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In this Homeschool Summer Fun Series guest post, Sara from Techie Homeschool Mom shares some tips for managing your kids’ screen time this summer and creating a family tech policy. Visit TechieHomeschoolMom.com to be inspired and equipped to incorporate meaningful digital learning experiences into your homeschool.
We love using technology in our homeschool. There are many apps, programs, and online courses that my kids have learned so much from.
My kids also love “techertainment” (using screens solely for entertainment). And while some of the games they play can be very educational, my husband and I want to make sure not only that we are establishing good guidelines for this type of screen time, but that we are teaching our kids to be responsible as well.
You can read a post about how we are tackling this HERE.
Creating a Family Tech Policy
Below are 5 steps for creating your own Family Tech Policy to put in place not only this summer, but for next school year.
1) Have a family discussion
Here are a few questions you might want to discuss together as a family as you begin to create your policy.
- What are the pros and cons of using technology?
- What unhealthy tech habits could develop? How would each of those habits affect your present and future life?
- What healthy habits can develop from tech usage? How would each of those habits affect your present and future life?
- How can you establish healthy tech habits? What should be the standard for healthy tech use?
I think questions like these are important to have as a family. It helps our kids to see that we value their input, but that there are healthy boundaries that need to exist for all things – technology just being one of them.
Making sure your kids can understand the pros and cons of their technology usage will inform them, encourage them, and be a step in the right direction of them taking personal responsibility for their media usage.
2) Name your plan
Next up: decide what to call your plan.
Consider these definitions from Merriam-Webster …
Standard – ideas about morally correct and acceptable behavior
Guideline – a rule or instruction that shows or tells how something should be done
Policy – overall plan embracing the general goals and acceptable procedures
Make it official and come up with something together. It doesn’t have to be a fancy name and could just be something simple like “Family Tech Guidelines”, “Screen Time Standards”, or “Electronics Policy”. The important thing is to name it and be in agreement on what the plan includes.
3) Write out your plan
Now you should write out your plan as a family. Make a draft and let it sit for a day. Then revisit and see if there is anything you should change.
It’s important that everyone understands at this step why the plan is in place, and the importance of every term.
You’ll want to include statements that you all agree to regarding your tech-time, and rules that are important to follow. You might also choose to include guidelines that must be met before electronics can be used.
4) Type up your family tech policy
Print and hang it up in at least two places. That way, you can refer to the policy often until it becomes a way of life for your family.
5) Hold each other accountable
This can be hard to do after the excitement wears off, but it’s important until you settle into the policy as a habit.
Hold each other accountable to your plan, in a loving way. This means you should teach your kids to point out what each other is doing well, and if you notice someone not sticking with the guidelines, encourage them to do the right thing. What a great life lesson for them to learn!
Family Tech Policy Printable
I’d love you know what your family decided on for your policy. Please comment below with your thoughts or guidelines you came up with!
If you’d like to see our family tech policy as an example, you can head over to THIS POST and print off a copy for FREE.
I would also love for you to join me this summer as we try something radical: intentionally put our kids on electronics. That’s right – this post shares some challenges for this summer to encourage healthy, worthwhile, and creative screen time. You – and your kids – will love it!
This guest post is part of the Homeschool Summer Fun Series. Make sure to check out the series landing page to learn more about the series and find all of the posts in one place!
- Summer Reading Challenge: Get Your Kids Excited to Read!
- Road Trip Ideas For Kids + Free Printable Activity Pack
- 5 Unique Holidays to Beat Summer Boredom
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