Millennium Mom

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

MM Blog 3/10 Workbook and American Idol

One of the most common "debates" among parenting experts is whether or not you should let your children watch TV, and if you allow it 'which shows on TV'. I guess now it has evolved to using the computer as well. We have never been in the camp of no TV. Barney, Elmo, Dora and now Hannah, Word Girl and others have been our friend. The kids are entertained and often learning great life lessons or knowledge.

Having said that we limit the amount of TV. Now that they are getting older we have a few "adult" shows that we watch as a family - namely American Idol and Survivor. The kids really look forward to the nights that these shows are on and talking about the contestants. We also watch a lot of sports together, routing for our favorite teams. Find the shows that you love and that are child appropriate and enjoy them as a family. Seeing the kids get up and dance to American Idol is so precious.

Importantly also have family nights were there is no TV. Be it game night, or for us "workbook" night, take the time to invest in family bonding. Last night we all sat at the kitchen table for an hour and a half and did workbooks, learning math, how to write letters, work through mazes, recognize sounds and more. It was great to see their minds act like sponges and how proud they were. I find the girls have such an advantage in being 2nd and 3rd in birth order because they are exposed to learning that we would never have thought of doing with Ben.

Utilize the great tools that exist for non-elementary ed parents...we love workbooks (get them at Sam's club), games online at nickjr or, and great lessons from Ben's kindergarten around sorting, patterning and math. Whether you are walking up the stairs and counting, having the kids measure ingredients and so on, find the teaching moments and have fun with it.


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