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Friday, 25 August 2017

Troubling Technology

The school books were finished with for the day and my eldest son came to me with the usual question, "Can I just have maybe 10 minutes on the computer to download some songs onto my iPod please?", my answer wasn't verbal, but rather a deep angry *cringe* inside me. I did let him have his 10 minutes (yes, I time my children on technology), but I had to ask myself why I reacted that way to his request?
 
I realised the answer is that I have an issue with technology, a real, concerning issue with it.
 
Let me explain. I don't have an issue with technology in itself, but rather, the constant need to be using it. Last week I found myself in the emergency department at my local hospital (all sorted now, and I'm fine), and while I was waiting, waiting, waiting, in the emergency department, I spotted the tiniest, most adorable little blonde haired girl, waiting with her mum to be seen by the Doctor. She was at most 2 & 1/2 years of age, and she was playing a Peppa Pig game on her Mums iPad. When her turn to be seen by the Doctor came, it was like Mount Vesuvius erupted all over the ED department and that little girl wanted her game! Now, I have been a Mum to sick young children on and off for the last 15 years, so I know the whole 'just play this so you can be quiet and I get some rest' saga, so I'm not trying to pass judgement on this weary Mummy.  But, could it not have been a book instead? 
To be honest readers, it broke my heart, not just for this little girl individually, but for this generation as a whole.
 
 
Of course something with gizmo's and gadgets and lights and sounds are going to entertain a child, it entertains us as adults! But it doesn't mean it's best (that goes for us adults too!) Believe me, I have no aversion to technology, and am very aware of the many benefits and assistance it brings to many people in many forms, I just have a strong aversion to the increasing DEPENDENCE on it. I use technology most days myself, in one form or another; this blog is only possible through modern day technology, allowing me to reach the globe (even if only a small handful of people read this!). My children watch movies, they play the Wii, they sometimes look at things pertaining to their personal interest on Pinterest, I'm not a 'technology banning' Mum, I just monitor and I've even been known to set a timer. 
 
I had this discussion with my above mentioned Son, regarding my reaction to him asking for computer time. I told him that my reaction was not towards him personally, or because I know he's not using it for good purposes (he using it for learning languages, his highest passion), but rather the fact that I see a whole generation of innocent, un-self-controlled, youth growing up without really learning how to develop their own thinking, beliefs/opinions & ideas, without checking google first! AND THIS UPSETS ME!
 
"I'm bored" has always been a cry heard throughout homes over the generations, but now, instead of climbing trees, playing board games, reading books, jumping on a trampoline, bike riding, playing card games, sewing, building, racing cars, playing in dirt, playing imaginative dress-ups, playing lego, kicking a ball, getting smelly and sweaty, and using their God-given imaginations, a child as young as two and a half can be thrust an electronic device for entertainment! What will be the results on our children's brain functionality, social communication, eye-sight and relationships if they're lives are spent starring at screens?!
 
Image result for negative effects of technology
 
It is standard in most schools in the Western World for each middle - high school student, each student, to have their own personal iPad ... so they can learn the curriculum ... because without it ... they will struggle. Does the school not have a printer, pieces of paper and pens, and are these no longer effective to do school work and assignments on? Have the school and local libraries run out of books?
 
Have people forgotten that the majority of children learn best when they can see something being done in front of their eyes, when they can touch the object, and interact with it, and come to their own conclusion and understanding of it? To say that our children are not successfully learning without being infiltrated and enforced to live a life where their learning insists on the daily use of technology is rot! How do I know? Because my education, my parents education and their parents education, involved very little use of technology, as I'm sure yours did too, and none of us turned out being ill adjusted to society or unintelligent! We've all become well-educated, capable, responsible adults without emails, iPads, an online worksheets.
 
This isn't even getting into the issue of all the evil our children can access accidentally while innocently researching something that is of value! That is another post all together! Along with the other many negative physical and psychological effects that over-use of technology can have on our children!
 
My point is not to throw the baby out with the bath water, technology has it's advantages and has made things easier for sure! But, what I am saying is that, as mothers to our young children, who are still learning what's best for themselves (and some of them take a long time to learn that!) we, as their loving, responsible, mature parents, who actually DO know what's best for them, should be exercising our God-given authority and wisdom in our home with our children, and keeping the use of technology in control!
There are many ways our children can learn, spend their time, and have fun!
 
I know that my childhood was not marred because I didn't have an x-box or an iPad. I had a disk-man, and trust me, if you had one of them, you were pretty cool! We didn't grow up with technology on hand for every situation in life! But how fantastic were our childhoods just the same?! Spending days riding bikes and adventuring, with the occasional bit of technology thrown in, filled our hearts with security, made us creative thinkers and problem solvers, made us dreamers and planners, with respectful communication, good manners and eye contact. This kind of childhood did our hearts so good, mums!
Remember our children's hearts need these things too!
 
