Download our FREE The Educating Parent Resource Directories today! Plus... more FREE resources!
Looking for support, reassurance and information?
Role of Television in our Home Educating Lives
by Beverley Paine, June 2005
Without realising the ultimate impact, we naturally sheltered our children from the effects of watching too much television. We never wanted to totally ban the television, and valued it as a resource for education and entertainment purposes. Worried about the power of advertising we preferred to watch non-commercial channels or videos, and became adept at channel-switching to avoid the adverts. 'Junk' shows, especially children's programming, that encouraged 'fads' were avoided. And we taught our children the golden rule in their toddler years: when "you've finished watching the show, turn the telly off".
Television can suck precious hours of daylight into a meaningless black hole, devoid of the healthy satisfaction that comes from 'real' play. Worse, watching television can be addictive: like the empty calories in sugar, we end up craving the 'hit', that quick fix of excitement. Without the beneficial effects physical exercise that would normally accompany playful activity, the stress hormones released have nothing to do, except damage our children's growing bodies, in the same way the unused energy from sugar does.
Limited, and largely supervised, television viewing can be beneficial to learning to live simply by helping our children become "media literate." Whether we like it or not, our children are prime marketing targets. Helping our children deconstruct the programs and adverts they watch to work out how they are being manipulated to think and act in a particular way empowers them to make intelligent decisions about media and other products. We need to become critical viewers. When I watch any program I immediately start to look for bias: how the 'facts' are presented to elicit emotional responses from the viewer with the purpose of persuading me to a particular point of view.
It took me a while to wake up to the ways in which marketing manipulates childhood to sell - anything and everything. Marketing aimed at young children, through direct advertising or through media such as movies, television, pop culture and magazines, is disturbing. Limiting our children's exposure is one remedy; another is to join a group such as Commercial Alert, www.commercialalert.org , which aims to ban or limit such exploitation.
Luckily, as home educators, we aren't faced with the increasing pressure placed on school communities to raise much needed funds by advertising commercial products. We aren't totally immune, however. Every where I look companies are jumping on the 'clean and green' bandwagon, or producing educational materials on just about any subject with their logo and colours dominantly displayed. Images like this may seem innocent, but the effect can last a generation or more. It's easy to dupe people into believing that because an idea is worthwhile and valuable, the company promoting it is too. We need to consider every purchase we make as an ethical investment in our children's future.
Modelling media awareness by talking about these issues, and then acting by setting appropriate examples our children can emulate, is a powerful way of protecting them from commercial exploitation.
Was this article helpful? Was it worth $1.00 to you? Your gift of $1 or more helps to keep this site operating offering encouragement and reassurance to families wanting better outcomes for their children.
Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
Welcome to the World of Home Education
We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.
The Educating Parent acknowledges the Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Owners, the Custodians of Australia, and pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people viewing this website.
Home education is a legal alternative
Without revenue from advertising
Thank you for visiting!
Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
The opinions and articles included on this website are not necessarily those of Beverley and Robin Paine,
nor do they endorse or recommend products listed in contributed articles, pages, or advertisements.
This website uses browsing cookies and conducts other means to collect user information in order to display contextual ads.
Text and images on this site © All Rights Reserved 1999-2021.