Now that we have moved in to a new house, it has given us the chance to re-evaluate and prioritise things for the year ahead such as our home environment (with an almost 5 and 7 year old) and our schedules (work, school, life) for example and find a healthy balance.
Miss 6 has school five full days a week. Just for this term she has chosen to attend a family friends ‘kids yoga class‘ one afternoon after school. Other than that, before, after school and on the weekends is for the most part, unscheduled free time. Mr 4 is in prep now, so goes to school five days a week and has chosen to also go to a multi-sports class on a Saturday morning for approx 45 mins, each week, for the rest of the school term, which he absolutely loves. For him, it’s not just being active and having fun, but also meeting new people outside of school. After school, depending on how my children are feeling, we may stay for a play with friends, go for a swim or just go home and play/rest.
The other thing we do, mostly in the school holidays, is attend (free) community events such as children’s book or art workshops. These are great and have been a lot of fun.
Television– There is one television in the house located in the lounge room. None of us tend to watch any tv during the week (unless someone is unwell) and on the weekends we are all usually busy pottering and doing other things. My children are usually too busy playing to stop and watch any television. On the school holidays though, my children will likely watch a few movies, often with me and the odd show here and there.
Mobile/cell phone– Miss 6 uses (on occasion and with supervision) a ‘Learn French’ app. She is learning French at school and is so keen to learn more/ practice at home as well. She has also been passing on what she has been learning on to her younger brother as she knows he will get to learn French next year when he moves up to Cycle Two.
Computer (not an ipad)– We are currently subscribed for the next 6 months to Artventure which both of my children use and enjoy. Other than Artventure, my children use my computer with supervision to do research. Miss 6 is in the Montessori Second Plane of Development, and ‘research’ is such a big thing for her. If she wants to learn about something, she researches it. Whether it be with the use of books (at home or the library) or screens, we support her with this. Miss 6 does find too much screen time (or any bright lights) hurt her eyes, so she cant use any sort of screen at night. Overall though, we encourage books over screen time where possible.
Video games– we don’t play/have any.
To recap, we use screens for educational purposes, for work (my husband and I) and family fun such as movies/movie night etc. For safety, the computer my children use, they share with me and it’s set up/used in a central location of our house and no one uses my phone for play/games.
Both of my children know that I write this blog as I show them what I do and also always ask permission to share any photos of them. I don’t play on my computer or phone whilst they are around as I find it too distracting and cannot give them my time and attention. What they do see me doing a lot more though, is reading and hand writing (mostly journal writing).
Anyways, it’s just trying to find a healthy balance. There is one computer in Miss 6’s Montessori classroom and she was introduced to it this year. It is used mostly (according to Miss 6) for touch typing, coding and story writing. From what I have gathered, at this school anyways and in the Lower Primary classrooms, screen use does not seem to play a central educational role. Not sure if/when that will change. For Math and language work for example, they focus on using more concrete (Montessori) materials which I love.