Five Activities That Replace TV and Internet in an Amish Home.
They read! The average Amish home, out of the hundreds we are familiar with, has a large selection of books and ‘family friendly’ magazines. These are mostly Christian themed but we observed a good variety of classics and informational texts. The most noticeable of all was the family Bible next to father’s chair, well worn in most cases.
They work together tending to their animals and garden, for fun and utility, as a family unit. Many times we have been at their homes in the late afternoon and heard a family chorus rising from the barn as they sing hymns and milk the cows. It is also a time of fellowship and some hearty laughter! This is a time spent together each day on the Amish farm that is not dreaded nor interrupted by electronic device. It is a beautiful thing, largely abandoned by most modern families.
Together, the Amish eat the evening meal around a large table in the kitchen, facing each other (not a television set) in conversation about that day’s events. It is the long lost family table, a time of rejoicing and thanksgiving as well as a time to talk through each person’s challenges.
After the evening meal, while most American families are quickly retreating to the isolation of the screen on a TV or computer, the Amish have silent prayer around the table thanking God for the blessings of that day. After this prayer they clean up the kitchen, usually in song, while some have evening chores to finish outside such as bringing in wood and last minute securing of animals needs.
- Finally, by the bright light of a white gas lamp, they retire to the couches, chairs, and floor of the living room. The younger children play together on the floor with the attention of undistracted parents. The older children and teens read or work on crafts of all sorts. We have yet to meet an Amish adult who expresses a feeling of being shorted by the absence of TV and Internet in their home. They know that they have retained the highest forms of entertainment ever known to mankind, worship of Christ Jesus and uninterrupted time with family!