PDA

View Full Version : Any one using video games as part of their curriculum?



May
01-01-2012, 07:56 PM
My 4 year old has been very interested in playing "The Legend of Zelda". I've been refusing him because this game requires A LOT of reading and I just don't have time to sit with him and read it all out loud. I told him in order to be able to play any LOZ game he needs to learn to read. This has caused a frenzy in my house. All he wants to do now is read read read. Which prompted my "a-ha" moment. I could incorporate video games as part of his curriculum. I've noticed as long as my son is in front of a screen he is learning. He gets it from his dad who is the ultimate computer geek, but I do have plenty of reservations because I don't want my son growing up in the "cyberworld". On the other hand isn't part of homeschooling modifying a curriculum based around the child's needs and learning style? Whatever works for each kid, right? Anyone out there use video/computer games as part of their child curriculum? How do you avoid addiction? Any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

lakshmi
01-01-2012, 11:17 PM
You're in unschoooling territory now...lol...

Addiction is involvement with an activity despite the negative consequences associated with it ESP seeking relief from something and then turning into needing this to feel normal.

It is sort of hard for me to imagine a kid actually being addicted to video games. That being said, I have had some serious Strawberry Shortcake soul searching. My daughter was watching a lot of videos. Driving me crazy. And I was concerned about the marketing. blah blah blah. That was what three months ago if that, she is now watching Magic School Bus. She worked her way through it.

So, who cares, read and play video games and learn the game and play along. It will be part of the day and it will come and it will go. The same way I am here at SHS a lot when I want to avoid the laundry or the mess on the desk. Or the writing I could be doing. BUT then when things are smooth, maybe I am not around so much. Children are the same way.

Decide what is important to you. As in, making sure that they eat. You can carry snacks to the play area or you can enforce snack at the table time. What is important in your day and then share that with your child. Not that a 4yo will care. But at least you shared it! LOL....

Go for it. Video games are just another tool that you can use to enhance the life of your obviously very serious reading student. May I suggest SpellingCity.com (http://spellingcity.com) for some practice with the Dolch word list. The list for the most used words. Easy peasy read those words and you're off!!!

dbmamaz
01-01-2012, 11:40 PM
I do believe my kids need some help controlling how much screen time they get, but i err on the side of a LOT of screen time, because dh and I both work and play on computers.

I definitely saw that computer games helped my kids get interested in learning to type and spell. My younger was always asking how to spell words so he could label his creations on spore creature creator, and both boys learned a lot of sight words on computer games. My younger used Time4Learning as his core curriculum for a while, because he was willing to - it was game-like. He also uses math ninja on my ipad and timezattacks for multiplication facts.

we also have 'no electronic entertianment' during school hours, plus they have to complete their work before they get back on the electronics. So for us, its integrated in many ways

farrarwilliams
01-02-2012, 12:01 AM
My kids play some games that I've seen have positive impacts on them - Scribblenauts helps with spelling, Professor Layton games are all brain teasers, Wii Fit is good exercise, and we've had educational games like Stack the States, Rocket Math, and lots of internet based learning games like the Shepherd Software ones.

Mostly I see it as a positive thing, but just one of many positive part of life things - I don't see it as more integral than lots of other things that we do as an incidental part of our lives - watching TV, listening to music, cooking, playing outside, traveling, etc. - all the stuff we do for pleasure has educational aspects if we let them be there and *that* is central for me as an educator, but not video games in particular, if that makes any sense.

I do limit their time on screens to some extent... or, at least, I do when they're not on break like right now.

dbmamaz
01-02-2012, 12:54 AM
I do limit their time on screens to some extent... or, at least, I do when they're not on break like right now.
LOL more like I'M taking a break!! using the plug-in-babysitter!

Stella M
01-02-2012, 12:57 AM
Yes. Not formally though. I see that games help my ds practice 'figuring stuff out'. There's a lot of learning to be patient and persistent that goes along with games. He also researches and blogs about games, so I figure they are good skills. Right now he is planning on making a Mario games Noggins card game, so it can act as a prompt to more creative activities. I've noticed that there is more reading involved in gaming than I'd expected.

