The hardest thing about giving up TV is you don't have anything to occupy your kids while you make an important phone call (say to a lawyer, best friend who's having a problem, etc.) or you need to do desk work, etc.
I've come up with a great solution: books on tape. We borrow cd's from the library, put them on the iPad, and play them during the day to quell kids a bit.
What do you think? I have not seen the same TV-brain that I see post-TV watching, and I feel the kids use their imaginations as they sit and picture the stories.
Or, do you think it is another media cop-out?
Our background is absolutely no TV/cable in the house for a decade, and we began using DVD's with my girls when my eldest was two and I had a newborn and no family help. We are highly selective and range from 1-2 hours a day for a few days per week to NO hours per day for several months, mainly depending on what I and my husband's need for kid-free time in the house is.
We've loved the audiobooks so far, for our four and six year old. Here's a few: Island of the Blue Dolphins, Dominic the Dog, Rabbit Ears story collection (awesome!), Nelson Mandela's African Stories (great), Magic Treehouse (harmless, kids love them), Paddington the Bear (read by Stephan Fry ... great!!), etc.
ANOTHER QUESTION: Do books read by professional authors via a device offer the same benefits as reading to your child? We now tend not to use the audiobooks during the day to amuse the kids, but instead we use them at bedtime half the time we put them to bed rather than reading the books ourselves. We lie with them and listen as well ... so it's not that we don't have the cuddle time.
My husband feels that having professionals (like Meryl Streep, Stephan Fry, Rob Reiner, etc.) in different accents and some in quite fine cadences is actually beneficial to fostering a love of the language ...
I admit it SURE is nice to be able to just click on a story and lie down in the dark with the kids and listen, too, instead of reading.
And it sure is cheap: ALL of our audiobooks come free from the public library.
Any thoughts on all of this?