TV as a Choice

Jenny Cyphers

On the Radical Unschooling Network forum, someone who was prohibiting TV in the home wrote:
So, after some 30 posts to this discussion of TV, no one besides me seems to have anything but glowing things to say about TV. Some of the ideas presented here have been persuasive to me. There is a combination of strong arguments in 'Rat-Park' and 'Marginal Utility Economics' as well as numerous reports of personal experience with good results from including TV in the lives of unshooling families. I'm going to ruminate with these ideas for a while.
Jenny Cyphers replied:
I know a few people who are unschooling without TV. Personally, I don't think it works well to limit life like that. Like it or not, TV is a huge part of our culture and in fact the world! There is no way to avoid TV entirely, unless you live very remotely, isolated from the world, which isn't really conducive to unschooling at all.

By eliminating something as pervasive as TV, you are in a sense isolating yourself from the world around you. TV becomes bigger than it should be, something to avoid, something to fear. Why do that? TV is TV, it's but one of many many resources we have in our world today. There is much to be learned from TV, whole careers have been built on it. Movies and shows put stories to life and feed the imagination.

You don't have to take anyone's word for it. You should try it for yourself. SEE the learning and enjoyment and wonder of watching a favorite show or movie. See the play that comes out of it, watch how it inspires your kids. If you've restricted it, they may want to watch a lot of TV for a while, so do it, be passionate about it. Enjoy what they are enjoying from it. Immerse yourself in it with a positive outlook, so that you can really see the beauty of what it has to offer.

Without free choice, is there really a choice at all? Unschooling works best with more choices, not less, and TV should count as a choice.


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