I make an effort to offer/provide outdoor activities as well; I've talked to ds about it from a health and safety pov which he accepts. He is amenable to hearing that his eyes/hands/shoulders need a break from the screen and taking breaks.

Only one of his schooly subjects is done on-screen and we spend a lot of time on read-alouds, which i think helps balance out the visual stimulation of games.

findemerson
01-02-2012, 08:39 AM
Well, I have strong opinions about children and gaming in general---BUT, to address your question, I think video games in the curriculum is very much okay.
Most of our educational philosophies are outdated for our children and will continue to become outdated more quickly due to our "digital age" and it's rapid advancements that used to come every few years...now come every few months..how fast can they go?
There is an elementary school in New York that teaches 80 of their curriculum through the use of video games. Many (other schools) are watching and some are already implementing this. Colleges are already offering 'video game' instruction and learning-so much so, that psychologists have already done a study comparing 'traditional' college professors with the 'modern' classes utilizing screens and buzzers. [I must admit I enjoyed the comments on that article A LOT]
Of course, I'm not one anticipating this "growth" and since you have a sense of caution in your post, I'm sure you don't need me to address the cons of small children sitting in front of screens for long periods of time. The advice mentioned above: having "no electronics" times, time for breaks, balance with read alouds (or something similar like nature walks or field trips or just mandatory outside time) is very handy. I, however, would certainly use it (video games) as a supplement AT THIS AGE and not as the meat and potatoes of his courses...if he were older, I think it would depend solely upon the child and family.
OTOH, If you can teach measurements while baking brownies in the kitchen or learn English through picture books and math written in novels or the rotation of the planet by tracing your shadow in the sun out in the driveway at different times of the day or by mixing paint with dirt to show how erosion works...I mean, I just don't see how learning to read "The Legend of Zelda" is any different than if you had a comic book sitting on the table. (And I can attest that several desperate mothers pick these up for their sons just hoping the kid will read something, anything at all, lol.)

I wish you much success with your endeavor!!!!

Plus, for math consider http://www.bigbrainz.com/index.php
I haven't used it (yet??) but am considering it...we're just not real big into games yet...

JinxieFox
01-02-2012, 12:20 PM
When it comes to video games, we limit them to 1 hour a day (2 hours if schoolwork is done without *any* complaint, errands are run without "But mommm... I don't wanna go anywhere!" and his room is clean). So we're strict-ish.

But, from a homeschooling perspective, I find it very delightful to watch my son play (for example) "Mario Dance Dance Revolution", and read the dialogue aloud in a variety of voices. ^.^

I believe in video games as a reward versus a part of the curriculum, but also have seen firsthand that they can encourage fluency in reading and speaking. My son receives praise for being so creative in the voices he gives the characters and how many dance step combos he achieves. ;)

dottieanna29
01-02-2012, 12:31 PM
My son sounds like yours - he LOVES all things video and learns quickest when he can see things - definitely a visual learner. I don't do much of our actual school work on screens because I don't want him to spend all day, every day on a screen. I do usually find some online games to play related to our history, geography or science topics but all our core language arts and math are done manually.

The Wii and the computer have both helped expand his reading ability greatly though. We are still working on long vowel sounds in our actual curriculum but he is reading large compound words and his reading speed is great. I'm sure all the practice he gets with playing the games (especially when he reads along while the game reads it too) has helped a lot. Which makes me feel slightly less guilty that he's spent hours and hours a day playing Wii or computer over the last few weeks.

kailuamom67
01-02-2012, 12:51 PM
My eldest (16) tells me that he learned to read so he could play Pokemon, and that it was vitally important, spurring his love of reading. He loves to read, and is doing well in his AP English class, which focuses on reading and analysing the classics as well as writing.

My younger guy will often refuse to read a book, but will research online, which takes reading and comprehending.

I am in favor of using screens in whatever way keeps a student motivated, which will be different from one child to the next.

I forgot to mention, the 16 year old loves Zelda, tells me it's a great quality game.

Greenmother
01-02-2012, 03:31 PM
My youngest [5] is totally obsessed with the Wii. All she talks about.

We have to remind her that there are other things to talk about sometimes.

