I know you think about all the electronics, television, cell phones, and video games being thrown at our kids these days and get a sinking feeling in your stomach.
It’s everywhere. There is no escaping electronics in the digital age we live in.
The messages are coming at us from all sides – “NEVER ever ever let your children watch television or play video games- they’ll turn into violent serial killers” …..”Videos are now vital to education, you can’t teach without them”…and on and on it goes until our heads spin.
We get asked frequently about what place digital media has in a Charlotte Mason education.
Since the height of her work was in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it’s not a topic that CM addressed directly herself of course.
But it’s a huge part of everyday life in the 21st Century. And in this digital age, the reality is, our children WILL come into contact with digital media.
In fact, the vast majority of our children are going to spend a lot of time working on computers, phones, or tablets, regardless of what industry they end up in as adults. We would do them a disservice by not incorporating these things into their education.
BUT, as their guides in the educational process, it is important that we model good use of electronics and set them up to make informed choices about the amount and type of digital content they consume.
That’s really one of the foundational purposes of Charlotte Mason education- to prepare the child to be a critical thinker who investigates and learns for himself in all settings.
Here are 4 tips for managing electronics in a CM education:
- The YOUNGER the child, the LESS digital media.
Young children’s brains are still developing and screen time can literally interrupt the forming of neurological pathways.
The work of childhood is discovery and imagination.
Watching videos robs the child of this ability to imagine the scene for himself as he does when listening to a book being read aloud or reading one for himself.
If the young child becomes accustomed to having the scenes played out for him, it is much more difficult to interest him in books later as he has not developed the skill of imagining a scene for himself.
- Digital media MUST SUPPLEMENT, not replace, your core materials.
Literature, art, nature, and music are still your primary teachers.
Similarly to the young child who never learns to imagine scenes for himself, the child who has their core materials replaced with digital media will soon lose the skill of imagination as the “muscle” of the brain is not exercised.
- Use high-quality digital media.
The same criteria for choosing living books also applies to choosing videos, games, or other digital learning tools.
Look for things like documentaries or observations of real-live animals, nature, or events versus pre-packaged “lessons” artificially engineered to teach a specific topic for children.
Movies with high level graphics or music that leave the viewer open to interpret meanings, morals, and lessons for themselves are also good choices for the occasional relaxing family night.
- Remain involved.
Having active discussions with your child during the use of digital media mitigates many of the negative side effects of the screen time.
If there is high-quality music involved, sing the songs together!
Watching a documentary or biography? Split it up over multiple days and have the kids narrate after each section.
Electronics are everywhere! But, we don’t have to fear them. They do have a place in your child’s education.
Follow the four simple tips:
- The younger the child, the less digital media
- Digital media must supplement, not replace, your core materials
- Use high-quality digital media
- Remain involved
This will ensure that you are modeling good use of electronics and setting your child up to make informed choices about the amount and types of media they consume in the future.
Eager to learn more about Charlotte Mason and the Digital Age?
Join us LIVE August 12th 2017 for A Day of Charlotte Mason
Early registration is open now just for you!
We also want to offer you amazing bonuses including a private Facebook community just for this event. But there is only space for 100 individuals in the bonuses so make sure you register today. Registration is now open to the public.
There will be a keynote address, 6 workshop options, and a Q & A session during which we:
- Break down all the little details of a Charlotte Mason Education so that you can clearly see which parts of your homeschool are out of alignment AND how to get them connected back together
- Have plenty of Q & A time to make sure you go back confident knowing exactly how to apply the techniques to your specific situation
- Fellowship with other CMers to plug into a community of support
Potential topics include:
- Charlotte Mason and the Digital Age
- Music- The Glue of Your Child’s Learning and Growth
- Charlotte Mason Homeschooling and Your Parenting Style
- Nature Study
- Charlotte Mason High School
- Charlotte Mason Preschool
BONUSES for early bird registration! Only available for the first 45 registrants.
– Register to attend live and get the recordings FREE
– Access to private Facebook community
$35 for individual or $45 per couple
Limited Childcare Available. Reply to this email to save a spot for your child.
We want to include our long-distance friends too!
Pre-register to receive all 6 workshops and the keynote address recordings for $30
Access to private Facebook community- ONLY for the first 55 registrants!
- Network with other CMers
- Submit questions you want to see answered in the workshops
- Ask follow-up questions and re-create the live experience with a Q & A thread for each session where you get to post your top Q about the topic and we’ll reply with a video addressing it just for you.