As we come to the end of another beautiful summer school holidays, I’ve been flipping back through my camera roll and noticed how much time the kids have spent outside and unplugged.
We would probably be considered a low-tech family on the best of days, and holidays are no exception. We don’t change the rules just because (home)school is out. In fact, they spend less time on tech during holidays, because there are no online classes happening.
Apart from what you see in this short clip, they’ve done lots of inside stuff too: reading, board games, lego, building dollhouses, making the various crafts they got for Christmas, drawing and painting.
We’ve frequented the local swimming pool and skate park, spent time with cousins and friends, enjoyed watching our house build happen. My older sons do several hours of paid gardening each week and my 12 year old hatched his first 3 chicks in the incubator.
Hands-down my favourite memory from these holidays is my 15 year old son coming to me to ask if he could watch some YouTube videos about how to make a metal sword. An hour later, he had a forge set up and stayed out until 9 pm that night, playing around with some old steel.
They still have tech time. 30 minutes per kid each day using Civilization (an empire-building strategy video game) or Adventure Academy (educational gameplay in an interactive world) and one movie a week.
But I know that 10, 20, 30 years from now, they’ll talk about that summer holidays that we went camping, built a forge and watched our house grow from the ground up. They won’t remember the 30 minutes spent on the iPad or 90 minutes in front of a movie.
I’m not opposed to children using tech in a sensible, measured way. I just know that summer holidays truly are where characters are forged and relationships solidified and that’s not done with a screen in hand.