Tayonoss
01-02-2012, 05:09 PM
Our kids love video games as well. My son is addicted to world of warcraft. To play he had to get his reading up and nw he actually want to read books..it doesnt matter to me if they are about the game I am just happy he wants to read.

We don't use the game as a learning tool but I am not going to turn him away from something that is helping either.

dragonfly
01-02-2012, 05:24 PM
When my son was about 5 or 6, he got very interested in Yu-gi-oh! cards. There is a lot to read on those cards, and it's fairly difficult to play the game without reading, so that was a major factor in motivating him to read better. Later, Pokemon video games helped too, though he could read pretty well by then. They probably helped with his speed. I think he realized that reading well helped him enjoy all his video games more.

The best thing for his reading was when he was around 10 or 11, and I told him he could stay up in bed for a little while if he read a book. He reads every night now, graduating from Garfield, Calvin, and Manga to books like Eragon, Eon and Eona, Hitchhiker's Guide, and the Xanth series.

May
01-02-2012, 06:05 PM
I am in favor of using screens in whatever way keeps a student motivated, which will be different from one child to the next.That's the main reason I am considering this approach. If that is the one thing that will make him attempt to learn to read, then I will support it although he is still quite young. My dream is that when he actually learns to read, he will have developed a love for it that goes beyond the fact that he can now play a video game. I remember as a young child, I disliked reading very much. In the the 3rd grade my teacher began reading James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl and only got about half way through the book before the school year ended. I was so upset and wanted very badly to know what happened to James, so I had my mom buy me the book and I stumbled through it all summer. By the time I finished it, I was hooked on reading. That was the beginning of it all for me........
I am also hoping to draw him to other academics through the use of video games now and later on his life....Like "The Oregon Trail" for history, "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?" for geography, and "Team Umizoomi Game" for math.

CatInTheSun
01-02-2012, 07:21 PM
I think electronic media can be great for hs -- you just want to have a very clear reason, measure, and limits in mind. It's easier to loosen up, that close the barn door. ;)

My kids LOVE doing MM on the iPad -- only difference is they write with their fingers on a PDF, but totally transformed their attitude. Drills and handwriting on the iPad are easy sells. A new Wii game means kids begging to do "their learning" at 7am (strictly an AFTER learning is complete activity).

Most of the games they learn most from aren't "educational". My 8yo mastered navigating by compass and task/time management from the 100 hours it takes to really beat Endless Ocean 2. Even when we are out driving, she can keep track of our orientation and estimate distances now. Plus id a couple hundred fish. LOL Even SuperMario is about teamwork and problem solving. I DO try to keep those "lessons" as extra-curriculars, even if they payoff with regular lesson topics. And videos make for nice additions (rather than replacements) for books and other sources (and count against screen time, though I don't tell them that, heehee).

Only warning is kids' brains do process the electronic media differently and it can influence brain development, esp WRT reward center of the brain. So, need to be at least a little judicious. My dh loves to load the iPad with tons of free games (I swear it's a hobby), but it becomes too distracting and interferes with IRL -- the other day I deleted over 50 apps from the iPad (later that day dh loaded a new one that makes farting noises...nice). My brother got his 9yo dd an iPod touch for Xmas and it was clear he hadn't considered what kind of access limits he might want (as she loaded 40 apps in the first 2 days and was on it incessantly). SO, fwiw, nothing wrong in my book in using modern tech to make teaching/learning easier. Like all things, it's all about moderation. Part of learning is learning to learn when things aren't all bubble-gum excitement and thrills, kwim?

theWeedyRoad
01-02-2012, 08:48 PM
I had a ps teacher tell me vid games would help ds's handwriting ;). Hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

I don't specifically use them as part of school (I've tried from time to time, but my kids despise games purposely contrived for educational value.) However, every time they turn on the computer, they are working on something- ds works on spelling, following minute directions, even some computer programming stuff. Dd works on her spelling and reading. The current favorite game here is Minecraft- and both work on large constructions involving spatial skills (they only play on creative mode, so they spend all their time building constructions). Both spend time making cute signs for their constructions. Ds taught dd how to play- so even that involved patience and cooperation.

