Are your kids too “plugged in”?

JMJ  *As Sabrina worked diligently on her college application essay today, for Loyola Marymount University, it posed an interesting question: “Imagination requires going to the depths of reality. Do social media and instant communication pose obstacles to such reflection and serious thinking?  How can college students practice serious reflection in our always connected and instantaneous world?”

(For “plugged in” discussion, scroll past the school diary)

Ring the School Bell 83/180 days

The irresistible dark chocolate Sees balls I happily popped into my mouth, one after the other last night, seem to have caused a bit of insomnia.  Although I was a bit drowsy today, I am a little embarrassed to admit that it was totally worth it.  We don’t stock those kind of treats in the cupboard.  As they say, out of sight, out of mind.  So a treat is really a treat when the opportunity presents itself. As I laid in bed pondering life last night, a recurring theme came to me.  The theme on how to live a more balanced life.  A full life can be a very busy one, indeed!

Everything got pushed back this morning, as I got up a bit later than usual, but that’s okay.  It’s a perk of homeschooling, to have a more flexible schedule.  After a bit of algebra and music theory, Melissa and I escaped out of the house, and had a delightful time at Pick-up Stix, an Asian restaurant, where she was looking to spend her gift card.  Fun and yum!

This afternoon, I prepared homemade chicken broth for the first time in my life.  Why did I wait so long.  It was so easy.  There are basically two methods, one using raw chicken, and the other using leftover cooked meat and the carcass.  I chose the latter.


In a nutshell, this is all there is to it:  Put the carcass in a large pot, and cover it with water.  Add whatever seasoning you like, along with salt, and large chunks of vegetables such as carrots, red peppers, onions and celery.  Then, simmer for a couple of hours,  carefully straining out the bones when it has finished simmering.  Another great benefit of homemade broth, besides tasting so much more fabulous than the canned variety, is it adds a meal to your menu with leftovers you may have thrown away otherwise!

Is the world too “plugged in”?

As Sabrina worked diligently on her college application essay for Loyola Marymount University today, it posed an interesting question: “Imagination requires going to the depths of reality. Do social media and instant communication pose obstacles to such reflection and serious thinking?  How can college students practice serious reflection in our always connected and instantaneous world?”

This got me thinking about how many of us are so plugged in for many hours of the day,  sometimes excessively so.  Knowledge is at our fingertips, literally.  Instead of coming up with new ideas, or novel ways to solve things, it is so easy to rely on the computer to do our brainwork for us all the time.  Google, Pinterest, diy websites, may thwart our innate imagination and resourceful.  How will this affect our future generations?

What about our new vulnerable little ones coming up the ranks?  My husband and I sheltered our children pretty strictly while they were growing up, with regards to technology.  It was quite easy to do so, as the peer pressure was greatly reduced by being in a homeschool setting.

Our rules were email at 16, facebook and instagram at 18, and smart phones once in college.  We did cave in a little bit for the youngest, which may have been a mistake, as elaborated on below. Everyone will have a different opinion on this.  I just find it hard to stomach when a two year old is screaming for his tablet, and is not engaging with life around him.


The lovely imagination of children is being replaced, to some extent, by passive entertainment on their electronic devices.


It is impossible to get away completely from technology, and in many ways it has opened up new exciting opportunities, such as this blog, but as in everything, moderation is in order.

As the following illustrates, no one is immune to the consequences of technology overuse, even my own daughters, who are now 16, 18, and 21.

The overuse of texting, in their case, had a physical consequence.  Melissa who is now 16, and Sabrina, 21, were enjoying their technology “a little too much” and paid a hefty price for it.  The technology culprits: a new smart phone and an ipod.

The following is a heartfelt video, created by my daughter Sabrina, for one of her university classes.  Both her and Melissa, my younger daughter, had to stop all of their beloved hobbies for months, while recovering from physical problems resulting from over-texting and ipod over-use.

After 9 months of recovery, Melissa is finally getting back to her beloved past-times of sketching and piano.  She now prefers to call her friends rather than text them!  Sabrina has also learned to text less and communicates with her friends in other ways.  And they are not the only ones.  I remember a day last spring, when two of their friends were over, and everyone, all 4 of them, were icing their hands and arms.  It is something to take note of…

What do you think?

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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is part of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs.  Every day’s blog entry coincides with a day from that special year.  It can be read from the beginning by selecting the “Ring the School Bell 180” category on the side bar.  Commence with the narrative, “The School Bell- What comes to mind when ‘you’ hear that bell?”

Start here to get the story from the very beginning:

Follow along with us day-by-day through the school year.  Hope you will join us!

May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine.    Annette


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