Our family has tried many different things, in reference to the way television is a part (or not a part) of our lives. When we first heard about Thomas Jefferson Education, all of the ideas contained therein, really resonated with us! As Mr. Man and I thought about our own growing up experiences and the way life had been for us in the public school system, we found ourselves nodding our heads, wishing that we had had a leadership education experience...an experience learning from the great classics, according to our passions and desires! We knew we wanted a leadership education for our children. We desire the best of the best for our family. To us, television is a far cry from the best of the best. As I look back as their mother, I am SO glad that we discovered that our day didn't have to be full of kids video's on the television, while I got all the work done in the house, and important family ideals and life lessons were cast by the wayside. There is WAY too much vulgarity and ill-found humor and a total disregard for ideas of a virtuous nature, on most television stations. Those stations that don't serve up this kind of "entertainment", are rare and few, these days. The BYU channel comes to mind (which we don't have, because we don't have cable.) We have found some valuable, inspiring and uplifting things on the BYU channel, online. When children's learning video's were on, the knowledge received (if any), only scratched the surface of helping them reach their full potential. Most times, the videos just engrained annoying songs into their heads that were sung without end, for days and days. Not a good use of time or potential, if you ask me. One thing we have noticed about society in general, today, is the great need to be "entertained." As we have experimented with whether or not television would be the right thing for our family, we have realized that it's just better for it to be a very rare occurrence at our house. Instead of "entertaining" the childen, so I can get the housework done, they work with me, learning invaluable adult skills, confidence, diligence, and that they can do hard things,(a very important bit of knowledge that will help them in their scholar phase of their educations), and that they are a needed and valued part of our family. In the beginning of the changes we would make towards a leadership education path, we started out with a weekly movie night, but found that it kept the children too addicted to t.v. Today, our children will tell you "We don't watch t.v.!", with a calm and sure acceptance that has astounded even us, sometimes. They didn't die when we stopped watching t.v. On the contrary, they talk often about how they are using their imaginations and pretending to be a great hero from a wonderful story we've read aloud! They talk about which character from any one of the great classics we've read, that they want to be like when they grow up. They are little people who, at their young ages, already have big ideas about the world. It's pretty remarkable to watch them flourish in the environment we've created.
I am grateful to be sharing wonderful family time with my kiddo's as we read aloud, stories that teach high ideals and morals and values. I am grateful for the great discussions we have about these stories, which bring us closer together and help us learn eternal truths. I am grateful to be on the leadership education path, with my family and grateful that our world doesn't revolve around what's on the tube on Tuesday nights.
P.S. For those of you think we are crazy for not watching videos (however educational or wonderful they may be)...a video is pretty much the same as t.v., when it comes to it's ability to reel you in, as far as a t.v. addiction goes. We have seen this first hand with our family. If it can be viewed, no matter what it is, then it has the ability to keep that addiction alive for a person. Part of the reason for this, is what I call the "work factor." Video's offer a huge reward for hardly any effort, and give a false sense of having discovered something amazing, for a very small price. We are trying to teach our children the value of a liberal arts/leadership education. If we want them to delve into great classic works in the future, we have to create an environment which provides them the opportunities to discover these great classics, through work and inspiration. Almost anything involving a television, is mostly void of work and inspiration. This is why television for our family, is the exception and not the rule. Remember...we want the best of the best! We've already decided that classic works are the best! A classic is defined as anything that is so inspiring, that it can be read over and over and new things can be learned each time. We do own a few DVD's and Video's (much less than we used to, as we just purged them), and will probably get rid of more! We choose them with care and we are happily ridding our lives of a lot of them! We aren't dead yet! LOL :0)
(If you have any questions about the sources of information that have led us to this life-changing conclusion for our family, please visit the websites below)
Nicholeen Peck's Teaching Self Government
Kerri Tibbets The Headgate
Thomas Jefferson Education