Maybe some of it is knowing your kids? Mine go through fits and starts with things. I don't worry about severe limits because most things die their own natural death here, with no help from me (ds barely plays his PS3 anymore, tv holds nothing special for my kids, and both spend a decent amount of time playing non-electronic games). Of course, my 5yo nephew IS a gaming addict and doesn't seem to know what to do with himself if he has no access to it, so I do understand the concern.

dbmamaz
01-03-2012, 12:23 AM
Tayonoss, my teen got some World of Warcraft fiction for holiday presents last - they were pretty well-reveiwed. I think it was the shattering and arthas .. .

Lou
01-03-2012, 11:55 AM
That's the main reason I am considering this approach. If that is the one thing that will make him attempt to learn to read, then I will support it although he is still quite young. My dream is that when he actually learns to read, he will have developed a love for it that goes beyond the fact that he can now play a video game. I remember as a young child, I disliked reading very much. In the the 3rd grade my teacher began reading James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl and only got about half way through the book before the school year ended. I was so upset and wanted very badly to know what happened to James, so I had my mom buy me the book and I stumbled through it all summer. By the time I finished it, I was hooked on reading. That was the beginning of it all for me........
I am also hoping to draw him to other academics through the use of video games now and later on his life....Like "The Oregon Trail" for history, "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?" for geography, and "Team Umizoomi Game" for math.

Sounds like James and the Giant Peach was a turning point for you, and the reason was because it was YOUR idea. I really feel when children are given the opportunity to decide on their education it sinks in much better then when they are dictated to.

We use TIME 4 LEARNING and other "educational" games, but not as curriculum, more of an 'extra' Right now, my son is on his lap top playing "VOLCABULARY PUZZLES" and as soon as I'm finished with my coffee and onlining, we will all get ready for our school day and get started on our curriculum. :)

For us educational games (computer or not) and reading books is what starts our day after a vacation of TOO MUCH TV! My kids literally watched every single episode of MAGI-NATION over the break! And then they wanted to continue with Di-gata Defenders, but I had to put a halt to the TV and say NO MORE for now, their holiday break is over and it's time to get back to our routine of 'earned' screen time. :) (screen time is TV, computer, etc OF THEIR CHOICE...if I use it for educational purposes it doesn't count towards 'earned' screen time) :)

Epiphany
01-03-2012, 01:42 PM
We don't have a gaming system, but my folks do and ds is four and totally into the wii. He is a tech junkie and picks up technology very quickly. Anytime he is learning on screen, he is much more focused. I am thinking about getting a kindle fire with a reading program on it to get us on the way to reading. Not to mention the fact that I have been coveting one for months. ;) I think that it is inevitable that computers are going to be a part of his life, and fighting it is pointless.

jess
01-03-2012, 02:43 PM
My eldest (16) tells me that he learned to read so he could play Pokemon, and that it was vitally important, spurring his love of reading. He loves to read, and is doing well in his AP English class, which focuses on reading and analysing the classics as well as writing.
Pokemon is currently motivating my DS in reading and writing (emailing a friend of the family for help).

Lou
01-03-2012, 07:57 PM
My son LOVES his pokemon and recently while reading a text book on Aspergers it was using Pokemon as an example (that happen to fit my son PERFECTLY) and I had to laugh...apparently there is a love of techincal things, pokemon, anime, etc with spectrum folks. We don't know if my son is on the spectrum, but it wouldn't suprise me if he were.

I know there was some discussion on 'addiction' to computer games. There are actual 'groups' like AA for people that are addicted to computer games. So it can be an 'addiction' in some folks, just like drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, etc...I know my son could possibly be catagorized at the obsessed level with computer games and TV, so I monitor it and put limits on it. Sometimes used as rewards for other positive behaviors, etc. He can earn more computer time, but when it starts to cross that invisible line, we cut back on screen time to regain the love of the outdoors and playing in nature. It's all about balance for me. Moderation and Balance! :)

kristinabrooke
01-04-2012, 01:13 AM
I'm just echoing the sentiment of others I bet, but I think videos games are helpful and can teach various things. My daughter (5) plays WoW with me and with my husband. We also have a Wii and play EA Active, DDR, MJ: The Experience, Just Dance for Kids, Tiki Tower (downloadable), Wii Music, Build-A-Bear, Jumpstart, a Cookie Monster Game, and a few others. She also has a laptop and explores various gaming sites via PikLuk, Kidoz, and Zoodles. And let's not forget the Wii (mostly education specific). We limit to 1 hour a day (unless I have a conference call of meeting with a client as I work from home).

