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Indiana, United States
Updates on our homeschooling family with ten children, a handful of chickens, a couple horses, three bunnies, and six cats. Visit our website at PeacefulHome.net


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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Children and computer time

Since we bought our first children's computer game, about a decade or so ago,weekend computer time has dominated my children's weekends. Even though each child only received 30 minutes of play each day, as the children added up, so did the time spent in front of the 'puter even if was only watching siblings play.

Most of the games were at least somewhat educational and since it was a great way to keep everyone quiet during naptime, Bryan and I came to rely on it. However, we began to notice that even the prospect of computer time consumed the children's thoughts and actions. It was the highlight of their day and maybe of their week.

The final straw came when several children lost their computer privilege, and their world just melted into wails of "what am I going to do?" We pulled the plug.

It's been about six months now, and Bryan and I stand firmly by our decision. The children focus on playing with each other. Ted and Caleb's relationship has grown especially strong, and a mutual LEGO admiration society has developed.

So here's my New Year's challenge to you: Are electronics are coming between your children and their relationships? Could things be improved if you pulled the plug?

A big thank you goes out to Ted who, even though he still longs for his computer time, encouraged me to write this post.


  1. our girls have had 30 minutes each day during the week and 60 minutes on the weekend. Now they are 18 and 16 they have moved up to 60 minutes a day. Sometimes they don't go on at all. Clare

  2. We have been contemplating a plug-pulling event. It's not just the computer, but the video games and even the tv. You're right, when one is playing, the rest are gathered around watching and it turns into an all-day event! Kudos to you! I think we're going to give it a try...maybe I'll wait until my husband's next stretch of days off though...I'm a whimp.

  3. my little llamas are only 4 and 3 (and a baby 10months) and I see this happen with our tv time. I often want to just pull the plug, but just can't do it. I do turn it off when the bickering starts.


  4. Do you do any of your homeschooling on the computer? I am curious as I research all the cirriculum and when I read this post, I figured you must not use any SOS? Do you do all Sonlight?

  5. Jenni,
    We do use some SOS, so the children are actually on the computer a decent amount during the week. Ted also produces videos and Emelie works on stories, the AWANA newsletter and her genealogy program. So during the weekend, it's great to get them away from the screen and looking at each other!


  6. We've had so many occasions where we've had to pull the plug.. I hear ya!


  7. I'm afraid that my computer time is often the highlight of my day as well. Are you going to pull the plug on me????? ;)