The “tweak” part is coming, I promise, but first I need to share some statistics with you.
According to the Labor of Statistics Bureau, reading for leisure has dropped 30 percent since 2004 in adults.
That’s a staggering drop in a relatively short period. Why is this so alarming?
Because reading for leisure reflects our levels of literacy. And illiteracy makes for a dumbed-down people and a dumbed-down country.
It really is a pathetic state of affairs because so much of what we need to live meaningful lives, we can gain through reading.
Reading increases our knowledge–it expands our minds, and it allows us to stay in contact with the great minds of the past. We preserve our intellectual, spiritual, and cultural heritage through reading.
Reading is also a source of enjoyment that enriches our lives, and reading keeps us informed about current affairs too.
Television news won’t do this. People who travel internationally for work have told me that the American media is probably the most controlled media in the world. That’s from a first-hand source; a bit of information you’re not likely to find on television.
And yet, as more children are coming of age, they seem to be reading less and less and doing what instead? According to the Labor of Statistics Bureau, they’re watching television!
Do you want to do something kind for your children? Throw out the television. It will be the kindest thing you will do. At least get it out of sight until they are much older.
We can blame the failed public school system for dumbing down its curriculum, but we can’t blame it for the dumbing-down of our children’s minds that goes on in our own homes.
We’re part of the problem. Would our literacy rates increase if we all took our televisions outside and smashed them? Yes, I believe they would.
Psychologist, David F. Marks, believes that literacy levels directly affect our IQ scores based on his research. I tend to agree with him. After all, if we can improve our IQ’s, as scientist now tell us we can, then literacy must have something to do with it.
If demolishing the television leads to more reading, and more reading leads to higher levels of literacy, and higher levels of literacy leads to higher IQ’s; well, there you have it.
Therefore, unless you want to compete with the public schools for the dumbing-down of your children, you should, at the very least, give your living room a little tweak by removing the trance-inducing spectacle from it.
Give your children a book instead.
Here’s another good alternative: tell your children to grab their coats and shoes and go outside until dinner time. Sound mean? It’s not. Mean is providing 70% of American children with a television in their rooms.
Kind is the mother or father who sets boundaries for their children so the children can learn how to occupy themselves in ways that will serve them well in life.
Yes, but there are educational programs on television, you say? It doesn’t matter. It’s the passive, mind-numbing act of watching television instead of the brain-developing act of reading a good book or socializing or engaging in physical activities that makes the difference,
The world is a fascinating place, but television’s youth today are not fascinated by it. They’re bored by real life. It’s not fast enough. It’s not exciting enough. It’s not crude, silly, or bloody enough.
This is a false belief that’s slithered into their minds. The truth is that the lives of real men and women are fascinating. You can observe them, you can read about them, and you can live a fascinating life yourself.
Nothing you watch on television can ever beat what happens in real life with all its comedy and tragedy; it’s unknown mysteries and infinite surprises. A dependence on what’s false, however, can obstruct you from seeing the wonder of a majestic world.
So be kind to your children and throw out the television. Let them read a good book instead. They’ll figure out what to do with their time if you let them.
If you can’t throw it out, at least ban it to some obscure corner that’s safely out of your children’s view.
If they don’t see it; they won’t think of it.
After they’ve developed a reading habit, you can let them watch something once a week to prevent the “forbidden apple” syndrome, but make sure they have established a good reading habit first.
Watching television will compete with everything else your children do in their leisure time, and if they don’t have good habits already established, then the television will all too often win.
Your children’s habits are not insignificant, because they will determine the kind of people they become.
And that is no small matter.
The Smart Homeschooler Academy will launch in late April, 2019, with its signature course: How to Give Your Child a Private-School Education at Home. Join the waiting list!
Elizabeth Y. Hanson combines her training in holistic medicine, parenting coach certificate, plus 17+ years working in education to provide you with a unique approach to raising and educating your children.
A veteran homeschooler herself, she now has two homeschooled children in college.