s still screen time—and it may negatively affect their ability to work on non-technology-based activities.
As a general rule, if your kids are spending more time in front of a computer or television than they are doing anything else but sleeping, they probably need to cut back a little. After that point, make the decision that works best for your family, and regulate screen time accordingly. However, consider this: every once in a while, have a completely screen-free day or week. See what activities you can find to enjoy with your family that have nothing to do with technology, and see how it changes the way your day goes. It may strongly impact the way you approach your school day in the future.