Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Using Screen Time

I know screen time can get out of hand.  There are tons of movies and television programs and computer games that are a available.  I have found that when kids are sick or when I'm sick it's easy to have school slip away and shows take over.  I don't own a television, but I do have a computer and Netflix.  So I know if it's easy for me with out a television around it's gotta be very easy for those who have the convience of pushing one button to get to a favorite show.

So I came up with a plan.  I wanted to incorporate in screen time in a way that didn't allow my family to become couch potatoes but also was educational.

We have a tablet and on it we have Stack the States, and Tracing ABC.  We also have Perfect Piano and some art tools.  If the child gets tablet time they "play" for 10 minutes either learning the states or working on their handwriting.  Once they've completed a level which takes less than 10 minutes to do, they can play something like Lego City fire chief or make music or art on the tablet until their timer goes off.  We also have a PC.  So while one child is on the tablet, one can be on the PC doing an educational game like on StarFall.com, ReadingEggs or games on PBS kids with Cat and the Hat or Curious George.  On my phone I have reading and math apps, and I avoid plain games. I give each child a specific task to complete and I time them so that one game doesn't roll into the next, with hours being wasted. Before the timer, I regularly heard, of just let me finish this game, or just let me try that game.  Now it's clear cut. 

I've seen all my little learners grow from this and really do well on their other school work, looking forward to their "screen time". 

What programs, or games do you like the most?

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