Monday, 9 January 2012

We are back and we have become bibliophiles

Our diary of our no tech week:

Day one:
Its the first day and we are feeling hopeful that this experiment will be a great learning curve for us all, I'm happy and feeling excited about what the day holds for us, the children and I played games and did some art work together, we got a juicer for Christmas so we spent some time juicing up some yummy things from our juice box from Able and Cole, our favourite was apples, carrots and a pinch of cinnamon, very yummy like cake in a glass. I did some housework and made dinner, the boys moaned a bit whilst I was cooking as they said they didn't know what to do with themselves, I suggested things and they went off feeling sorry for themselves that there was no TV to watch, I heard them giggling and playing not long after this so the despair didn't last long!
After we had eaten I read the new country living magazine that had arrived in the post that morning, in front of the fire whilst the boys played lego. Normally I don't read a whole mag in one go, I just browse and come back to parts days later but with no other distractions I could. It felt naughty and luxurious. I felt so tired and could of easily nodded off, I'm actually looking forward to going to bed. Its been odd thinking about checking facebook and Ive wanted to google things but its been nice playing whilst un-distracted, its been strange getting used to not having to do things like checking emails or timing things so not to miss programmes, its been more relaxing and its as though not having these added distractions has enabled me to give myself permission to relax. I think we fill our lives with so much bombardment of visual and mental stimuli that we think it makes our lives easier but its seemed today has been easier not having them around. The other thing I have noticed is how different it is not having background noise of the TV, you can be fully focused on reading etc where as before it only had half my attention.
Night time was a weird one, we didn't really know what to do with ourselves, normally after tea the children and I watch TV or a film, instead we played marbles and read a story. It was very different and the boys got upset they couldn't watch TV. At bedtime I asked them both what they thought of the first day, the older one, Adam, said that he liked it except for the evening bit, but it was better than he expected. Chris (the younger one) said it was rubbish because I didn't play with him all day, he thought that, that's what we would be doing.
Its 10.40 pm, boys asleep, fire blazing, in PJ's, Tom (my fellow) is reading, I'm so ready for bed, normally TV would be on or I would be on my Iphone, I don't miss either right now.

Day two:
Still feel really tired even after an earlyish night, after breakfast we went to the library to choose books for the week, the boys normally say they have no interest in books, much to my horror, I might add being an avid reader myself. But to my surprise they choose some for themselves (there is an upside to this no TV lark!!), I got a stack out as usual, I'm really into reading about bettering your life at the moment and dreaming big, I cant wait to get Goddess Leonie's 2012 goddess workbook.
I also got some cookery books, I got the new river cottage veg book for Christmas and its brilliant but I always check out a couple of cookery books for extra ideas.
We battled the hideous weather, its been so windy and raining everyday lately, cant wait for the spring.when we go it home we was soaked so we got out of our wet clothes and put on our PJ's, something normally reserved for weekends, I'm not quite sure why we insist on being dressed if we are staying in, I'm guessing it something to do with productivity or lack of it in PJ's. We got dinner on and played a chess tournament, then the boys started reading their library books, I even got told off by Chris for disturbing him whilst reading - ha ha brilliant! This I had to stop myself laughing at.
They spent the rest of the day reading in front of the fire. I noticed how we was all yawning loads, maybe because its so relaxing, Chris proudly announced that he had read to page 97 of his book by the time dinner was ready - very proud!
After dinner we played word games and finished off the chess tournament, then we cosied up together and started reading the new book by David Walliams, "Billionaire boy", it was so good and funny we read to chapter 6, with pleas of more from the children.
I asked the boys how they thought day two had gone, they said they had enjoyed it more than day one because they liked us all being together and especially the reading together before bed instead of watching TV. This bit surprised me because I have always read to them every night before bed in their rooms, but I think they liked it that we was all together even my 17 year old sat in and listened!
Today has been lovely, no moans at all, Tom and I have noticed the boys have played together and laughed so much more these past two days.

Day three
The main thing that is starting to wear me down is the children's early mornings, before this they used to get up and go downstairs and watch TV and wait for me to get up, now with no TV to occupy him Chris comes and wakes me up every morning because he says he doesn't know what to do with himself. Adam has always been an early riser but these past few days he has been sleeping in so Chris has been on his own when getting up. We normally stay up pretty late and have been getting to bed earlier, a few minutes after midnight has been the latest but we still feel really tired . We read 10 chapters of billionaire boy after breakfast and got ready for home school club, I co-run it with my friend who is also a homeschooling mum so we get there early to set up, unfortunately for the boys only toddlers and young girls came, it was unusually quiet so they ended up playing together for the afternoon, after that we went food shopping and then came home, whilst I was making tea the boys read again, we sent the evening chatting and reading. After the boys went to bed I gave in and went on my phone to check my emails, I'm glad I did as I had an important work email, but its made me worry now in case I'm missing another work related thing, so its me who has broken the rules first, its made me feel a bit bad really, its not that I'm addicted, if I was on holiday for a week and I didn't have net access it wouldn't bother me the same as I would be doing other things but at home its weird. I know I have things I can do with my time but Ive craved the Internet, maybe I am addicted, maybe we all are and just don't realise it, its become so normal into our existence, without it who are we?
Going to bed feeling strange, it has made me think about things today.

