Homeschooling Wisdom for Screen Time

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Finish Well Homeschool Podcast, Podcast #Finish Well; Teen; Parent; Homeschool; education; family; Christian; Internet; Safety; Web; Site, Homeschooling Wisdeom for Screen Time, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

Homeschooling Wisdom for Screen Time

In “Homeschooling Wisdom for Screen Time,” Episode, #159, Meredith Curtis honestly shares how the power of the internet took her by surprise as a parent and as it became more emeshed in our daily lives, she needed wisdom! Meredith talks honestly about the damage she has seen from attention span issues to pornography addictions. She has sound insight that must be transmitted to our children so they can participate in making wise choices and become responsible in their screen time usage as adults.





Colossians 1:28 by Laura Nolette and Powerline Productions, Inc.


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Show Notes

When I homeschooled my oldest daughter, the internet wasn’t really a big part of our lives. As I homeschooled down the line, the internet became a bigger and bigger aspect of daily life. Soon it was on our phones and even homeschool assignments at co-op involved the internet.

The internet felt like a big monster that was ready to gobble my children up.

Nowhere to Hide from the Internet

Sneaking TV shows online

Things I didn’t want my children to see

Online games, Online gaming


Hanging Out with Television Characters

Psych, Marvel superheroes

We become like those we hang out with—that includes characters on shows and movies

Proverbs 13: 20 says, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”

Old TV Shows Worth Watching

Screen Time Impacts Your Attention Span

Limited older more than younger

I wanted the kids to read, draw, paint, create, play music, and play outside. I didn’t want them to waste hours in front of a phone, TV, computer, or tablet.

Never too late.

Created to Be Addictive

Moms on Instagram

Game creators

Old TV Shows Worth Watching

Pornography & Predators

If the internet was a mall with 10,000 stores in it. 9,900 of those stores would be pornographic or sexual in nature. The internet sells sex. It is a haven and stomping ground for sexual predators and sex traffickers.

Sad situations

Researching? Remember Google has a Political Agenda

If anything the last election taught us it’s that Google, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have a political agenda and use it aggressively.

If we want our children to hear both sides of a political or more issue, we need to show them where to look.

Conservative news sites

Creation science sites

Teach Our Children & Teens

  • They need to remember that TV characters they watch often will impact their own character.
  • Screen time will limit their attention span.
  • Social media sites, online games, and almost everything online is designed to be addictive, especially pornography.
  • Predators and sex traffickers prowl online regularly for children, teens, and young adults. They lie about their identity all the time.
  • And, finally, if they are going to research online they need to remember that the search engine Google (and many others) actually have a political agenda that is contrary to the teachings of Scripture.
  • We live in a world where we must use the internet. We can use it safely, but we need to not just protect our children but share these truths and envision them to take part in protecting themselves.

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Handling Screen Time for Teens, Interview with Dr Melanie Wilson

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Handling Screen Time for Teens, Interview with Dr Melanie Wilson.

Teens and Screen Time, Interview with Dr Melanie Wilson

Handling Screen Time for Teens, Interview with Dr Melanie Wilson

We are back with our dear friend and podcasting colleague, Melanie Wilson of Homeschool Sanity podcast. Melanie is a voice of wisdom and encouragement for the homeschool community for many years.

Melanie is a PhD psychologist who has homeschooled her six kids for over twenty years. Four of them have graduated from homeschool high school and gone on to college. Two are still homeschooling their high school years.

Along the way, Melanie became an expert at organizing (check out her interview with HSHSP about getting organized). She shares her organizational skills and tools with her Organized Homeschool Life Planner,Year of Living Productively, online classes for moms and podcast episodes. She often leads an organizational challenge on her podcast.

To top it all off, Melanie has designed an absolutely delightful grammar curriculum (can you imagine using the word “delightful” about grammar?). Her Grammar Galaxy curriculum teaches grammar skills for elementary and middle schoolers in narrative adventure format!

Today, Melanie is sharing with us about screen time for teens

Besides having teens of her own, Melanie has found that moms have been asking her how to handle screen time for their teens. Therefore, she has been working on getting some thoughts together as helpful guidelines for moms.

