Homeschool Posts

Sunday, October 3, 2010

30 Days to a Kinder Family: The First Weekend

Does that sound ominous?

After a heart-to-heart with hubby, this is the deal we came up with: One week (this started on Friday morning) with no computer games, no video games (we have a Wii), no DVDs, and no videos on the computer for the children---this includes "educational" videos and youtube. Hubby and I will also forgo any DVDs or video time during that same period. We are also not playing any computer or video games, though we didn't actually agree to not do that...call it a sympathy fast.

I will not spend any time on the computer during the day (day being defined as before the kids bedtime) unless it is to get the kiddos set up with a school program they are using, share an article for our school work or print off something---but I'm working really hard to plan for contingencies like that. I know from experience that it's better to simply have the computer completely off.

One week, then we see where we are at. If we need to continue, we will. If it takes a month, we will do it. If it takes a year, we will do it. Our children are simply too important to do otherwise.

So far, I have had one slip. Mary has been wanting to start her own blog (totally private) as a journal of the funny things that happen around here. In helping her start setting it up today, I did simultaneously check my email. Habit, you know, I always multi-task when I'm on the computer. Blame it on being able to open multiple tabs, but I deserve a reprimand.

Friday afternoon, David had an attack of the nasties and took it out on Mary, while giving Mama some lip and rolling his eyes. He has now lost his Lego for at least a week. It took me an hour to collect and remove every single piece of Lego in his room while he was at soccer. There was Lego under the bed, under the little table, on the table, in bins, in the corners of the room, not to mention the Lego creations scattered here there and everywhere that he would have an absolute conniption fit over if I dismantled. I didn't dismantle them...completely (let's face it, I can't remove an 2 by 2 foot city of sorts that's connected by a maze of plates, nor can I put it into a box without splitting it into sections). Separating the Lego from the dust bunnies was no easy task (and there was at least one dead bug)...but at least I got to vacuum in there once it was all done (I can never vacuum in there due to the plenitude of tiny bits).

The idea is to keep the Lego from him until he can change his attitude. When he does get it back, he will get it back a bin at a time with instructions to sort that bin into smaller bins---we are going to tame the Lego monster if it kills us. I also plan to make him a drawstring bag that will open flat for actually building on so he can easily pick up in the evening.

Number of hours it took before David said: "Can I have my Lego back since I've been so good?"

About 14. That's pretty good, but keep in mind that he was asleep for at least 8 of them.

Number of times David has insisted that he has absolutely nothing to do since he has no Lego or computer games?

I lost count. We will be coming up with a whole list of household chores for him to do. When I asked the kiddos to each come up with a chore they could do every day, he asked me if I would pay him if he made his bed. Really.

Number of times the kiddos have asked if they can watch a video?

Hmmm, I think it was 5 or 6 the first evening.

Number of times David asked if he could play a computer game before schoolwork was even done on Friday?

I lost count. Really.

Number of times they all tried to convince me that the week was done because today was Sunday?

3. Really. They got Peter to join them on this...he doesn't understand the subtle distinction between a week, meaning the cycle from Sunday to Saturday, and a week, meaning a week's worth of time (even though I made it clear to the olders that we were talking about a weeklong period, here).

Number of times they tried to convince me that we had really started on Thursday and not Friday?

1, even though I clearly circled the day with a Sharpie on the calendar. And I told them when I was circling it why I was circling it. They really did try to convince me I had circled it for a different reason. Really.

Tempers have been high---I attribute that to withdrawal. But there's also been a lot of reading aloud going on. This afternoon we went to a little festival and the kiddos enjoyed the simple pleasures of pedal tractors, tug-o-war, hayrides and sprinkling glitter over pumpkin magnets. There's something magic about glitter and straw, even if they both tend to infiltrate places you'd rather they didn't.

Things I've learned, about myself:
  • I have to reread my original post on this topic everyday to remind me of why I am doing this so I'll stick to my guns.
  • While being on an all day computer fast sounds great in theory, when the night comes and I sit down at the computer, it's almost like a binge. So not healthy. I'm having some trouble getting what I need to get done done (I'm too busy zoning out). I am working on developing a schedule for getting my computing done in the evenings (so it doesn't consume my evenings) and getting to bed at a decent hour.
Have we made any progress?

If making everybody mad at me is progress, then yes:-) I don't expect immediate results, but some tiny sign that I'm on the right track would be really appreciated.

5 comments:

  1. sounds like what is going on in my home is going on in yours! hope yours goes smoother than mine is!!

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  2. Hooray for you - if everyone is mad at you then you've got to be doing something right. ;) Okay, I know, it makes things no fun for a while, but they will detox from all the screen time and they won't hate you forever. I'm going to have to talk with Hubby about trying something similar... it's been a while and even the little 19 month old has a video or two he really wants to watch daily. Sigh.

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  3. You can do it! We have never had TV or video games. My kids only get a movie when I drop them off at the sitter (a sitter for four kids! Who can afford that?!?!).

    Although I would NEVER, EVER in a billion years take away the Legos. Not even as a punishment- unless it was me who needed punished.

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  4. You, go girl! God bless and hugs!!

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  5. Thank you for the encouragement:0)

    Modest Mama,
    Actually, after the first day...no complaining about the Lego. Really!

    I know from experience that if I take something away from D, it needs to be something REALLY important to him to have any affect at all.

    Plus, he has been promising me to organize his Lego for ages. I even bought him new bins for it and everything. Not been done. It is my hope that this will force the issue. I think the task was simply too overwhelming for him...this will break it down into manageable chunks. You really have no idea how much Lego this kid has. It's the only thing he buys when relatives give him money for gifts. It's the only thing he asks for.

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