Monday, September 20, 2010

Antique French children's book and digital distractions for kids

I have been looking for digital resources that I am comfortable allowing my boys to use.  More and more I am souring to the various mind-numbing activities that are so pervasive for kids today.  I am thinking (sssh, don't tell my kids!) about nixing their DS's altogether.  They really enjoy them and we have been mostly successful at keeping their use monitored and to a minimum but I am getting kinda sick of how they occupy my kids' thoughts and attention even when they are not using them.

While researching this subject I came across something that I think is pretty awesome.  It is Children's Books Online, which I gather is simply a collection of antique, illustrated books online.  You can view some of it or purchase a digital version of it.

I am loving the illustrations of this particular book, Nursery Friends From France.  Super sweet and beautiful!

Please, share your thoughts about what you have found to be digitally good/not-good for kids.  I would love to hear what other parents are figuring out too.  Would you ever give your kid a Kindle?


6 comments:

Kathy D said...

We'll check it out! Looks like a great idea.

Myra Johnson said...

Hi Stace!

Ya, this whole digital world issue is something to be reckoned with. While on one hand, it's good for our kids to be literate with computers, etc, yet they certainly can become pervasive in our lives.

I, like others, will have my own particular bend on how I view things, and so, as I share my opinions, I hope nobody takes offense...

I have watched many children so hooked on their DS, that it's almost as though it were an appendage, that bleeds and bleeds if ever taken from them. Even when it is away from them, it is not away from their minds, or their hearts.

I have been trying, all the years I've been raising kids, to strike some kind of balance between well-grounded, seemingly old-fashioned ways of living, and being able to live excellently in our current way of society.

So, in my family, we don't have DS's, or Wii, or the like... However, we do have an old version of Game Cube. My kids do play computer games, and can be quite proficient at them. They can certainly hold their own when playing with friends.

However, during the school year, they are only allowed to play computer games/game cube games, for a couple of hours per week.(And that much TV as well.) And, it can be a privilege that is lost with poor behavior...

One year, I was needing some ideas on what to get Jared for his birthday, and the Kindle was newly out. I asked Jared, who has been a voracious reader since he was three, if he thought he'd use one of them. He looked into it, and was simply not impressed. He loves books, and reads so fast, he just couldn't get excited about the books all being stuffed into a little screen. So, no Kindle for us.

I guess I'm just rambling more than anything. What it all boils down to, is determining what kind of family culture you want for your family. Do you want real, face to face interactions with people who are really present? Or do you want to feel as though there were some cyber barrier between you and your children. I realize there can be a lot of levels in between those two, that can be healthy. But I do think it needs to be somewhat of a conscious decision on what kind of family culture you want to have. Because without sitting down as a couple and with the guidance of the third partner in the marriage (The Lord) determine what it is you want the culture to be like. Because there are so many fun thing-a-ma-jiggers we could get for our kids, but the question is, should we. If it will truly bless and strengthen their lives and help them in becoming the person who they were meant to be, then, yes. If not, maybe not so much.

Myra Johnson said...

As for online books go, I'm sure they can be a wonderful thing to enjoy, and can add some variety to things... I just remember a quote from Pres. Hinckley - "There is something wonderful about a book. We can pick it up. We can heft it. We can read it. We can set it down. We can think of what we have read. It does something for us. We can share minds, great actions and great undertakings in the pages of a book." Our family LOVES books. That is something we have chosen for our family culture.

In all of this, something that I have often used when deciding whether or not a certain something should or should not be allowed into our family, is from a terrific article entitled, "What is Seen, and What is Not Seen" by Frederick Bastiat. He is the author of the fabulous book, "The Law". When I would consider buying a new accoutrement to our family entertainment options, I would ask myself the question in the title of that article. In other words, I'd consider not only what will be obviously seen as a benefit/detriment to purchasing that item, but also, what is not so obvious..... such as the mind-numbing-ness that can occur, or the time not spent on something more valuable...

OK, I guess you can tell this is a hot topic with me. I'll stop now... : )

I wish you luck on figuring things out for your family. It can certainly be a juggle.

I send love to your sweet family. They are so precious. And, of course to my sweet niece, who is doing an awesome job of being a mommy.

Myra Johnson said...

Yikes! I just came back tonight and reread what I posted, and it definitely could have used some serious proofreading for grammatical errors! Sorry... : ) I guess I was in a hurry...

Have a good one!
Myra

Stacey H said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Myra! I love your passion! You are a great mom and I value your insight.

Easy French said...

I didn't know Children's Books Online. Great find !

Cathy

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