Schools Without Screens

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Schools Without Screens

Youth Attention Spans

Today’s parents face a unique set of challenges. On top of financial and time management pressures, many parents worry about the long-term effects of an increasingly digital world. A recent study in England shows that children’s attention spans have declined sharply over the past few years, with many teachers blaming digital media. It’s no wonder that Silicon Valley elites are wary about introducing their kids to the very technologies they create and promote. 

The good news is that parents can limit their children’s screen time in a variety of ways. While some may restrict device usage in the home, others may send their little ones to a technology-free school. So, what exactly is a technology-free education, and how could it benefit your child? 

What is screen-free schooling?

Screen-free schools place restrictions on the use of modern technologies in the classroom. While some may occasionally use internet-enabled devices, others ban the use of screens in the classroom. Potential benefits include:

  • Students enjoy a strong focus on learning and deep engagement with school subjects.
  • Students develop excellent social interaction skills thanks to the promotion of face-to-face communication.
  • You don’t have to worry about online safety concerns. 
  • Students may be more inclined to play outdoors and enhance their physical health.
  • Attendees of tech-free schools may develop a healthier relationship with technology compared to those who undergo regular schooling.

Screen-free Schools

The following school types implement low-tech approaches to learning that could help your child avoid the pitfalls of screen addiction:

1. Montessori schools

You’ve probably heard of Montessori schools at some point. Known for their hands-on approach to learning, Montessori classrooms encourage children to explore their natural interests and develop practical life skills from an early age. For example, they may learn to prepare food, wash their toys, read books about nature, or make necklaces using different materials. Montessori students are given the freedom to work collaboratively at their own pace, developing confidence and self-sufficiency in the process. If you’re keen to provide your child with a tech-free, enjoyable education, a Montessori school could be worthwhile solution to investigate.

2. Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia’s student-centered approaches involve developing activities based on a child’s individual passions and interests. Attendees of a Reggio Emilia school tend to follow a self-directed curriculum that prioritizes experiential learning involving touch, movement, and observation. What’s more, classrooms are free from tech and centered around community, ensuring children grow up in supportive and highly social environments.

3. Waldorf (a.k.a. Steiner) schools

Waldorf schools are highly focused on academic attainment and supporting children to develop a love of learning. Typically, students are taught to appreciate nature, learn the value of storytelling, and follow their interests. Unlike Montessori schools, Waldorf schools provide a stricter routine, ensuring children learn the benefits of boundaries and discipline. However, attendees are still encouraged to learn through play and experimentation in a safe and tech-free environment.

Consider the role of screens in education for your children

Screen-free schools may not be an option for you, but it is worthwhile to investigate the screen policies in place at your local schools and help advocate for moderation during childrens formative years.

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