What are your thoughts on technology and screen time?

Montessori wrote a LOT about how children process fantasy versus reality. She fundamentally believed that imagination really begins to happen in the second plane of development (over the age of 6). This refers to your little one’s ability to abstract, to imagine things that don't yet exist, and to research how we got to be where we are today and what might come. In the first plane (birth-6) this means that children are learning with their senses about what is REAL. After all, how can they imagine what could be without first knowing what IS? 

Although screens did not exist when Dr. Montessori was doing her work, we can conclude that that technology and screens are not made for a brain in the first plane of development and that the use of them should be limited. In fact the American Association of Pediatrics recommends against screen time entirely for children ages two and under. After this age, the recommendation is limited to less than one hour per day of high quality, co-watching - meaning it’s not a babysitter, but a time to be together learning about a concept for example. 

Some of the same principles that we use to select books with a Montessori approach apply to screen time. Real animals and people, such as Facetime with extended family or a video that shows a bird creating a nest support a child’s exposure to reality, while a game that invites a child to swipe at shapes or put clothing on animals is not grounded in reality.

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