IB World Magazine took to Twitter to find out how IB parents are finding the right balance for their children when it comes to online learning, completing extra-curricular activities and socializing online.
During a time when children have to learn online, complete extra-curricular activities online and socialise online, how can parents appropriately manage and balance screen time activities?
‘Screen time’ refers to the amount of time a user spends on a device to access on-screen activities. Some activities such as online socializing and gaming can be very immersive, so consistent limits are very important. For ages two to five: one hour, broken into sessions of a maximum of 30 minutes per day is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. From age six and above, there are no specific screen time limits, but it should not affect physical activity and face-to-face interactions.
Unlimited screen time when used for games or interactive content can be harmful. Various research has stated that too much time spent on-screen can lead to obesity, sleep problems and behavioural problems, and it can also affect educational attainment.
So, if you needed a few ideas to encourage your children to step away from their computers, phones and consoles, and embrace the, “real world”, IB parents share their tips below…
Katelyn Uhler, Diploma Programme (DP) coordinator at Cape Coral High School in Florida (@IBMrsUhler)
This has been one of our biggest challenges. My husband and I are both currently working full time from home. Any time my son uses a screen he sets a timer on the Amazon Alexa for 30 minutes. When the time is over he moves to something not screen related for at least 30-60min.— Mrs. Uhler (@IBMrsUhler) May 11, 2020
Yuni Santosa, Primary Years Programme (PYP) coordinator and grade four class teacher at International School Ruhr, Germany (@YuniSantosa)
A few of the parents at school shared that they went through the planner and make simple chart at home so that their children remember to take a break. They do mention that time management is the skill that have been use and developed during home learning.— Yuni Santosa (@YuniSantosa) May 12, 2020
Nadine Bailey, middle school teacher, librarian and technology integrator at Western Academy of Beijing, China (@intlNadine)
“Once children pass a certain age, all you can do is try to be a good role model yourself by ensuring there is screen downtime, for example when having meals, going for walks etc, and to make sure you have a continued open dialogue about both yours and their screen time. We regularly share our statistics on our phone and comment on it”.
Mark Ryan, Head of Specialists PYP and visual arts teacher (@RunEducator)
“Lead by example. We need to remember that we all role models (especially educators). Parents need to develop and follow rules related to devices alongside their children. You need to model how people interact and share experiences, i.e eye contact. My top tips are to make a habit of putting your device away during meetings and during conversations with teachers and parents. Also, please discuss the rules of devices with young people and follow the rules together”.
Marina Hastuti (@ademarina)
Creating a daily schedule together for all of us. Making sure that we have at least 30 minutes break after using the gadgets for an hour or two, for both the children and the parents.— marina tri hastuti (@ademarina) May 11, 2020
Leticia Carino, health education teacher at International School of Phnom Penh in Cambodia (@leticarino)
Having a daily schedule,supporting them w/ online school, playing a lot with them & creating together opportunities to stay away from the screen. They loved the family bike on our garden, making 🍌 ice cream...Our newest "family activity" is to be together in a small pool (3by2m)— @leticarino (@leticarino) May 11, 2020
Yuni Santosa, PYP coordinator and grade four class teacher at International School Ruhr, Germany (@YuniSantosa)
Those who have garden, they encourage them to go out when the weather is nice.— Yuni Santosa (@YuniSantosa) May 12, 2020
My son is 5 years old, we make a rule about screen time, besides learning on line, he can watch the cartoon for 20min per day. We read the AAP's suggestion about screen time, and talk about the dangers of overuse of screen. We also reading, play LEGO, so he is OK for screen time— Jaye (@YiJiechan) May 12, 2020
Jennifer Victor (@JenVictor128)
Trying to add in more hands on and learning through play! Kids are learning to cook something they picked, lego challenges, nature hunts, daily exercise, extra art, new music lessons, letter writing- pen and paper, more hiking and biking.— Jennifer Victor (@JenVictor128) May 11, 2020
Amy Kan lives in Singapore but is a DP student at a school in the UK (@amyckan)
My parents don't have twitter but they said, "We try to make them go out as much as possible. With all schoolwork being online, any time not spent on school is ideally spent outside. One likes to play their guitar outside, one likes to draw, the other likes to run!"— amy⁷ (@amyckan) May 11, 2020
Ida Tagoe, teacher at Cornerstone International Academy in Ghana (@TracyTagoe1)
We set routines for our child. In the morning, she uses the gadget for some hours. In the afternoon, we shift our attention to building houses or any fun objects using blocks. We then try colouring and tracing of letters or numbers some breaks. Evening time are for walks.— Tracy Tagoe (@TracyTagoe1) May 12, 2020
Hiba Bizri, PYP visual arts instructor at Houssam Eddine Hariri High School in Lebanon (@BizriHiba)
We hanged a schedule in the kitchen that we created together, there's time for studying, screen-free breaks, family games, friends video calls and afternoon activities (dance or art ) & screen time. But we are flexible since there are ups and downs in a pandemic..— Hiba Bizri (@BizriHiba) May 12, 2020
What tips do you use to manage your child’s screen time? Let us know in the comments👇🏼
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