We all want our children to be good with technology. Having them do their homework online and search for dependable resources on the web is important. It helps them build media literacy and technology literacy. Also, these are tools they will need throughout their adult lives. We also know there is a technology gap. Students with better technology skills will be better earners as adults, compared to students with few technology skills.
But balance is important. It is important to help our students learn to unplug, to spend time away from screens. Students who spend time conversing with friends, playing a low-tech game with family, doing crafts, and playing outside are more well-adjusted, and more creative than their peers who speend too much time in front of technology screens. Here are some ways to help your children unplug, and spend less time with technology.
1. Model for them unplugged time. Even when you're not directly interacting with the kids, put the tablet and cell phone done and out of site. Set aside times when you will make sure the screens are away and off.
2. Create a log to record your child’s time being “plugged in” for a week. You may be surprised how many minutes it is.
3. Set a new daily or weekly limit.
4. Avoid using the TV as background noise.
5. Let your children help generate a list of things to do instead.
6. Engage your children in creating special bins f their favorite crafts, activities, and toys to play with when they can't be on technology.
7. Encourage your children to make a list of reasons why they should unplug. Usually, their reasons are even better than ours!
For more ideas about unplugging, click the link below.
Erin Rae is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.