Saturday, July 17, 2010

I "heart" Television..hear me out

I am not a perfect homeschooling Mom by AAAANNNYYYY stretch of the imagination.  Let's just say I have my moments and leave it at that.  One of my coping mechanisms at times is the age old baby-sitter, dear old tv.

Last fall, I went with a good friend to hear Steve and Teri Maxwell speak.  It was a nice talk and Steve spoke at the very end.  He described a box in our homes that sucked the life out of all of us.  He was very convicted about this and while my friend pointed out they are the "real deal" as in they practice what they preach and the fruits of their labors are evident, I still can't give up my tv.  (Not to mention the next day I had one of THE worst days in my homeschooling life because I felt like I just didn't measure up to the Maxwell's standards.)  But I'm getting off point, here.

I am brought back to my mother's words to me as a child when I would (I'm sure) incessantly inquire whether any one particular thing was "good for you" or not.  After being asked that question probably a couple of hundred times her reply has been a keeper.  She said, "Ginger, too much of anything is bad for you."

While we try not to keep a lot of news and trivial television on in our house (especially when the girls are around) and we are VERY aware of the influence commercials have.  However we still USE our tv.  We use tv, Nintendo DS's, Wii, and the internet.  But my girls also read books, knit, play board games, play outside, do arts and crafts galore, dance and so on.

This all leads me to the reason I am posting.  I shared on a homeschooling forum a list of television programming that we DVR.  My girls take some of these programs in phases but here is a list of our television repertoire (in no particular order):

  • The Electric Company (PBS)
  • Adventures from the Book of Virtue (BYU)
  • Peep (Discovery Kids)
  • Nest Family Animated Stories (TBN and BYU)
  • Animated Hero Classics (BYU)
  • Fetch (PBS)
  • Animated Stories of the New Testament (EWTN)
  • Animal Atlas (local Fox Affiliate)
  • Jack Hannah's Into the Wild (local Fox Affiliate)
  • Magic School Bus (Discovery Kids)
  • Children's Heroes of the Bible (HOPE)
  • Looney Tunes/Tom and Jerry (Boomerang) - Did I just type that?!?
  • Also ABC Family channel will often have a lot of good movies, etc...
I was watching O'Reilly on Fox news the other night (after my kids were in bed) and he had a guy on from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (....have you ever?!?) that wants to SUE McDonald's over Happy Meal toys.  They claim the toys attract kids and make them fat.  My kids have amazingly NEVER really begged to go to McDonald's and they certainly don't care about the 2-bit toys.  As a matter of fact, we don't even eat at McDonald's because their workers are usually not the squeakiest of clean and I saw this video about an alleged 4 year old petrified Mickey Dees cheeseburger.  Therefore we eat at Chick-fil-A 9 times out of 10 for obvious reasons and guess what?  My girls usually TRADE IN their "toy" for an ice-cream.  Gasp!  (That is when I let them buy the kids meal and don't make them buy a sandwich and split it.)  But far be it from me to tell someone else they can't take their children to McDonald's or anywhere else for that matter.  I'm just sayin'...I think because I have limited my girls' television repertoire we don't have these marketing issues and hence the tv is used as an educational tool in our home.  Boy...I am getting waaaaay off subject in stepping from one proverbial soapbox to another...

I recall my husband's deceased grandmother telling how thankful she was when she got her first television.  As a single mother of 2 children in the 40's and 50's she was thankful to have it to keep them busy when she was working.  Isn't that an ironic point of view, especially today?  I think about how hard she worked just to support her family.  She was an independent woman for sure.  A true conservative through to the bone, relying on her own hard work - not others - for just about everything she had.  I am constantly reminded and thankful to the sacrifices that both my husband's family and my family have made so that now our family can be where we are today, particularly being afforded the opportunity to homeschool and hopefully counteract some of modern society's ills.  Maybe one day I will be telling my children's children how thankful I was to have a DVR.

I guess I just feel like maybe we need to lighten up and remember that too much of anything (including moderation or the lack thereof) is bad for you!  I hope this list of television shows will help bless your family.


