Photographer Niki Boon lives in New Zealand with her four children, aged 12, 11, 8 and 6. All are homeschooled and none has electronic devices. Part of Boon’s fascinating photography work involves capturing her children’s screen-free existence as they explore the wilds of their natural surroundings.
Forcefield: How many electronic devices do you have at home?
Niki Boon: We have one computer. This is mainly used by me for my photography. But it is also used for research if we need to, although it is not our first resort. We look to books, atlases, encyclopedias — and the world around us for answers first.
FF: Do your kids go on the computer at home? If so, how often?
NB: The children themselves don’t use the computer, as yet they haven’t asked. They usually turn to books to find answers to questions, or they will ask me to research something. They haven’t ever asked to play games etc. on a device, even though they know they exist as they all have friends with them. Occasionally my eldest has been allowed to use the computer to access some classical music for his orchestra and practices with his violin.
FF: Is having more devices a topic that comes up in your home?
NB: No, not yet. Maybe this might change as the children get older and their needs change, but as yet they have not asked.
FF: What do you do when you want a break from all four kids?
NB: The children are reasonably good at self regulating. They certainly have their wild, crazy, energy-filled moments, and arguments and fights as all children do. Those are the moments when they need parental input and guidance. But if we need some down time, then usually books are what they all turn to. They all love to read.
See more of Boon’s work here.