Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Life with no TV

So we have been with out cable or satellite since around January of 2010 now.  And thanks to the gov't regulating everything under the sun now a days, we have been with even the basic channels since they imposed the Digital TV(you have to have a really good outside antenna to get the basic channels which is a couple hundred bucks).

We cut our TV as a sacrifice to save money for the adoption of our Princess.  It was really hard at first.  I felt like I was missing out on everything.  So many great shows.  HGTV and TLC were among my faves.  Oh and the Food Network.

Bubba was 9 when we broke the news to the kids that we wouldn't have TV anymore.  I remember him asking from the back seat of the van in a faltering voice, "Are we becoming Amish, mom??" lol

But we quickly realized life seemed much more productive without TV and who cared if Bonnie Sue got kicked out of her tribe anyway.  We realized how many COUNTLESS hours we spent glued to the TV.  How irritable we'd get with the kids for interrupting or being too loud while we tried to watch our *important* show.

Now I will admit, we were/are able to watch a couple of our shows via hulu like the Biggest Loser.

And now I can't fathom giving all that money to the cable companies.  There are so many other things that our hard earned dough could go for. You also won't find any droids or whatever else is the latest technology in this house either and for the same reasons.  Remember my last post?  Need vs Want

People always feel bad for us that we don't have TV but there has only been one time in the past 2 1/2 years that I have missed it and that was for this past Olympics.  I love the Olympics.  But we just imposed ourselves on others and stayed to midnight at their place watching the coverage for the 1st week of the games. Thank you mom, SIL and BIL!

I am so busy that I don't know how I ever found time to watch TV.  I spend more time with the kids now  and to be honest they don't seem so annoying bothersome because my focus is on them not the boob tube.

*Pondering where that term ever came from...*

So what do we do with out TV to watch?  Well, foremost I read to all of them at night(sometimes during the day too if they beg me enough or if it's a really good book).  We have gone through about 20 books since we started a year ago.  We have finished the Harry Potter series, Narnia books, The Adventures of Huck and Tom, and many more.

We enjoy reading by candle light and having hot cocoa, even in the summer.  It has been the best tradition.  It really started when the kids decided to see what it would be like to give up electricity for a week( inspired by our visit to Conner Prairie).

Here are some other things my kids do with out any TV to zone out to:

Bubba made a bug habitat

He cut a water bottle in half so he could pour water in more easily and used the lid to add insects

They made a table out of misc. stuff in the garage.  Those legs are pieces of cardboard.

We get invites often to special shows.  They had a bunch of performances planned out and there was even a raffle.  There raffle tumbler was awesome but I didn't get a pic of it unfortunately. 

Sissy cut these out of cardboard and painted them to hang up in her room.

Painted pots from Sissy and Snuggle Bug for me.

Tin Can Stiltz.  This was a planned project I helped them with.
They had a kind of course for their bikes.  This was their homemade stop sign.

The kids also have made a homey place in one of our trees complete with some creative features, they have made a business up in their room to help people(The Hubby and I) with whatever needs done.  The even have forms we have to fill out and sign and have little desk ares set up and everything.  They have had 2 different meeting places for a club they started.  Oh my fave was our family newsletter.  Sissy was the editor and would post a new edition of happenings and things to come on our mantel.  It was really funny. 
 It had interviews with people too. 

All of this is at their prompting, totally self motivated(beside the stiltz).  When you shut off the TV something happens I discovered:

They have to use their brains.  

Now at first there was a lot of "I'm bored!" kind of stuff but I squashed that real fast.  I told them there was too much to do in this house to be bored.  If they say it then I have lots of jobs to keep them busy. (I also use this tactic for fighting because if they have that much energy they can put it to good use)

  Amazing how they were never bored again (;

Now they can watch movies and we do have a wii.  But I am one of those awful parents who limits the use of electronics altogether( that includes their DS, or in Snuggle Bug's case an Explorer, and also playing on the computer).  Our rule is you can only use electronics after 4pm on the weekdays and only for an hour total.  And sometimes I just say no electronics at all for the day, except what we will use for school.  

At this point I never see myself wanting to go back to having cable/satellite( though the Hubby wouldn't mind it truth be known).  I keep up on what's happening in the world via the internet.  And even at that I can spend way too much time on here.  Though it is usually to do work for homeschool or our scout group. 

So I hope this inspires you to go unplugged for a week or two.  See what happens.  

Who knows, you might actually like it.  

The Mama


  1. So cool. A goal of mine for the new year is to stop watching TV. I'll still watch DVDs, the news, and "music stations" (our cable has these station where it's just music playing with the name of the artist and album title on the screen). I find I really only watch TV when I'm bored and I've noticed I get bored a lot. LOL! Time to harness that boredom into inspiration for doing something productive! :)