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Screen time and DVD lessons

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    Screen time and DVD lessons

    Hello! We have zealously guarded our son on the spectrum from screen time over the years, after seeing how quickly he could get hooked on it. At age 14, he uses the Internet for a few minutes several times a week to check the weather and watches a family movie most weekends. That's it except for something unusual like the Olympics or Election Night.

    And, now his DVD lessons. We started with Latin DVDs a few years ago, and that was a short lesson once a week. Last year we added Traditional Logic, another longer video lesson about twice a month. So not really a big deal. But now we've started Classical Comp: Chreia/Maxim, which is a daily video lesson. The DVD instruction is fabulous and although the material is more demanding than the Narrative level, he's having a much easier time with it due to Brett Vaden's excellent explanations.

    Our son is set to start Algebra I in January, and there is video instruction available. He is looking forward to this, expecting it to be easier than Prealgebra (no video, just Mom, and if that doesn't help, Dad in the evening). All the MP DVDs have been outstanding so far. Next year begins high school, and there will be more subjects where having a master teacher on video would be far more effective than harried Mom--Biology, for example.

    So by January he could be spending a half hour in front of a screen daily, and next fall maybe more if we need more DVD help. I know there are DVDs for Homer and Virgil too. Is this OK? Obviously these are not over stimulating videos, so is it worth it to have the great instruction? To be honest, I wonder about this for all my kids, but this son will hit those classes first and he's the one I'd be most worried about. My worry is not that he'll get addicted to the videos, but I suppose it's that his time would be better spent face-to-face with a teacher or tutor.

    Thanks in advance! :-)
    Catherine

    2019-20
    DS16, 10th
    DS13, 7th
    DS11, 6th
    DD11, 6th
    DS7, 1st
    DD4, JrK
    DS 17 mos

    Homeschooling 4 with MP
    2 in classical school

    #2
    Re: Screen time and DVD lessons

    Hi Catherine,

    With the level of functioning you are describing your son to be at, it sure seems like it's not much to worry about (going from frequent Classical Comp lessons to adding in Alg 1 lessons.) I have researched this issue a lot, not only for kiddos on the spectrum, but for kids in general. My concern for kiddos on the spectrum spending too much time on screens is that it has the potential to perpetuate a "checked out" mindset. Many of these kids already struggle with being in their own worlds and lack the social skills we'd like them to have. I traveled to western MA years ago to be trained in the "Son-Rise" program. (It's essentially the opposite of ABA, which I know "may" ruffle a few feathers here.) It's 100% about developing relationship/social interaction. Those of us in this training heard a very clear argument against screen-time, and how it'll work against all the time spent trying to pull a socially-challenged child out of their own world....how screen time could counteract one's efforts to "sell" a child on the beauty and goodness to be found in socially interacting with another human being.

    But what you are describing to me of your son doesn't sound like this is what you are facing. Watching Brett teach CC or Cindy teach Algebra 1 is not the same as a highly-stimulating, fact-paced, sensory-overloading visual experience (that could turn into scripting and so forth.) Your son is required to be engaged, listen, process, follow along and understand while he is interacting with the CC and Algebra content.

    Neither of my sons have spent much time in front of screens. We have eased into it, as you are doing. My older son now has 5 MPOA classes this year! Last year he had two. So we had a bit of an adjustment this Fall. But he's adjusting. He's a bit unusual in that he doesn't crave or care about screen time, as compared to the rest of his peer group, most of whom spend a lot of time with video gaming, movies and so forth. So I consider his 9 hours of online instruction per week to be a trade-off for all the other screen time he's not getting.

    I'm sure the amazingly wise mommas here will chime in, as well. But I just wanted to encourage you in that you are taking a very gentle, easing in approach. And, as he gets older, you'll be faced with how to provide that academically rich instruction if you can't do it all yourself. Ya know?

    SusanP in VA
    Last edited by SPearson; 11-09-2017, 09:39 PM.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Screen time and DVD lessons

      Yes, agreeing with Susan! Of course in-person, stimulating teaching with immediate social exchange trumps a DVD any day. But with a classical education so difficult to find in many areas, an excellent teacher on DVD trumps a poor or harmful in-person teacher any day!

      By restricting access to "junk" screentime, you have set the stage for using technologically wisely and sparingly. Just try to schedule good physical activity, lunch outside, nature walks, or more active social discussions outside of his screen time.

