Every once in a while, I see how my family and I fall into a rut. Either we're doing the same things over and over, or we are creating and then grooving bad habits.
I am an addict.
I LOVE reading, and lately I love reading various sites online. I post every once in a while to Facebook. I leave comments on others' blogs. I read Huffington Post and Daily Kos, and then read the links where the writers got their information. It adds up to a ton of reading, some writing, here, and on the other blogs. In short, it's a huge time stealer.
My kids, meanwhile, are watching fun TV shows, or on the computer as well (playing games), or watching a Netflix pick. They also read and do other things of course, but I was appalled the other day when I realized the total of our screen time around here. It's ridiculous.
It would be one thing if it had no negative impact. Some may argue that it doesn't. I think it does, and my kids know that it does. We are all grumpy when we've been sitting too long or when we've been in front of a screen. We are all happy when we've gotten outside and moved our bodies and talked with one another and done something or created things with our own hands.
So, limits have been set up for everyone. Everyone agreed to the limits. We started with me, because as I said to my kids, I'm the worst offender of all of us. By way of example, I told the kids how often I will get on the computer to read and to check e-mail, and then they followed suit.
What are we replacing all of this screen time with?
FRENCH! We are going to learn French, together the kids and I, and as my son proclaimed this morning, then go to France!
I think that's a fine trade off. And already the kids are more patient with each other, and generally more easy going.
I ordered some materials from Funbooks: some coloring book/dictionaries, a larger 100 word dictionary and a CD/card game set. This is all a nice beginning and we will see how far we can get on our own. Then, we will take a class somewhere.
The kids and I are serious about this and are determined to learn.
For those of you who have successfully learned a foreign language at home, did you use a more comprehensive system like Rosetta Stone or Mango or Muzzy? What worked, what didn't? Are these systems worth the cost?
Oo, la, la!