I think moderation is key and finding a balance between all things to provide a more complete educational experience.

HTH

Crabby Lioness
01-04-2012, 01:38 PM
Addiction is involvement with an activity despite the negative consequences associated with it ESP seeking relief from something and then turning into needing this to feel normal.

It is sort of hard for me to imagine a kid actually being addicted to video games.

I've met them. Hell, I was addicted to comic books at that age and by that same definition.


Most of our educational philosophies are outdated for our children and will continue to become outdated more quickly due to our "digital age"

I do not think that word "philosophies" means what you think it means. Philosophies are broad general theories of education. They talk about how brains are wired. In spite of all the technical advances that have been made, are brains are still wired the way they were in the Neolithic.

"Techniques" are different. Video games can be a useful problem-solving technique and/or a useful motivation when used in moderation. With motion controls they can also be useful for exercise. But using any form of media as the primary means of intaking information for young children is highly problematic. Studies have repeatedly shown that most information children learn through any form of media doesn't stick. So for that reason I wouldn't substitute it for anything non-virtual.

Lou
01-04-2012, 11:10 PM
Interesting tid bit, after reading "BE DIFFFERENT" I realized that some folks do get "obsessed" (addicted maybe) with various activities (computer games) and it could just be their hyper focus and later in life profession. That book made me think about how we say certain things are normal and certain things are abnormal, but the truth is later in life those same actions are then turned around and instead of an obessed abnormal kid, that person is an "expert in their field" as an adult with a successful career. Interesting.

I still vote for moderation, but if your child has a gift in a 'field' let'm explore it on their free time because you never know...your child might be the next mega success in their field.

SueEllen Grieves-Curl
01-06-2012, 01:16 PM
YES, YES, YES

There are many good games out there that help teach your child on many different levels.
time4learning, learning.com, jumpstart.com, are all good places to start.

If you are starting to see that all he wants to do is play on the computer give him time limits. Get a timer if you need to. But make sure you are giving him other stuff to do besides computer.

4quivers
02-14-2012, 08:04 PM
Ok, maybe this should be on the "Boring People who hate Debate". But apparently I'm the only one who would debate.
I despise gaming and think it is a virtual reality that seperates us from the normal functions of being human and the natural world. We used to be gamers and we were addicted. Now it's everywhere. You can walk into a store and the kid in front of you runs into the door because he's got his pocket wii or whatever you can see the consequences. I love my life and encourage my boys to embrace lifes ups and downs without needing an escape. I swear gaming is just a new drug tailored to children. Sorry if I offend anyone, but that's just my opinion.

Woogie
02-15-2012, 01:15 PM
Yes, we use regular video games as "treats" and try to limit them, but we use a lot of online gaming for learning! Toontown helped my son's reading more than any book I could have given him. Everything in the game required reading. His friend would play at his home and they could type to each other, so he's worked on typing, writing, communication, as well)
Timezattack is the best multiplication tool we've ever used, and Arkademics (used on the computer or through the wii internet connection), has been so much more fun than using flashcards to practice math facts! Spellingcity is fantastic fun, too!

Lou
02-16-2012, 12:01 AM
Ok, maybe this should be on the "Boring People who hate Debate". But apparently I'm the only one who would debate.
I despise gaming and think it is a virtual reality that seperates us from the normal functions of being human and the natural world. We used to be gamers and we were addicted. Now it's everywhere. You can walk into a store and the kid in front of you runs into the door because he's got his pocket wii or whatever you can see the consequences. I love my life and encourage my boys to embrace lifes ups and downs without needing an escape. I swear gaming is just a new drug tailored to children. Sorry if I offend anyone, but that's just my opinion.

