Why we encourage screen free week every week at Waldorf Schools
At Waldorf schools we encourage screen-free week every week. This helps the teacher deliver the curriculum. At the beginning of the week a new concept is introduced to the students.
Three-Day Rhythm: Waldorf is the ONLY educational method to use sleep or spacing as a learning aid. Typically it looks like this:
Monday – Perhaps practice something from last week, perhaps Form Drawing, TELL new story and let it rest
Tuesday – Hands on piece – re-visit story, pick out elements of story and work with poetry, crafts, painting, building, modeling, etc from story
Wednesday – Re-visit story, work on academic pieces such as grammar, writing summaries in Main Lesson Book, etc. Tell new story if doing five days of school a week. (If not, stop here and make Thursday a painting day or such with Fridays off).
Thursday – Re-visit story, hands-on pieces
Friday – Re-visit story, academic pieces
Optimal learning opportunities occur with this method but if a child is watching a lot of TV during the school week or being bombarded with other exciting media images the teacher and the curriculum cannot compete. The child will have to work harder at learning the concepts and the teacher will have to work harder at delivering the curriculum.
Recent research in understanding how the brain develops supports this method and is referred to as a ‘spacing effect’. The following is an excerpt from OurKids Newsletter
Changing the Way Kids Study
Our understanding of the brain is leading to remarkable insights into how memories are formed and how we access those memories. These insights are leading to new approaches to helping kids to study and learn.We’ll expect to see new insights into helping your kids with their study plans.For example, it turns out that repetition is important but that the brain responds to a “spacing effect.”The spacing effect is the finding that when you space learning episodes farther apart in time, you’ll remember more information later on than if you mass the learning into one study episode,
Screen-Free Ideas for Adults
But Screen-Free Week isn’t only helpful for students, everyone could use a little offline time. But addictions are common and tough to beat, so here are a few ideas to help the week fly by:
- Do a craft: You have a Pinterest board choc-full of cool DIY projects that look oh-so pretty—but you’ve been too busy pinning to try any of them out! Screen-Free Week is the perfect opportunity to dust off your scissors, glue, and craft box again and create something beautiful and practical. Same goes for all those recipes you’ve been piling up, too.
- Start a journal: You’ll be amazed how your thoughts will flow when you have more than 140 characters to express them with. We all know how fun it is to share your opinions with the world, but writing them down for yourself first can be just as satisfying. Who knows—your daily musings could end up developing into a poem, a short story, or even a novel. The only limit is the page in front of you!
- Make a video: YouTube has an amazing ability to melt hours from your day, watching and re-watching and triple-watching the moment’s funniest video. But do you know what can also make hours disappear without even noticing? Making your own video with your friends. Go exploring, choreograph a dance, or do a skit in front of a camera— just don’t watch it until Screen-Free Week is over.
- Have a party: Facebook is great in that it lets you connect with hundreds of people at once. You can chat, catch up, check out each other’s photos, and reconnect whether you’ve been apart years or minutes. But we forget how important is it to take that connection offline. Face to face interaction is the best way to make memories and friendships last. A Facebook chat will never stay with you like a good heart-to-heart.
- Play a board game: Before there was the Internet, there was the board game. It entertained friends and family for hours with classics like Monopoly, Sorry, Guess Who, Clue, and Trivial Pursuit—many of which are still readily accessible today. Why play an online version when the real thing brings people together in friendly competition?