Television Revisited

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One of my reasons for setting up this blog in advance of the launch of the RiverTree School website (coming soon - stay tuned) was to get feedback from people interested in a Charlotte Mason education. Perhaps not surprisingly, the post which generated the most feedback was on television and a school policy I was considering which would ask parents to effectively remove television, video and video games from their home.

My thought was that this policy would function sort of like a community covenant in which prior to enrolling, each family would agree to to the conditions. Thanks to some comments from individuals whom I respect, I have come to see that the "no t.v. rule" is something that I do not wish to burden RiverTree with.

My primary concern is that RiverTree have a good chance to succeed: sometimes a challenge with a private school. While I haven't changed my mind about the detrimental effects of television and video games, I have come to realize that pushing my ideal, was not good for the school.

Instead, I will take the tack I should have from the start: persuasion. The fact of the matter is that, from an educator's perspective, the elimination of t.v. and video games are a bit of a silver bullet. A school whose students spent less time in front of a screen would have a much easier time learning. For a Charlotte Mason education, which is so very literary, this is even more true. My desire for the students of RiverTree is that they develop an appetitie for great intellectual food, but for this to happen, they need to give up the junk food.

So, here is what I am proposing. Instead of having a mandatory t.v. pledge, I think instead we will just ask parents very directly to keep t.v., video and video game time to a bare minimum during the school year, providing ample assistance in both the rationale for such a decision, and ways to go about creating a low TV or no TV home. If we do this, I think that we will still have a very good chance to create a unique school culture without resorting to burndensome policies.

As always, I am very eager to hear your comments. So, please, post one.