Didn't offend me because I don't care what you think. Ha ha (Kidding 4quivers!) I agree with the obsessive culture we have become with technology. I hate that aspect. I'm more a fan of outside physical playtime with friends.

However, like many have noted there are some fabulously educational games that enhance lessons and I'm all for those. I limit screen time. I had to go to an appt so my son stayed home with dad and did his school on TIME4LEARNING.COM which doesn't cover it all, but IMHO, at least he did some work with dad!

I have also noticed that with my quirky kid, he doesn't always GET IT when I teach it, but if he sees the lesson in DVD format (or some other image type style, computer screen, dvd, photo book, etc) He gets it and it seems to be set in his memory bank for good. I've always noticed this about him, but I recently have found and read up on some visual learning styles with Aspie kids. It seems to fit him. I asked my hubby and apparently that is the same way hubby learned to remember his facts. At times it's hard for me to teach my son, because he learns very differently from the way I learn and I don't always get him and his ways. So the computer games do help fill the gaps a bit.


Yes, we use regular video games as "treats" and try to limit them, but we use a lot of online gaming for learning! Toontown helped my son's reading more than any book I could have given him. Everything in the game required reading. His friend would play at his home and they could type to each other, so he's worked on typing, writing, communication, as well)
Timezattack is the best multiplication tool we've ever used, and Arkademics (used on the computer or through the wii internet connection), has been so much more fun than using flashcards to practice math facts! Spellingcity is fantastic fun, too!

haven't heard of TIMEZATTACK or ARKADEMICS might have to look into those? I have heard fabulous things about spellingcity. Time4Learning is great for us. I have looked into brainpop and didn't think much of it, does anyone like brainpop and why? I might still be able to be sold on it. :)

4quivers
02-16-2012, 12:23 AM
OHHHH Lou you! :)

Lou
02-16-2012, 01:02 AM
OHHHH Lou you! :) ;-) let's debate it! ha ha... :p

dottieanna29
02-16-2012, 10:33 AM
My son is the same way Lou - I once went through a check-list of characteristics of Visual-Spatial learners and my son hit almost all of them. He's not a good listener but he is great with learning things he can see.

Lou
02-16-2012, 11:07 AM
My son is the same way Lou - I once went through a check-list of characteristics of Visual-Spatial learners and my son hit almost all of them. He's not a good listener but he is great with learning things he can see.

on this short little list, my son hits many of them. http://www.visualspatial.org/vslasl.php He also like your son does well with audio too, but I think he does the best when it's interactive, visual & audio...that seems to set things into his mind for good. So in that regard computer games work for him. But because I am old fashion with get outside and move, we use the computer games in a very limited way.

Crabby Lioness
02-16-2012, 02:20 PM
Ok, maybe this should be on the "Boring People who hate Debate". But apparently I'm the only one who would debate.
I despise gaming and think it is a virtual reality that seperates us from the normal functions of being human and the natural world. We used to be gamers and we were addicted. Now it's everywhere. You can walk into a store and the kid in front of you runs into the door because he's got his pocket wii or whatever you can see the consequences. I love my life and encourage my boys to embrace lifes ups and downs without needing an escape. I swear gaming is just a new drug tailored to children. Sorry if I offend anyone, but that's just my opinion.

I won't argue. Hell, I'm the woman who unplugged her TV when she first became pregnant to prevent her children from becoming TV addicts. That was 1997. We didn't even get a DVD player until 2003, and my last console was an Atari. I've read The Plug-In Drug and The Flickering Mind, and I agree with them wholeheartedly.

But. But, but, but -- what about motion controls? While anything can be addictive to the person looking for escapism, the particularly compelling nature of media was always that it placed the user in a passive, trance-like state that encouraged "vegging out" and lowered retention. Do interactive motion controls have the same effect? The news reports and anecdotal information I've found indicate otherwise, but I've yet to find an up-to-date study on this topic. Does anyone have a link or an opinion? It may be that they've finally taken steps to making a useful "idiot box".

dbmamaz
02-16-2012, 07:40 PM
I didnt own a tv from the time i left home in 83 until my ex begged me for one during his recovery period after carpel tunnel surgery - he couldnt hold a book open. That was probably 96. We still dont have cable because it was too addictive for Orion. but . . . we have unlimited screen time outside of 'school' time because i just got tired of fighting - dh and i are just as addicted as anyone, we work in tech and screen time is the only thing we have energy for any more.

lakshmi
02-16-2012, 11:03 PM
Lou, I noticed my daughter was seriously not getting me until I used a Hooked on Phonics DVD we got from the library. We used it for six weeks. And it seemed to kick start something. Now she is doing better. While I believe that she may be visual, it also seemed as if it was a help to get over a hump of some sort.

