Seattle-area parents want rules about screen time, but experts say off-screen interactions matter more

Karla Petersen had a gut-level feeling that staring at screens all day was harming her kids.

The single mom had to help seven kids manage up to 32 separate daily log-ons to schooling platforms. Space in their Northgate home was limited. The district-provided Wi-Fi hotspot booted them offline and out of class up to six times an hour. And remote learning was stoking anxiety in the kids, who were already coping with trauma.

So Petersen redesigned school. She let her live-in kids, who range in age from 6 to 17, log in at their own discretion and supplemented with her own loose curriculum of on-the-fly adventures: scavenger hunts in the park (physical education), gardening (biology), and, most recently, a unit on caring for animals, courtesy of two local guinea pigs who needed a new home.

As Washington families continue to adapt to the mess of a pandemic, they’re struggling to

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Dadline: Screen children’s school time spent online | Entertainment

The first couple of weeks of virtual public education have gone pretty well. My daughter has successfully signed into classes, completed classwork, taken quizzes and has stayed on top of her studies.

She made a cozy office space in her room, where she sets up her school-issued laptop and accompanying notebooks and pens.

She does her homework and checks her grades and assignments online. She’s completely plugged into her studies — and that’s the problem. She is on the computer all the time.

One of the biggest consequences of pandemic-enforced online learning, to me, anyway, has been the high number of hours children spend staring at screens. Sitting in front of a computer all day perhaps isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a family, heaven knows that’s what I do all day to make a living, but finding the right ways to balance study, games, social media chatter

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