President Barack Obama, who is spending billions of dollars to overhaul the U.S. public education system, says there’s one sure thing parents can do to help their kids learn, regardless of financial means: Forbid them from watching television on school nights. In an interview for the March issue of Essence magazine, President Obama said, “There’s no doubt that Michelle and I have more resources and privileges compared with a lot of parents. We understand that. But I don’t care how poor you are — you can turn off the television set during the week.” Of his own daughters, Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8, Obama told Essence magazine: “The girls don’t watch TV during the week. Period.”
Here are statistics according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s most recent study of children ages 8 to 18 (Jan. 20, 2010):
• Young people spend an average of 6.5 hours per day with entertainment media, or over 44 hours per week
• Since young people often multi-task with media, they are actually exposed to about 8.5 hours of entertainment media every day, or about 60 hours per week.
• TV, videos, and music are the dominant entertainment media, averaging 4 hours every day.
• Internet use for fun averages about 1 hour per day.
• Playing of video games averages 1 hour per day.
• By comparison, reading books, magazines, or newspapers averages only 45 minutes per day. Doing chores averages 30 minutes per day, and doing homework averages 50 minutes per day.
• The average U.S. student spends 900 hours in the classroom and 1,500 hours watching television each year.
Another study published (May 2007) in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine by Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute research team led by Jeffrey Johnson, and Tara Stevens of Texas Tech University, shows that teenagers who spent a lot of time watching TV were more likely to have attention and learning problems “that persist, and interfere with their long-term educational achievement.”
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Obama: No weeknight television for Malia, Sasha
(AP) – 2 days ago
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, who is spending billions of dollars to overhaul the U.S. public education system, says there’s one sure thing parents can do to help their kids learn, regardless of financial means: Forbid them from watching television on school nights.
Of his own daughters, Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8, Obama told Essence magazine: “The girls don’t watch TV during the week. Period.”
The first thing they do after school is homework. If they haven’t finished by dinnertime, around 6:30 p.m., they pick up where they left off after the meal. And after that, they can read until they hit the sack. Malia’s bedtime is 9 p.m.; Sasha’s lights go out a half hour earlier, he said.
The president discussed his daughters in response to a question about what parents can do to help foster learning.
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