We've started using reading eggs and they love it. It has a video game quality to it. It also encourages consumerism. Which I think may be worse... buying stuff with eggs. Unfortunately I've gotten to the point that Cara has already reached. I am actually sort of tired of thinking about it all.

Sometimes, I wish I had absolutely no conscience it would make raising children easier. Actually it would make doing a lot of things easier.

Lou
02-17-2012, 02:20 AM
Sometimes, I wish I had absolutely no conscience it would make raising children easier. Actually it would make doing a lot of things easier.

Seriously! Blissfully ignorant would be one fabulous way to raise a child! ha ha, I often wish I were ignorant and never read any books!

Crabby Lioness
02-17-2012, 12:45 PM
Sometimes, I wish I had absolutely no conscience it would make raising children easier. Actually it would make doing a lot of things easier.

I was reared by such a mother.

lakshmi
02-17-2012, 04:07 PM
oh holy Shite Crabby....

That would suck.... I can see how that would totally suck. I honestly can't imagine being like that. It breaks my heart when I make mistakes. My heart goes out to you, I can't imagine. I know that was bad, but would it be worse to have one that went back and forth between helpful and loving and then totally selfish....? both would be bad. no questions. ... just different.

4quivers
02-17-2012, 04:09 PM
I was reared by such a mother.

Me too! She said I'm so different! What did I learn from her? I couldn't very well reply. So just said, "Lot's of things!"

dragonfly
02-17-2012, 09:08 PM
Hmm. I think it's too easy to blame that thing to which some become addicted, and write it off as "bad." I mean, morphine is highly addictive, but I don't think anyone would disagree that it's an important drug when used appropriately and responsibly. I know my mom would have been pretty unhappy without it when she was in the hospital with a broken hip. (As a side note, it was during this time that she quit smoking...since hospitals tend to frown on that as a post-op activity. She had smoked for 44 years, and she hasn't smoked since--11 years.)

I've never put any real restrictions on my son's tv, computer, video games, sweets... When he gets something new, he's absorbed with it for a time, usually days, sometimes longer, but ALWAYS the interest wanes.

Some people seem to have a greater chance of becoming addicted ("addictive personalities"), I guess. I don't see that as a problem with the object of their addiction, but with how they identify and deal with their problem.

Lou
02-18-2012, 12:48 AM
I was reared by such a mother.


Me too! She said I'm so different! What did I learn from her? I couldn't very well reply. So just said, "Lot's of things!"

Seems like you both turned out OK. Maybe I'll give ignorant parenting a try (once I'm done with my currently overly concerned project) ha ha!

lakshmi
02-18-2012, 02:26 AM
But I think that both of them have done a lot of work and still continue to struggle with the tapes, or is it now dvd's, running in their head with all the ridiculous stuff they've heard over the years. They may be okay but I bet it was hard-earned.

Lou, you could never do it. First off lack of conscience would mean that you wouldn't care about things like trampolines or new bedroom furniture... youid give your kids the crappy ole stuff you didn't want.. and it might not even be functional.

You could never do that.

Lou
02-18-2012, 03:09 AM
Lou, you could never do it. First off lack of conscience would mean that you wouldn't care about things like trampolines or new bedroom furniture... youid give your kids the crappy ole stuff you didn't want.. and it might not even be functional.

You could never do that.

I can start with the one day a week plan. ha ha I might be able to pull it off.

