The home environment is a powerful influencer in a homeschooling lifestyle. The home reinforces your values, supports your habits, and sets the tone for everyone’s state of mind. The question of technology often comes up in the homeschooling community as parents are wondering how to integrate technology into the home environment in a healthy way and how to support the development of a healthy relationship for their kids with screens.
One of the characters in this technology story is the television. Many natural-minded families opt for no TV while many others center it in the main living space. While I felt no judgment toward either approach, neither felt right for our family.
Our beloved fixer upper on the beach that you hear about now and then here has a great room of glass that keeps us connected to the soul-nourishing nature that was the priority for us in our house hunt. But we also find value in technology (nature and technology are not mutually exclusive!) and were quite vexed about how to incorporate a television into the space without blocking the nature that we loved with a giant visual black hole. We wanted a TV for movie nights and video game playing and yoga on YouTube but where and how—we were stumped for years.
Then it hit me: a projector. A projector would allow the television to functionally disappear when not in use and be movie theater caliber when in use. Brilliant (the technology, not me)!
I tasked my husband with figuring out the technology and choosing the right projector for our space (much to his joy), which is saturated with a flood of natural light. Given that fact, our projector requirements were pricier than average but the solution was worth the investment. We needed a super bright, 4K projector with bluetooth speaker connectivity (so the sound could come out of the sound bar at the front of the room on our fireplace). This was the winner (not an affiliate link; you probably don’t need one this heavy duty).
The next challenge was the mount itself. The very tall, vaulted ceiling made the average mount unworkable but I found a mount company (also not an affiliate link; you probably don’t need a mount this heavy duty) where I could order the parts individually based on our needs: we needed a large mount (for the big, heavy projector), with a long column (for the high ceiling), and an angled adapter (for the angled ceiling), all in white. Mission accomplished. If you have a normal ceiling or a wall behind your sofa, this step would be easy peasy—you could simply get an inexpensive standard ceiling mount or set it right on a shelf.
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Then we had the issue of the cords. We needed 2 20-foot white 4K HDMI cords and a cord cover to conceal them as they run across the ceiling. Eventually I plan to run the wiring up behind the ceiling, but because of the way our ceiling is built, that is not possible to do until we replace the roof. Luckily, my husband found this perfect wood grain cord cover and I can’t even see it. We connected the projector through these cords to our 4K Apple TV and Playstation boxes, which all live under the sofa.
Lastly, we got a 100 foot projector screen and mounted it to the white trim between the upper and lower windows. I can’t even see it when the screen is retracted (which is most of the time), but when pulled down, it feels like we’re at the movies! We also have window shades installed on the window to the left of the screen that we pull down to reduce the ambient light between the projector and the screen.
And there you have it friends: greenhouse and theater all in one. The key was the versatility that the projector provided. Maybe a projector is the right fit for your home, maybe it’s not. As with all of the choices for what you invite into your sacred home environment, just make it with intention. And when it comes to how you invite technology into your home, you may just need a little more creativity; it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.