      See how it goes. One of these DVD teachers may become an important role model for your son. Teach in peace!

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Screen time and DVD lessons

        To Cheryl's last comment: is there any way you could bring this student with you to Sodalitas to let him meet face to face some of his DVD teachers? This might be wildly impossible, but I know some families use this trip as a family vacation. Just something outside the box to consider!
        Festina lentē,
        Jessica P

        SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
        @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
        S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
        D · 8th
        D · 5th
        S · 2nd

        Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Screen time and DVD lessons

          Yes, Catherine, just bouncing off both Cheryl and Jessica's comments..... here's a fun little story for you. My son basically jumpstarted his self-study of Latin using the Classical Academic Press "Latin for Children (A, B and C)" curriculum. (In hindsight, I probably would have chosen the Forms series from MP but I didn't really understand it all.) So my son learned Latin from Dr. Chris Perrin on DVDs. Then, as he was in (I think it was) LFC C, my son was with me at the HEAV homeschooling convention here in VA and he had a very charming, adult-like, long conversation with Dr. Perrin about all kinds of things beyond just Latin. It was so fun and made it so personal for him!

          I truly hope my son gets to meet some of his MP teachers in person at some point.

          SusanP

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Screen time and DVD lessons

            Originally posted by SPearson View Post
            Hi Catherine,

            With the level of functioning you are describing your son to be at, it sure seems like it's not much to worry about (going from frequent Classical Comp lessons to adding in Alg 1 lessons.) I have researched this issue a lot, not only for kiddos on the spectrum, but for kids in general. My concern for kiddos on the spectrum spending too much time on screens is that it has the potential to perpetuate a "checked out" mindset. Many of these kids already struggle with being in their own worlds and lack the social skills we'd like them to have. I traveled to western MA years ago to be trained in the "Son-Rise" program. (It's essentially the opposite of ABA, which I know "may" ruffle a few feathers here.) It's 100% about developing relationship/social interaction. Those of us in this training heard a very clear argument against screen-time, and how it'll work against all the time spent trying to pull a socially-challenged child out of their own world....how screen time could counteract one's efforts to "sell" a child on the beauty and goodness to be found in socially interacting with another human being.

            But what you are describing to me of your son doesn't sound like this is what you are facing. Watching Brett teach CC or Cindy teach Algebra 1 is not the same as a highly-stimulating, fact-paced, sensory-overloading visual experience (that could turn into scripting and so forth.) Your son is required to be engaged, listen, process, follow along and understand while he is interacting with the CC and Algebra content.

            Neither of my sons have spent much time in front of screens. We have eased into it, as you are doing. My older son now has 5 MPOA classes this year! Last year he had two. So we had a bit of an adjustment this Fall. But he's adjusting. He's a bit unusual in that he doesn't crave or care about screen time, as compared to the rest of his peer group, most of whom spend a lot of time with video gaming, movies and so forth. So I consider his 9 hours of online instruction per week to be a trade-off for all the other screen time he's not getting.

            I'm sure the amazingly wise mommas here will chime in, as well. But I just wanted to encourage you in that you are taking a very gentle, easing in approach. And, as he gets older, you'll be faced with how to provide that academically rich instruction if you can't do it all yourself. Ya know?

            SusanP in VA
            Thank you, Susan! We also traveled to MA years ago for the SonRise training and ran a program for a few years when our son was young. It was one of the best things we did for him and for us early on. I still tear up when I read one of their emails or get a flyer from them in the mail.

            But you're right, he is a very different boy now in many ways with different needs. And hallelujah for that! :-) He really has come a long way from the days when I was carefully controlling his environment to keep him from slipping into his own little world.

            That's a good point about the interaction required from the student watching the DVDs. He does pause the video, read something in the text, ask me a question, etc. He is definitely not just staring st a screen.

            So great to hear about your son's success with MPOA! I suppose that will be our next frontier, since the DVDs do seem to run out at different levels, and we will probably need to look into the online classes eventually.

            Thanks again!
            Catherine

            2019-20
            DS16, 10th
            DS13, 7th
            DS11, 6th
            DD11, 6th
            DS7, 1st
            DD4, JrK
            DS 17 mos

            Homeschooling 4 with MP
            2 in classical school

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Screen time and DVD lessons

              Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
              Yes, agreeing with Susan! Of course in-person, stimulating teaching with immediate social exchange trumps a DVD any day. But with a classical education so difficult to find in many areas, an excellent teacher on DVD trumps a poor or harmful in-person teacher any day!

