June 15, 2012 in Simple Home School
I wanted to quickly share with you a method for electronics use we are trying out for summer break. I didn’t come up with it. I read it in a parenting book several years ago…but because I don’t have any of my books anymore… I don’t know which one it was.
Kids need downtime and summer break is great for them. However, without school and other activities going on it is easy for them to sit in front of a screen way to much. This would include TV, computer, electronic games, etc. These are fun and I want my kids to be able to enjoy them, but I don’t want them to become addicted and waste there whole summer either.
What we are doing is changing allowance for the summer to be tied into electronics (before we tied it in with school work because that was their ‘job’ over the school year). I am giving them .50 a day through the summer. They can choose to spend .25 for 30 minutes of electronics totaling a max of 60 minutes if they want to spend all their money. They were only making .20 a day with school work so it is built in to spend most of their money if they want on electronics during the week. The opportunity is also there for them to save even more.
I am probably pretty stingy on allowance so if you usually do more you can up the amounts. What I give them seems to be enough to buy a treat every once and a while and help them learn to count and save money. It also motivates them to find other ways of making money (like I talked about here and here). You can also change up the amounts you want their daily limit to be. The idea is there is a limit and they have incentive to do less.
I believe typing is super important and the computer is also a great place to research the answers to questions. They both have e-mail and Lily has a website set up with a private area just for her to talk with her friends (like a mini parent controlled Facebook). These things I let them do when they want to and don’t count it for time they would have to pay for. This is typing, communication and learning about computers.
We don’t have a TV so the electronics my kids pay for are computer games or videos and iphone games.