When Melanie was a young mom, she (like Vicki and many of us) was determined to protect her kids from every negative influence in the whole world. That way their lives would be safe and anxiety free. (Melanie and Vicki had some hearty laughs over those memories.)

In the early days of parenting, she did not allow her kids to have screen time. However, she and her husband caved to the pressure to allow their children to play video games. She found that there were positives and stressors about this first venture into screens.

Melanie noticed that technology is always changing and thus, there were always new things for her kids to want or need. She was constantly needing to weigh the costs and benefits of various screen times for her kids.

Here are some things about handling screen time that Melanie has learned:

When you have six teens, you have lots of opportunities to find out what works!

Enforcing a lot of rules about technology is energy draining.

Melanie has always said, “Relationship before rules.” Thus, too many rules can interfere with good relationships.

Try not to work harder than your teens to manage their time.

In other words, teach teens good time management skills. This does not mean we are totally hands off when monitoring time and screens. However, a teen who has shown some maturity can monitor their screen and time usage well.

  • The closer teens come to graduating from high school, the more you need to transfer the management of their time and habits to them.
  • This way they can learn by doing, and be better prepared for adulting.

The closer teens come to graduating from high school, the more you need to transfer the management of their time and habits to them.- Melanie Wilson

Let go of the idea that you can protect your teens from every evil influence.

  • In the complexities of the digital world, complete protection of your teens is not possible.
    • Instead, turn to God and trust Him with their safety.
    • Then discuss with your teens that it is their own responsibility to keep themselves safe. Also, discuss internet safety skills and safety skills, in general.
  • One of Melanie’s sons told her that the likelihood of your teens at some point accidentally seeing some pornography on their screens is one-hundred percent. It just happens.
    • You want your kids to be able to talk to you about it when it happens.
    • Therefore, you cannot protect them one-hundred percent, so you must educate them instead.

Melanie spoke about sexuality with each of her children when they were ready.

  • She told them that sex is a beautiful thing when it is within the context of marriage and is private.
  • Making sex public destroys its beauty. She explains that there are some people who want to take sex out of the context of marriage and privacy and make it public.
  • She explains to her kids that when they run into those images during screen time, the do not keep looking at those images.

She also explains to her kids that these pornographic images are as addictive as drugs.

Pornography addicts have more trouble with sexual relationships with their real-life marriage partner.

  • For that reason, Melanie coaches her teens to discontinue looking at any pornographic images when they inadvertently run across them.

Handling screen time for teens and the evil in this world

Melanie also has real discussions with her teens about the evil in this world. She explains that most people do not want to lure them away from safety and abduct them. However, there a few very dangerous people who spend time on line with the purpose of luring young people away from home for evil purposes.

While we homeschoolers have mostly had safe and secure lives, the downside can be a naivety about the fact that there are evildoers in the world. Therefore, our teens need to know that they should not give personal information to people they meet online- gender, age, location, etc. Melanie does have rules about giving personal information to anyone in the digital sphere. However, she knows the most important thing is not the rule but her teens’ buy-in.

Handling screen time for teens and health

Melanie has discussions with her teens about the simple addictiveness of being on screens. (Even we parents have to watch out about how addictive screens are to us.) They need to know that the media and games to which they are exposed is designed to keep them on their screens.

  • In other words, the game designers and media producers take advantage of their understanding our human psychology to keep people gaming or watching. Therefore, feeling stuck on their screens does not show bad character on your teens’ part. Teens need to know that- that this is just a modern-day challenge for all Americans.

Also important to their health is screen time at night time. Teens sometimes need to be reminded of the importance of sleep for health and learning. Help them with their time management and goal setting. (Their health curriculum will address this also.)

Remember to keep discussions relational and non-judgmental!

Check out Melanie’s blogpost about teens and screen time for discussion and resources.

Another good resource is Leah Nieman. Check out these Homeschool Highschool Podcast interviews with Leah about technology, apps and digital audits. Not only that but check out the Homeschooling with Technology podcast with our friend, Meryl van der Merwe, for a gazillion technology ideas.

Join Vicki and Melanie for a helpful discussion on handling teens and screen time.


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