Preparing for Screen Free Week: 20 Ideas to Help You Stay Unplugged

This post is by editor Kara Fleck.

Next week is Screen-Free week.  The purpose of the week is to encourage families to turn off the tv, unplug, and spend the week “free” of the screens in their lives.

Turn off your TV April 18 – 24th

From the Screen-Free Week website:

“Screen-Free Week is a national celebration where children, families, schools, and communities spend seven days turning off entertainment screen media and turning on life.  It”s a time to unplug and play, read, daydream, create, explore, and spend more time with family and friends.”

My family isn”t a TV-free household, and I don”t want to give that impression, but we do limit the television we watch, especially for the kids.

Aside from football season and IndyCar, and my love of watching Bones and Project Runway on Hulu, the TV isn”t a main source of entertainment for the adults in our house and so it isn”t for the kids.

But, as I admitted on Rockin” Granola this week, computer screen time and cell phone screen time are both things I could probably stand to give myself a more restrictive diet of.  Ahem.  (I was going to call this a side effect of being a blogger, but I have to admit that would just be making an excuse.)

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Work and Home: A Balancing Act for Parents Today

The following post is by contributor Christen Babb of Nurture Baby.

For many parents today, financial pressures continue to mount while the economy continues its  lethargic recovery.  Whether you’ve gone back to work full or part-time, away or at home, a paradigm change is created.

We’re challenged to balance our families’ changing  schedules and demanding jobs while maintaining our sanity.  Most of us already know the importance of staying organized, getting help from people you trust,  and learning when  to “unplug.”

But what other practical measures can we implement to relax and enjoy our families while at home?

This is current  struggle of mine, as I have gone back to work full time and with two young children at home.  In fact, it seems ironic that I speak from any position of authority, while frantically schlepping a breast-pump on a cross-country business trip and struggling to schedule meetings around  doctor’s  appointments, ballet classes, and preschool functions.

However, I do hope to leave you with some practical coping techniques to help create rhythm in your busy work-life schedule. I also hope to hear from you and encourage you to leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Checking In With My 2011 Family Goals: At-Home Fire Drills

The following is by editor Kara Fleck.

As 2011 dawned on us last January, I set some goals for my family in the new year: to become local tourists and really get to know the area in which we live, to break out of our food rut, and to practice regular monthly home fire drills.

Today I am checking in with one of those goals, the monthly home fire drill.

The Goal: a Monthly Drill

As I said in January, we began doing monthly home fire drills last fall, but it is important to keep up this practice every month.  It isn’t pleasant to think about a fire, of course, and I don’t want to perpetuate a fear, but I also want my family to be prepared, just in case.

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