I asked my son, "If I spent ALL of my childhood with just a trendy disk-man (I actually wasn't cool even back then!), and occasional playing of our family owned sega-mega drive, and I turned out to be well-educated (he knew not to comment negatively on that one!), well-adjusted in myself, my contributions to and respect for society, and my ability to communicate properly, then what does that really say about the necessity and importance of technology in our lives?
 Is it as necessary, beneficial and crucial as society insists it to be?
 
If technology is then seen as not being essential to a well-adjusted life, then what is? As Christians, we know that answer to be relationships. Our relationships with God, our spouses, our children, our friends, our parents, our siblings and our church family. Relationships; people, are the only things that God says are eternal ... the only thing worth truly investing in. Our relationships exceed the importance of all other things in fact, not just technology. It exceeds the importance of employment, finances, home-owning, money investing, house-keeping, the lot!!
 
A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
John 13:34
 
Further more! What example are we setting for our beautiful innocent children, if we ourselves spend too much time starring at screens each day?! Let's be diligent, intentional, and purposeful with our children (and ourselves), with the standards in our homes. We really do know what's best for our children, and God gives His wisdom to us as parents! Let's not sit back and let society dictate to us that our children need these technological things to be successful, let's remind ourselves what God says our children need to be successful for Him; and I'm pretty sure the Bible doesn't mention the word iPad.
 
Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is
his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2.
 
 
Image result for sketches of children climbing trees
 
Love your family that little bit extra this weekend!
 

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Enchanting Rose 10th Tea Cup Exchange Reveal!


This year I participated in The Enchanting Rose's 10th Tea Cup Exchange! 

This was my first time joining in this exchange, and I must say, it was so beautiful to be a part of!

I was sent this beautiful tea cup package all the way from New Zealand, from the very lovely Kimberley!

Here's what I received ...



I'm so happy with my little surprise package, and love the tea cup and hand knitted dish cloth especially! Thank you Kimberley!

If you're wanting to see the reveal for others tea cup packages, click here! You can find out how to join in the next tea-cup exchange here!

I hope you all have a lovely week! 
I'm going off to make a nice, hot cup of TiOra tea! 

Monday, 27 February 2017

My Anti-bonkers Scheme!

"Do we have to do school today Mum?"

"Can I just play with lego?"

"I'm really tired today"

"This lesson is too hard!"

I'm sure we've all heard these delightful persistent comments as home school mummies at some time or another! 

Or maybe you've heard this? ...

"What do I have to do again?"

"I can't remember what you said to do"

"I was just looking at this picture ... I'm almost finished ... almost"

"What subject am I doing now?"

"Oh, no, I didn't get that quite finished ..."

 I was beginning to hear myself giving too many instructions and reminders time and time again, and I thought to myself ... this has got to stop or I'll go completely bonkers!

I planned and initiated an intense, organisational program, that I completed in one month, to establish order and structure in our home school days ...

... pppffffffttt yeah right!

You know what I use?

A 49c exercise book!

I call it our 'day book' and each child has one ...

... here's what they look like ...


They begin with the day and the date, and then I write out what is required for each child to complete each day.


The circles are their 'check-point' (a.k.a. the silent motivator!) 
My children know that when their check-points are ticked off (and their space tidied up), then they are free for the rest of the day! Obviously, I do require them to show me their completed work, so that I can make sure that they ARE ACTUALLY doing it, and doing it to a high standard! 



Here's the reasons why I love this method ...

#1.    It's so easy
#2.    It's very cheap
#3.    It's easy for the kids to follow and understand
#4.    I know that the kids are on track with their learning each week
#5.    It's great for writing little reminders and encouragements to them
#6.    There's no need to be 'precious' with them, as they cost so little!
#7.    A written record is kept in these books for their reporting
#8.   **My most favourite part** ... the kids motivate themselves!
#9.    I can add as little or as much as each child needs, or according to our days other                       activities.   

I also try and plan a week, sometimes only a few days, ahead ... but that's more for my benefit than the kids (consider it my 'anti-bonkers scheme'!)

There are weeks when I don't use these books for one reason or another, and let me tell you, it's so incredibly noticeable ... not in a good way. There's more distractions, less being achieved, and less productivity in general.  

These small little investments 
have had very big rewards!

When I first brought the exercise books, I wrote some reminders and encouragements to each child in the front of their own book ...

 
























      
... and that's it! Our easy peasy way to be productive and stay on track!

(**Disclaimer ... these books are not magic wands and by no means solve issues such as stated in the following examples: sibling rivalry, world hunger, who's unpacking the dishwasher, or who spilt the maple syrup on the kitchen floor**)

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