Simplifying the T.V.

The "Homestead Daily" Vlog

To see the vlog click here, or visit the Justin Rhodes Youtube channel.

To see the vlog click here, or visit the Justin Rhodes Youtube channel.

Here are some thoughts about how we are approaching t.v. these days. Maybe it'll give you some ideas for watching your family's own shows together. We can choose to use the T.V. to shape life, rather than it being something to default to. I am loving our new routine!

Since we returned from vacation, we've stopped letting the kids watch Netflix. Us adults watch a show once a week, maybe.

It's not that it's bad. There are a lot of really great, cute shows out there. I wanted to be spending more time with my kids enjoying summer though, and it always seemed like it was taking time away from that. They would ask and ask... I'd give in. I'd feel like I should make use of the time by working, then get stressed out that I was being distracted by the T.V.  

We made a lot of changes in our home life this summer, as I talked about in Summer: Pressing The Reset Button. In that post I promised to write about what we've been watching instead.

While on vacation my mom watched a family video blog with our daughter, about a family working and playing on a permaculture farm. Astra enjoyed it, and I was curious, so when we returned home I looked it up. We've since been watching it everyday. 

What I love about our new routine:

  1. We watch it together. It's not easy to get cuddles from my busy 2 year old, but we cuddle together while we watch it. There is something interesting in it for all of us.
  2. What we are watching is relevant. It is about real life, so my kid's have an easier time transitioning from t.v. to our real life. They are cooking, gardening, playing. Astra leaves it wanting to cook, garden, and play. 
  3. There is an adult doing most of the teaching. I realized after we stopped watching children's educational shows, that kids were delivering the information on most of the shows, often instructing adults, and it wasn't helping my daughter's attitude or ability to take instruction. 
  4. It's relaxing. The music and the beautiful early morning landscapes make it a really calming experience.
  5. The simplified choice. I don't have to constantly decide whether the show in question is a good choice. They only ask for one now. Yes, that might drive other people crazy, but I am someone who makes decisions very slowly and thoughtfully, and can enjoy some repetition. 
  6. The influence. My kids have become less picky eaters. Astra and Willem are helping prepare food, experimenting, trying new things, and eating more vegetables. So much of the show is about vegetables. As they watch other kids planting them, cooking them and eating them, they want to do all those things too!
  7. It's become part of our family culture. I love how having a family allows you to create your own culture, and this is now a part of ours. The funny nicknames they use for things have become part of our daily vocabulary and it's fun to use words for things that not everyone knows, like a secret we share. 

Also,

  • The episodes feel fresh. They're uploaded the day after they're filmed so we are watching their farm's progress as we experience the same seasons here.
  • They're another family that works from home. They're also juggling creative work, developing content, marketing what they're doing, family and rest time. I like seeing how that gets worked out in their daily life. It's encouraging for me, and a relief to see them dealing with some of the same things as us. It's cool to see them taking time off from it too, to pick berries or jump in the lake!
  • I keep seeing so many ways that hope appears through their stories, from finding a way to make a living as the dad battles Lyme disease, to planting and trying things just hoping they'll work. I love the risks they take. It feels similiar to what I do as an artist.

There are ads before the videos and we make sure to watch at least the first 10 seconds so that they can get paid for them. It's a little thing our family can do to support them.


So, there are some ideas about how we are approaching t.v. these days. I feel like we may want to watch another youtube channel eventually, with the same ideas about how it affects our family. If you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them!