“Homeschooling” projects for modern parents

I have some new catalysts for my parenting and some new projects happening.

Here’s the first one, while I’m thinking about it.

We are putting off cell phones as long as I can possibly help it.

I love that we just got a new home "land line" (actually a VoIP line, which is $35 per year through MagicJack).

Skills they are going to learn:

  1. Taking turns using the phone.
  2. Learning how to call someone, answer the phone, etc. (manners)
  3. Phone skills that will serve them in business. How long before they’re ordering pizza?
  4. Talking more with extended family and friends.
  5. NOT TEXTING. Healthy, social activity for a teenager vs. texting
  6. Keeping their own paper booklet of phone numbers (personal data management)
  7. Making plans with friends: steps toward independence
  8. Learning how to politely end a phone call and disengage (remember when they were little and we were talking about "transitions" between activities?)
  9. Being able to call 911 and stay home alone, call Mom or Dad when we are gone.

This helps keep them tied to home and family, and is a slower step toward the future of using a cell phone. I have a lot of enthusiasm for this project and thus far it’s filled with optimism.

Background note: We implemented this quickly after we saw that our Seventh Grader was coming home with all the cell phone numbers of classmates and they were creating a group chat (he was using Google Voice on a computer to send texts to cell phone numbers–but we shut that down! "Um, no, you are not the only kid in class who doesn’t have texting technology.") I didn’t like it for many reasons including: disclusion of the classmates that don’t have texting technology; and, the future potential of texting abuse (Heard any stories lately of kids sending inappropriate photos?).

Blessings on your homes!


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