Angela said...

I feel the same as you. We don't watch commercial tv at all in our home. We put all our DVDs on a media player and I can just use the remote to select the show to watch... whether it's Story Keepers, Animated Stories of the New Testament or Cyber Chase. I love it!
I do enjoy the Maxwell's and glean a lot from them but the no tv ever thing might be good for them but not so much for us. Plus back when they working through this issue years ago there was no DVRs, media players, or even DVDs. so their options were much more limited and it was easier to just cut it out all together. With todays tech we have so much more options to cut out the bad but bring in the good. The TV isn't bad it is what so many people choose to watch on it that makes it bad.
But it does take great effort to cut and keep out the bad. Like so many other things we have to purposeful.

Terra said...

I completely agree with you. My little one doesn't even know that McDonald's is there when we pass by the golden arches, but when she sees Chick-Fil-A she gets all excited and Chick-Fil-A doesn't even adverstise their toys. Anyway, about the TV/DVR topic: I'm with you. Moderation is key. We've had a busy morning of breakfast, dancing to music (that's one of our favorite things to do), playing with cars, and wrestling with daddy in the living room. What a busy morning, right? My youngest is now in bed taking a nap and my almost 4 year old is watching a movie in my room. This is her down time. She doesn't take naps much anymore, but I like for her to keep quiet while the baby is asleep (she's a very light sleeper). This is also my time to pick up the house and check my e-mail and such when I'm done. I agree that TV can be a good source of entertainment if you monitor what your kids watch and how much they watch it.

Anonymous said...

I had you on my heart today and wanted to ask how you like your year of MFW Adventure. I'm looking forward to reading your updates on new stuff for next year :)

Have a lovely weekend!

Q said...

We are quick to hear a fabulous speaker and then sink as we don't measure up to them. We must remember, theirs are not our standards. What does the Lord want of you in your home?

By the way - we have tv but use it for movies and wii.

Joyce said...

Good post. Thanks! "Everything in moderation" is our motto around here:)

Jennifer said...

Thank you for your post. I have enjoyed the chat style blogs that you've been sending lately. I am rather new to the groups so maybe they aren't unusual, but I do enjoy them too.

I appreciate the Maxwells very much as well. I have the MOTH book and have learned a lot from it, 'everything in it's time or place' is a good one. But, I totally understand what you mean when you say you had your worst day ever the next day. I am the same way. Why do I believe so little in what I do and how I do it that I am so strongly influenced when I see the way someone else does and recommends doing it? I tend to let myself be swayed to thinking that their way would indeed be better, then I compare, and rather than gleaning what would work, I jump in hook, line, and sinker...and drowned typically. haha!!

I have learned more over the last few years and I do a much better job of following the Holy Spirit more than anyone else. I do believe that He leads me to others and their resources to garner from them so I appreciate hearing and reading and seeing resources out the wazoo (did I spell that right? :)) But I have learned to also appreciate what I do and HOW I do it too! It makes it easier to take what works and leave what doesn't and let the Holy Spirit help me decide which is which!

Thanks again for sharing!

Kristi said...

I just found your blog and totally agree with this. My parents let me watch a lot of TV, and I let my children watch a lot of TV (like you, we are very choosy and only watch from the DVR 99% of the time)...looking back on my past, the TV was the LEAST of my worries or scars growing up. ;) And we are not obese or even overweight. My children are very active and have plenty of energy. But if some families work better with no TV, more power to them, we are just not one of those families. My dh wouldn't let me get rid of the TV even if I begged and begged so there you have it! ;) I enjoy the benefits, we are able to travel to far off lands and learn things we never would otherwise. So that's my say and I'm sticking to it! ;) God bless you and your family.


Kristi said...

I also wanted to say how much I WISH we had Chick-fil-a where we live. We live in a very small town in the Pac. NW but both my husband and I are from the south and miss it so very much! We would totally do Chick-fil-a over McD's ANY day!!


Renee said...

Thanks for the heads up on the shows you're watching. I didn't even realize we were getting those shows. I set up the DVR to record them for some special Bible class time. :)