FEBRUARY 19, 2020
The Benefits of Unplugging More Often
Homeschooling is a courageous step that many parents and carers decide to take. It has its own benefits, such as having complete autonomy over what your kids are learning. However, it’s possible that you could start to rely heavily on technology to deliver daily lessons and keep your kids engaged. Although this isn’t a bad thing per se, have you thought about the benefits of unplugging more often?
Think back to the days when having any technological device in a classroom was a luxury. Students still passed their classes with flying colors and nobody died of boredom. In the same regard, it’s possible for you to unplug while homeschooling and still have productive, engaging and fun school days.
If it’s something you’re open to considering, read below to find out a few benefits of unplugging more often.
Although there is no denying that technology can boost creativity, you can be just as creative without it. By unplugging from technology and spending time in nature, for instance, you give your kids a chance to develop their creativity and use their imagination. Can you think back to the things you came up with when you were young and all you had were the outdoors and your imagination?
A way that you could encourage creative thinking in kids is by allowing them to spend time in nature as it’s proven to help creative thinking. They could be doing things like painting or simply exploring and playing on their own. Creative thinking is a useful skill that they’ll need in the workplace one day. By unplugging, you could be helping them further develop it.
Balanced Screen Time
Another key benefit of unplugging is that it’s a way to control screen time. As you likely know, trying to reduce the amount of time that kids spend in front of screens is something parents often battle with. Some harmful effects of too much screen time are behavior problems and even poor academic performance for some. They may sometimes struggle with paying attention which is something you don’t need while homeschooling.
When you unplug, your kids are forced to engage with whatever it is that’s available to them, whether it be an arts and crafts project or physical workbook. Hopefully, having less screen time while schooling will set the tone for how they engage with technology as they get older.
Homeschooling incurs its own costs, as you have to buy learning materials and your kids are home around the clock. Unplugging more often could reduce this cost in some less than obvious ways. For instance, if you do things the old school way and use paper, books, and pencils to teach from time to time, you won’t have to spend so much on things like online curricula or e-learning tools.
This may seem insignificant, but the use of technology can impact your electricity bill. This is especially true for someone who homeschools as you’re using more electricity than you would if the kids were in mainstream education. The combination of laptops, PCs, phones, and iPads can make more of a difference in what you’re consuming than you think. Unplugging while homeschooling without technology just happens to be one of many ways to avoid high electricity bills.
Strategies for Unplugging
Now that you understand what the benefits of unplugging are, here are a couple of strategies you can use to do so successfully.
Consider an Unplugging Challenge
If unplugging isn’t something you do regularly at home, it may not be so hard for your kids to adjust to. Consider doing a weekly unplugging challenge that everyone at home participates in. It could be that every Saturday evening all devices have to be tucked away so that you can fully engage and enjoy one another’s company. It may be tough at first, so prepare for pitfalls by pre-planning activities or phone replacements.
Invest in More Books
While some people say their kids don’t enjoy reading, it could be that they haven’t yet come across books they love. This is where you can jump in and hunt for books that align with their interests. If, for example, they love swimming, find books that relate to swimming whether fiction or nonfiction. It’s a way to fill technology gaps and keep them mentally engaged. You may even find that they eventually begin looking forward to reading time.
Come up With Creative Projects
Doing arts and crafts or anything creative can be so much fun as the possibilities are endless. You can make it educational or use it as a medium for them to be creative and explore on their own. Compose a list of projects they can do and get the supplies ready ahead of time. Themed projects could be a good idea, especially for holidays or international days. If it was Earth Day, a creative homeschooling idea would be to make sweet treats that mirror the earth. If your kids have a developmental disorder like autism, you can also come up with creative projects that suit their needs. Removing technology from the equation gives you the chance to fully engage and learn more about them.
Go Out More
Field trips are a great way to combine fun and learning. Think about places that would be good for expanding your child’s knowledge such as museums or the farm. Take it a step further and use Geocaching on your field trip to make it more exciting. Similar to a treasure hunt, your kids will be able to use it to find hidden items on your trip using GPS coordinates.
Homeschooling isn’t an easy task, but it can be one with great rewards. Knowing what and how your kids are learning can make you feel more accomplished as a parent. In the 21st century, technology is a big part of learning, so knowing you have control over what can be a good feeling too.
Sam Bowman is a writer who enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time, he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.
More Homeschool Resources:
How I’m Getting My Homeschool Back on Track
What is Travel Schooling and How Do We Start? part 1