The girls' school is very much focused on behavioral rewards type programs. The school itself has a program in place that everyone follows and teachers have variations of their own programs that they use in addition to the school-wide program. The concept is simple - good behavior earns rewards. The rewards are given to a class by the teacher and usually the class decides by majority vote on the reward. Some of the rewards the girls' classes have enjoyed this year include an extra ten minutes of recess, eating lunch outside as a picnic instead of in the cafeteria, stuffed animal day and electronics day.
Apparently, one of Allie's classmates suggested electronics day, the teacher cleared it with the principal and so that was their reward. Allie came home from school and told us that we needed to buy her an "electronics" to bring to school. Um, no. I told her that I found it hard to believe that she was the only kid in the class without an electronic item to bring to school. By that point, her teacher had sent home an email explaining that the kids would be allowed to use whatever they brought in for about 10 minutes that afternoon and that she would have four computers set up for kids to use if they didn't bring in an electronic item. Allie survived. She ended up sharing some handheld game thing with a friend of hers.
So while I don't think that "kids + electronics" is a bad thing, I don't think that my kids need electronic items of their own right now. They use our iPhones here and there, mainly to scroll through pictures and occasionally, they play games on our computers. I fear that introducing additional electronics into our home will create more of a headache.
With Christmas approaching, I asked the girls for their wish lists. Here was the start of one
and here's the conversation I had with her the other day.
Me: "Emily, do you want a kindle or a kindle fire?"
Emily: "Just a regular kindle."
Me: "What do you want to do with it?"
Emily: "I just want to read books."
Meanwhile, Anna has asked for an iPod touch. When I asked her what she wants it for, her response was "to play games." Honestly, an iPod touch right now is out of the question. A kindle is not but I'm not going to give only one kid a kindle. The joy of being a triplet. I think this will be an electronics-free holiday and I'll revisit for their birthday.
This weekend, as a test of sorts, I borrowed some kid books from the library on my kindle. The girls are actually pretty responsible so I wasn't concerned from that point of view. I really wanted to see if they would be able to use the kindle on their own or if I would be inundated with questions. Well, they were able to use it without much guidance.
As a child of the '80s, I grew up without Atari or cable television and I survived just fine.