Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Screen Rules

I read this today, posted by a traditional home schooler, and it got me thinking.

I was prepared to scoff and be mentally argumentative, expecting the traditional dogma of severe limits on brain-rotting screen time, but was surprised. My kids and I have discussed these same issues at length and have come up with some pretty similar guidelines like chores first, respecting others' property since their parents own the home we share and the hardware we use, reasonable wake and bedtimes, prioritizing, wasting time, academic pursuits, online personas, self worth, morality, etc. I was surprised that I agreed with her so often even though her stance is so much in line with current and popular anti-screen attitude with which I so heartily disagree.

Personally, I find screens to be eminently more educational than any previous media I have used. Especially nursing this one baby with a smartphone and Netflix compared to my previous 5 children without, reading books was too unwieldy with balancing and grabby little hands, nursing felt like I was stuck, incredibly boring and seemed to take forever. Now I can read articles, watch documentaries, and have nursed longer, more often, more easily, and more responsively. I also spend a lot more time with my kids watching shows we both enjoy and discuss rather than the old model of banal kid stuff during the day and mom stuff prime time after they went to sleep. Even still, there is a flip side to that we have all seen where things go awry. Pros and cons to all things.

Truth told, the lessons and trials of a world full of screens are nothing new to humankind, merely just presented in a deceptively new context.

When I was little, moms wasted their time reading a lot of chick-lit or talking on the phone (tied to a wall). Wasting time is nothing new for tired mothers. I personally feel much more engaged even during my down time because through my screens I have so many rich resources to choose from. Perhaps that comes from a maturity that my kids don't yet have. But condemning screens limits not only the wonderful educational outlets available through them, but also prevents learning the hard failure-filled lessons of prioritizing activities while still at home with a parental safety net.

In the end, the rules themselves are not as important as the discussions in crafting them. Involvement, rather than imposing, are still the eternal keys to good parenting.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Following Directions

Levi asked if he could make Jell-O today. "Sure," I replied. When he asked how long it would take to set up, I told him about an hour. An hour later, he said, "Sure, an hour! It's not even close to being ready!"

About 4 or 5 hours later, his sisters asked if they could share some Jell-O. He yelled that it wasn't ready, and if they touched it they would spill it. I told him that if it wasn't ready by then, he did something wrong. After insisting he followed the directions on the box, he added, "Except for the boiling water part."


I asked him if he put 2 cups of cold water in, or just one, to decide if he needed another box when (finally) adding some boiling water. "I don't know, I didn't measure."

Followed the directions on the box? He followed all them except all of them.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cooking Kids

Children are like frying bacon: you begin by carefully arranging everything, and as they cook you try to push them around while they insist on taking on their own shape regardless, occasionally spitting at you. If you step away for even a moment they are either ruined or have caught something on fire.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Fit with a Purpose

Why when I tell people we are starting a little farm do they always look at me confusedly and say, "That sounds like a lot of work"?

So is running 5 miles pushing a stroller, signing up for triathlons, and bench pressing, but I got so much more respect for that. Yes, we did this on purpose BECAUSE it is a lot of work that accomplishes much more than all those things I used to do to stay fit.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Walk to Mama, er, Candy

She took her first step on Jan 2, two days before 9 months old, and then not again after a fall for a month! She finally got brave about the beginning of February at 10 months, and at Valentine's Day is walking around after realizing her true source of motivation is not getting over to mommy, which was only somewhat effective. I wish we had thought of this tactic 5 kids ago!


I ruined my blog. Well, more technically ruined as content-wise it was in ruin already. I deleted my old Gmail account: you know, that one with the stupid username we all have? I thought I had added my new account to all my Google products, and I had, but linking them to have permissions is not the same as copying all the info to your new account. So all the images in my Picasa Web Albums where my blog images are stored was deleted!

So just don't scroll down prior to November 2011, and the blog is fine. All those old posts' photos are on my old computer, somewhere. I'll hunt them down and restore them all here because between working, homeschooling six kids, and watching my husband remodel our entire house while I hold a baby, I have very little to keep me busy during the day otherwise.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Giggly Video

That thing babies do in the evening when they get really social and giggly while strangely on the verge of crying just before begging to go to bed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Baby Boy Bunny

So it's blue, but it's cold outside, and SHE is still adorable.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Field Trip

Look at these unsocialized homeschoolers on our fire station field trip today. The new station is enormous and very high end with amazing living quarters and huge garage. They got to try on the equipment, play in the ambulance, see the jaws of life (and death), watch the truck corner really fast and blare its sirens, ogle tools and saws, and see a woman who is not only a firefighter, but in charge. Of course as with all photos of kids having a good time, these were prior to the start of either fighting or whining, but in this case both.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Seattle Makes Me Sad

THIS is why I moved away from Seattle. It's been two days in Austin like that, and I'm already depressed. Stop raining!
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