Sunday, November 04, 2012

New Rule: No Phone During Homeschool Hours

School kids are texting my older son during the school day, Especially a certain girl. This interrupts his concentration. He stops his video math lesson, for example, to read it as he feels texts need an immediate response and he is curious. The mind needs to concentrate to learn. I doubt much can be learned with constant interruption. This is not unlike business people whose productivity at work is decreased since the advent of email. We used to complain that too many meetings did not allow us to actually do the work we talked about doing in the meetings. After email got so common that was even worse. Not only did bosses and co-workers expect you to read their thoughts to jeep up to date, they wanted immediate responses to what was this priority.

To be productive and meet one's own goals one must set their priorities then set limits. The limits allow time to be spent on what you want or need to get done to accomplish your goals. It is perfectly reasonable to decide that certain hours are for learning academic material and in that time there will be no personal phone calls, emails, and texts. Also in that time, there will be no consuming of entertaining television, music, YouTube videos or video games. When the work is done for the day the student is free to do with their time what they please such as to participate in an extra-curricular activity, listen to music, surf the the net or stare at a tiny screen and send texts.

I hear the local public schools have a new rule that phones are allowed and can be using during passing time in the halls as well as during lunch and study hall and in class after the work is finished.

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Last week we decided that my older son will start handing over his phone to me during the schoolday. Younger son will too but he does not gets texts like his older brother. No girls are chasing the 12 year old!

He will also hand it over at bedtime.

(For $5 a month our carrier has a parental control that allows you to have the phone turn on and off at certain times. We hate paying fees for services we feel should be free of charge. When one sells a family plan knowing minors are the users they should sweeten the pot by giving safety and "healthy use" features as part of the plan. That may actually encourage parents to buy mobile phones for their kids at younger ages.)

Texting arrived in our family in May, so it has been just five months. This is a learning curve. The girl thing is new and has changed things. It feels like we have had texting forever and it feels like an invasion.

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We are not doing this to control our kids for no good reason. We are doing this as the constant interruptions are hindering learning. This has become a hurdle or stumbling block to academic success.

(I honestly don't know if I would have been able to learn anything if I was texted nonstop while doing homework. Instead I pumped out the homework quickly then talked on the landline phone to my friends afterward.)

The fact is the schoolwork must get done. Period.

I knew at some point the interest in girls thing would happen and it did. I knew the next step of having a mutual attraction would happen and I think it is happening. This is another whole ball game so it is time to revise the family rules.

1 comment:

Keri said...

I can totally understand why you would in force such a rule. My kids are still too young IMO to have their own phone (my oldest is only 10 yrs old ). Still, I have had a similar issue with facebook. My daughter is constantly chatting with her friends through the facebook messenger. At first I thought it would be great to help her with her spelling (Love Spelling City.com),which it has, but it has gotten a bit out of hand. Needless, to say she can only get on an hour at a time. Anyways, I think what you did was a smart idea. Great Post!