Day four
Today I feel depressed, I don't quite know what to do with myself, I'm tired and feel stressed. I feel like I need time on my own, which is a hard ask when you home school!, I spent the morning in my PJ's, reading to the boys, I baked a cake from the Alys Fowler book I borrowed from the library, it was yummy, recipe to follow in a blog post soon. The boys read, moaned, argued with each other, I was having a bad day, I kept crying and feeling pretty rubbish, I have had a nasty cold, in fact we have all had it at one time or another these past few weeks, so maybe that's got something to do with my mood.
By late afternoon I had a chat with Tom about it all and I asked what he thought about finishing the experiment early, he thought we should carry on but wouldn't be too bothered if we finished early (maybe this had something to do with a football match on TV on sat). I felt as though I had let the whole family down and especially because I was the one who was spouting all this positivity at the beginning of the week to the children.
I moved the furniture back to normal so the tv wasn't blocked by the couch anymore, I out it there as a visual barrier at the beginning of the week. I called the boys down and told them how I was feeling and that we could watch a film on TV, they jumped up and down yelling with excitement, we sat down under duvets to watch a film, it was nice., I fell asleep for a little while. After tea we read again and then I put the boys to bed.
I spent the evening catching up with missed documentaries and travel programmes, I knitted a bit too.
Didn't go to bed till 2.30, realised its the TV that keeps me up till good knows what time, need to learn to switch it off.

Day five
Today is Saturday, I told the boys last night they could go on their xboxes this morning, I slept in till 9.30 and it was nice. We had a lazy morning and I felt free and happy, maybe it was the rest, maybe it was the thought of not having to find things to fill every hour, Tom got settled to watch football and I read for a little while, I re-installed facebook and twitter on my Iphone as I had deleted them on Monday night because I knew I would be too tempted to go on them otherwise, self restraint + me = none!
I expected to be wowed by what I had missed on Fb but it was a damp squib really, nothing of great interest apart from my lovely friend Mrs M who always posts lovely links.
Twitter wasn't much better either. I do like reading other peoples blogs and find some things pretty interesting, I love having google available to me to fill me in on parts of knowledge I lack, the social aspect is great too, you never feel alone with these social networks at the touch of a button  but all in all I think we only imagine its amazingness when we are out of the loop, now I'm back in it it doesn't seem that special.
I went to town to see my gorgeous fairy friend Alex from the secret garden, she make all my days bright, her shop is filled with love, light and wondrous smells, she centres me and makes my dreams feel like they can come true just by being in her shop. I took my paintings I did earlier in the week to her so she can sell them hopefully to a lovely customer.
I felt fresh and alive in the crisp air and even though town was quite busy I enjoyed being out and seeing other people, I love to people watch, I look at their clothes, I look at their faces and sometimes imagine what lives they lead, what there names are and who they belong too.
I went home and the boys were still on their xboxes so I told them to have a break, Chris was really grumpy for the rest of the day, he kept trying to argue with Adam and was cheeky to me, I don't know if its just coincidence or if it is because he was on his xbox or not but his attitude has changed today.
We carried on the reading together before bed and the boys said they was glad to be back online but they thought we should have a couple of days in the week where we switch off completely, Adam said we can't schedule life and I tend to agree with him, I do agree we need to switch off more. Instead of relying on electronics to fill the voids in the day, we should think more constructively.
Tom and I spent the night talking about our future and how the week has gone, where we would like to live and how the homeschooling should happen.
I have very little willpower
The boys seemed nicer to each other away from electronics
We all read more without other things to distract us
I'm not as 1940's housewife as I thought
We didn't talk more, we just read more
Chris thought it was a happy week
Adam thought it was peaceful but he missed electric a lot
Time seemed not to matter
No work got done!

It was an interesting thing to do but I wouldn't like to have no TV at all, I think that it has got it place in our lives, the boys learn quite a bit off channels like discovery and military history, I love watching crime programmes and girly stuff like desperate housewives (last series ever started on Sunday). Sadly I felt relieved when the ban was lifted, perhaps that's my rebellious side coming out. I thought I was made of sterner stuff!!
I would love to know if any of you lovely readers have done anything similar or if you have no TV how do you find it, what do you do to pass the time?


rosieposie said...

I often wonder how we would fair, probably not as long as your family - we home ed in an area where there are hardly any other home educators myself, hubby and son 12, daughter 9, although my daughter finds plenty to do, she loves crafting etc. we enjoy watching movies together dvd's of the series of little house on the prairie, my son would be frankly quite lost without his x-box, it is his link to the outside world, he has many friends online that he talks to daily and as he gets up at 5 a.m. (we have tried countless things over the years to cure this) it occupies him until the rest of us stir - I think also that as we home educate, we cannot provide constant attention as much as we would like and we need to give ourselves a break. Well done for trying I think your sons idea of a couple of days without is a good idea. love the blog by the way.

Ren said...

We did this too! But to be honest Ive always been a real meany about how much goggle box the children were allowed. Initially they had 2 hours on a Saturday morning and I noticed that they were always grumpy afterwards! So we stopped it and made a no telly in the morning rule at home. They happily stuck to this and so does my youngest. (Never had any x boxes or electrical games in the house.) We then had no arial for ages and used videos for occasional use which was ok too. But after about a month we buckled and stuck the arial lead back in!!!! Telly is a bit of an energy sapper I think like this tipper tapper! I like to watch the odd dvd with my knitting and dont mind watching the same thing a million times. Its fun to try experiments isnt it though! You never know how much you will miss a thing till its not there. Good for all of you trying!