Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Funny Thing Happens When You Shut Off the TV

Lately I've been pretty fed up with the trash that passes as entertainment on TV.  Most of the shows geared to children in the tween age bracket are already off limits to my girls because I don't like the attitudes that are portrayed in them.  Even a lot of cartoon shows have found their way on to our banned list for a variety of reasons.

I've noticed over the past few weeks that the new Spongebob episodes are gross and seemingly heading in a direction that I just don't like.  The newer shows seem oddly reminiscent of Ren and Stimpy.  Several times over the past month I have found myself telling the girls to shut off Spongebob and do something productive.

At first the girls balked about the injustice of me telling them to shut off the TV.  I pointed out to them that  they would certainly survive if they were not basking in the blue glow of the TV on a daily basis.  Usually one of them [Madeline] would quip that she "needed" to be able to watch TV.  I like to pull the mom card in these situations and throw out the ever useful line that "a want is not a need."  Ellie schlepped around the house for a day or two complaining that there was "nothing to do."  Yeah, my poor deprived kids who have lots of toys, books and arts and crafts have absolutely nothing they can do.

I'm not sure what clicked with Ellie, but after a few days of hardly any TV she became hooked on reading.  The past couple of weeks she has been immersed in books.  She's loving the Berenstain Bears books.  She doesn't care if it's one of my vintagebooksfrom when I was learning to read or one of the newer Christmas books.  She's just drinking them in.  I thought it was funny when I found her curled up with the Too Much TVbook.  She pointed out that it was just like her and Madeline.  Then, she pulled out Too Much Junk Foodand told me Madeline should read it.  This girl really makes me laugh sometimes.

Madeline rediscovered her Kindleand found that she really likes some of the many free books I downloaded for her.  The American Fairy Talesis one of her new favorites.  Even better than picking up the Kindle, she has also started to read some of the very many American Girl volumes that she has on her bookshelf.  Last night she devoured Kirsten's Short Story Collectionand tonight she started to read her Mollybook.  I told her I thought it was nice she was finally delving into some of these books since she's had them for over two years.  She zipped through the main books for Felicity,Samantha,Kirstenand Kityears ago but most of the extras, like the mystery and short story collections didn't get touched.

I'm so happy to see my girls drinking in good books instead of watching junk TV.  Ellie has even learned to read silently as a result of this TV ban.  After about of week of Ellie reading everything aloud, Madeline started to get on her case about it and sure enough Ellie who claimed she didn't know how to read silently to herself figured it out.  When she reads aloud to me know I've noticed that her reading seems to have progressed a lot.  I was just telling Bryan that I think it's possible that Ellie may be reading the American Girl books by this Summer.  I'm so excited about this.  I can't wait until she's exploring the worlds of her favorite dolls.


  1. More reading yeah! They came to it on their own, which means they will stick to it.

  2. I loved the Kirsten books when I was in elementary school! I was so sad when they discontinued her!

    1. I just think it's such a shame that they discontinued any of the historical dolls. Felicity is my favorite and I was so upset when they announced that they were "archiving" her. These dolls and their stories are a great way to make history interesting to young girls.
      My older girls each have Felicity and Elizabeth, and I ordered as many of the outfits as I could for each of them before they sold out. I also brought a Felicity doll for myself, but it's possible it may become Katie's doll some day. I was fortunate enough to stumble on American Girl patterns for Felicity's clothes and have made a couple of dresses for their dolls. They're just time consuming to make with all of the tiny little details.


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