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Confession #2

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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Confession #2

There are times I worry that I am the worst homeschooling mama in the whole wide world. Last night, I wondered this again.

I was at a moms' meeting for a local homeschool group. I like this group a lot; nice, normal people who just so happen to enjoy homeschooling as a way of life.

Someone said they felt guilty when they let their preschooler watch TV while they taught their older child. I made a quip that if you just turn the TV to Noggin, it's just like sending them to preschool!

After noticing some blank faces, I described the Noggin commercial from a while back where a mother says, "Honey! It's time for preschool!", and the little girl, wearing her backpack, walks out of the kitchen, into the living room and sits down about 5 inches from the television set which is set to Noggin.

The women giggled but one said, "what is Noggin?" and more heads nodded along with her. "What IS Noggin?" "We don't have cable". "We don't have a TV". I got the same feeling when I was at this meeting a few months ago and several mothers mentioned having never seen an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. (Not only have I seen this show, I know every character and can do a fair impression of Patrick Star).

I am a mother who lets her kids watch television. All kinds of television: Noggin, Nick Jr, PBS, Disney, Sprout, movies, 'educational' videos, America's Funniest Home Videos. For some reason, this makes me feel a bit ashamed, especially when I am among other homeschooling mothers. Aren't we supposed to be using every waking moment reading to our kids? Doing educational crafts? Teaching them how to make bread from scratch? How to knit? Quantum physics?

Then again, this mommy needs some time to herself, to think, to decompress. Some may have a glass of wine at a playdate, some may go outside for a quick smoke; I find happy, quiet bliss in a half-hour (or hour, if we're being honest here) of electronic entertainment.

Now excuse me while I go peel my children off from the front of the television screen and attempt to engage them in a little quantum physics.

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Blogger soleclaw said...

Different folks, different strokes is what I say. I've found myself thinking I shouldn't let my E watch as much TV as she does...but I have to tell you, it is the cutest, funniest thing to see my 18-month-old girly sing in perfect pitch along with the Spongebob theme song.

It is unrealistic for some people to not own a television. We only have one TV, and in our small apartment, if we're watching TV, so is the rugrat. We are putting forth a more conscious effort to not watch stuff that is for adults only with the munchkin around. Thank goodness for DVR!

11:11 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

My girls unfortunately watch too much TV. But what can you do in New England during the winter? It's just too cold to be outside all day!

And crafts tend to be somewhat crazy at times.

I don't think a little TV is harmful at all.

11:33 AM  
Blogger nuttnbunny said...

I heart the Upside Down Show!

Z watches a little TV. I think of it as immunizing him :-)

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe your group members aren't so "normal" after all. (At the very least, they're atypical.)

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Julie said...

FOM, you should not worry at all. In fact, I feel for the kids who don't get any TV, just ask E he learned everything he knows from Star Trek, (JK). Everyone needs to decompress and veg out, even our kids.

And yes, "Noggin is like preschool, on TV"

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

tv was invented for a reason. so moms can get showers and get their heads together.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Meena said...

Very, very guilty of letting the kids watch (arguably too much) TV.

But, I LOVE TV. I find strange comfort with it on in the background. It brings me joy. And sometimes it brings my kids joy (and as a consequence, brings me a few moments of free time!).

I take comfort in the fact that they often peel themselves away to engage in other activities.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Q said...

Um, things like "We don't even own a TV" make me nedrvous. I mean really, who ARE those people? I'm probably the only person on earth who doesn't watch American Idol, but I certainly could spot Simon in a crowd.

I swore I was going to have no TV until L-man is 2 years old. Yeah. We got to a year. Then I realized that I would never be able to make dinner without 1/2 of TiVo-ed Thomas. Now watching cartoons in the morning while we snuggle in bed is one of my favorite ways to wake up.

4:50 PM  
Blogger BlogWhore said...

bologna. this anti-tv business is bologna.

and i'll tell u why. because my grandmother, the queen of nine children and miss mother of the year 1972, told me recently that she WISHES she could have relied on tv more when raising her children. had she more television, she wouldn't have drank so much.

5:25 PM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

TV is your FRIEND, FOM. ANd don;t you forget it. And, I would not hesitate to add, especially if you are homeschooling. Dear Lord, you need a break for chrissakes.

And Noggin is awesome. Great shows, no commercials, etc. It's all good.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe you're the only one in the group willing to admit to watching tv.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Dysd. Housewife said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Dysd. Housewife said...

Thats SO sad that you are feeling that way when it's perfectly normal to let your kids watch TV. I would much rather know what shows are out there, and have an awareness about it. I mean seriously..Not knowing what Nogin is? Isn't that like saying..Um who is Big Bird? I don't believe I have heard of him..Gah. Besides, It's not like you are letting them watch CSI or anything..Oh wait..I let my kids watch CSI.. And by the way, My younger son watches Spongebob SP all the time. I love that show. The "swearing" episode makes me laugh SO HARD!

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Erika said...

o i am sooo glad other mom yet there kids brains rot in front of the tv...

9:08 PM  
Blogger Alpha DogMa said...

I think the anti-tv crowd are just odd. Yes, too much of certain kinds of TV can be harmful for both children and adults. However, raising kids without tv is kind of dangerous in terms of insulating them from society at large. Plus I'm a trekkie.
(Came here by way of a few random blogs and then found your comment over at Motherhood Uncensored).

12:36 AM  

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