              By restricting access to "junk" screentime, you have set the stage for using technologically wisely and sparingly. Just try to schedule good physical activity, lunch outside, nature walks, or more active social discussions outside of his screen time.

              See how it goes. One of these DVD teachers may become an important role model for your son. Teach in peace!
              Very true! This is simply our best option, and it could end up inspiring him in ways I can't anticipate. I think it's mostly my gut reaction against handing him a remote and leaving him in front of the TV. Thank you for the encouragement!
              Catherine

              2019-20
              DS16, 10th
              DS13, 7th
              DS11, 6th
              DD11, 6th
              DS7, 1st
              DD4, JrK
              DS 17 mos

              Homeschooling 4 with MP
              2 in classical school

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Screen time and DVD lessons

                Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
                To Cheryl's last comment: is there any way you could bring this student with you to Sodalitas to let him meet face to face some of his DVD teachers? This might be wildly impossible, but I know some families use this trip as a family vacation. Just something outside the box to consider!
                That would be fun! My daughter just realized that Brett in the Composition videos is the same person who wrote her Insects guide. They are real people! Now I have to get myself to Sodalitas first...
                Catherine

                2019-20
                DS16, 10th
                DS13, 7th
                DS11, 6th
                DD11, 6th
                DS7, 1st
                DD4, JrK
                DS 17 mos

                Homeschooling 4 with MP
                2 in classical school

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Screen time and DVD lessons

                  Originally posted by CatherineS View Post
                  That would be fun! My daughter just realized that Brett in the Composition videos is the same person who wrote her Insects guide. They are real people! Now I have to get myself to Sodalitas first...
                  Yes, please come! I had the same thought as Jessica, but I also know that it is really nice to be at Sodalitas solo. Either way, I hope you can make it!

                  This photo is from my daughter's first time joining us. She was thrilled to meet and later chat with her beloved LC DVD teacher, Leigh Lowe.
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Screen time and DVD lessons

                    Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                    Yes, please come! I had the same thought as Jessica, but I also know that it is really nice to be at Sodalitas solo. Either way, I hope you can make it!

                    This photo is from my daughter's first time joining us. She was thrilled to meet and later chat with her beloved LC DVD teacher, Leigh Lowe.
                    What a great picture. <3
                    Catherine

                    2019-20
                    DS16, 10th
                    DS13, 7th
                    DS11, 6th
                    DD11, 6th
                    DS7, 1st
                    DD4, JrK
                    DS 17 mos

                    Homeschooling 4 with MP
                    2 in classical school

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Screen time and DVD lessons

                      Just thought I would chime in that my 8th grade ASD kiddo who does struggle with craving screen time does not struggle with using dvd's for school...they really help him access the material and really they are such a different format than bleeping blooping flashing games or youtube videos, they do not trigger the same sorts of reactions that fast paced instant gratification type formats do.

                      We have long Church fast periods and we always cut out all non school screen time and we have twice cut our school screens as well to see if there was any changes for our dc and other than extreme stress in teaching on my part ha there was not a difference in behavior for ds... well there was complaining because the material was more difficult with out the support!

                      The only thing I make sure is that we do not do any screen activities back to back...making sure to do movement activities or work that needs more distance vision...like looking up across a room at something to copy, or tossing a football while doing recitation ...just so he is not doing close back lit screen work for long periods helps a lot and then our eye doctor does not nag
                      Last edited by MaggieAnnie; 11-11-2017, 12:17 PM.
                      Winter 2019 :
                      DD - Graduated!
                      DS - core 9 with remediation/support
                      DD - core 6 with remediation/support
                      DS - moving from SC to grade 4

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Screen time and DVD lessons

                        MaggieAnne,

                        Great input here! My younger SN son is doing MP2 core this year, so we've been doing Prima Latina and watching Leigh Lowe on the DVDs. It's been wonderful for him. He's completely interacting with her and really seems to retain most of what she teaches. We tend to watch the same lesson a few times over the week, just to solidify the material and because he enjoys it so much! Glad you weighed in on this.

                        SusanP

                        Comment

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