Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Free Time Choices

Homeschoolers often find that they have more time on their hands than children who go to school.  It's not because they are slacking off, it's because a lesson for one person usually takes less than a lesson for several people. Once you are done you move on, without regard to the clock.  Because of that kids often find themselves with plenty of free time.  When you only have one child at home and that child has special needs, that is not always a great thing. 

Gess loves and craves structure.  While most kids mourn the loss of their winter and summer breaks, Gess is usually eager to return to her routine and get in some structured time of not only learning but one on one time with mom.  I do not think that it would be quite so difficult if Gess had a sibling or two at home to play with, but she does not so we must make the most of it.  (Of course we are careful to have Gess in several activities to get play time with others but she still ends up with lots of free time at home.)

My main concern is for her to learn how to use that time wisely.  My husband is a computer programmer and we all seem to spend quite a bit of time on one at home.  In fact we each have one of our own, including Gess.  While I know computers can be fun and often educational, too much screen time is not a good thing for anyone.  So what do you do?

When I notice that Gess is getting too much screen time (for Gess that is mostly computer or Xbox, she rarely watches TV) I start to remind her of other activities she can do.  Once she is reminded that she has other options she generally chooses them but without the reminder she tends to just go to her computer.  So I decided to make a choices sheet and help her visually see what she can do.  I will probably have this up where she can see it when school is over and then ask, "now what do you want to do"?  Hopefully it will help her to start thinking about what some of her choices are. While this list could be much larger, these are some of her favorite things to do.


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