I have to be honest, I just saw a friend's photo of her child and her friend's kids all hanging out totally zoned out on iphones playing games. And when I looked at that photo I didn't even see a stitch of humor in it, but rather it made me sad! :( I guess I do care too much! three year olds should be playing blocks or in the sand box, not zoned out on a smart phone game!

lakshmi
02-18-2012, 11:32 AM
agreed... but... there are the radical unschooling faction who believe that it will all work out. And I believe that for some it can. But... I am not sure how. It takes a change of consciousness on the part of the parent to make it work.

Lou
02-18-2012, 01:45 PM
I don't mind the occasional iphone entertainment, but when you have friends over for a playdate, get moving and PLAY! Waiting in the doctor's lobby, great place for iphone entertainment, so they don't touch all the toys that are covered in germs! :)

Herbgardens
03-28-2012, 11:24 PM
Well, my house is completely in love with technology so yes, the kids use video games. We do have a tight rein on them, so the games we use are Minecraft, anything Pokemon, Zelda, Age of Empires, those sorts of games.
I love the ipad for my very little ones too. The 2 yr old can turn on Max and Ruby and the 4 yr old takes photos with my phone and then scrolls to them on the iPad to show his dad. We have a few apps that they love too. Just fun for everyone!
Video games were the catalyst for the kids to learn to read (that and adding the subtitles to the television) and we certainly use it all the time for lessons in school-like on the spot research during a lesson. Very cool.

Amy J

Lou
03-31-2012, 01:02 AM
curious (before I buy) what are the pokemon computer games like? any educational aspects?

dottieanna29
03-31-2012, 01:21 AM
Interesting to see this thread again. Has anyone read the book "Outliers"? In it, he talks about the people who excel in their field and it being a combination of luck, circumstances and putting in 10,000 hours at their interest. 10,000 hours pretty much puts you in to the realm of obsession and could certainly seem like addiction. Yet that appears to be what it took for people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs to become top in their field. Obviously someone without the interest isn't going to spend that much time but I wonder how that works with our idea about obsession being a bad thing. Not just computers and video games. My oldest has been a dancer since she was 4. She never wanted to do anything but dance (except maybe cheerleading which she wasn't willing to cut down on her dancing to do) and my mother was constantly telling me I should have her broaden her interests, have her do a sport or something. Although an obsession with something like dance or sports seems way more acceptable in general than an "obsession" with computers or video games.

Just a thought in the middle of the night.

Herbgardens
03-31-2012, 08:32 PM
I have heard that 10,000 thing recently, as a matter of fact. Totally unrelated, but I recently got hired by a company in France, who makes video games that are *smart*. They reference this 10,000 hour thing and said that is how many hours it takes to make you an expert at something.
As far as video game obsession is concerned, I think if it the obsession kept you from doing personal hygiene, going to your paying job, interacting with your family, then it would be bad. How about if your obsession was trying to write your own backstory for a game, or coding a game or development of a game? Myself, I'm not so sure that it is a bad thing. You can't get to the level of expertise and perfection without tons of hours of practice, right? Is 10,000 hours the tipping point? Not sure.
Amy J

Lou
04-01-2012, 02:23 AM
Interesting to see this thread again. Has anyone read the book "Outliers"? In it, he talks about the people who excel in their field and it being a combination of luck, circumstances and putting in 10,000 hours at their interest. 10,000 hours pretty much puts you in to the realm of obsession and could certainly seem like addiction. Yet that appears to be what it took for people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs to become top in their field. Obviously someone without the interest isn't going to spend that much time but I wonder how that works with our idea about obsession being a bad thing. Not just computers and video games. My oldest has been a dancer since she was 4. She never wanted to do anything but dance (except maybe cheerleading which she wasn't willing to cut down on her dancing to do) and my mother was constantly telling me I should have her broaden her interests, have her do a sport or something. Although an obsession with something like dance or sports seems way more acceptable in general than an "obsession" with computers or video games.

Just a thought in the middle of the night.

I have totally been teetering on this.
My son wants to watch certain types of cartoons (pokemon, magi-nation, digata defenders, sonic hedge hog, etc...always fast paced, innocent battles, but for sure the good vs the evil, nothing really educational involved (minus magi-nation, that had SOME educational value) he can easily slip into obsessed mode. He would put in his 10K hours in a day if it were possible!

That AND he loves computer games, playing computer games. He could put in 10K hours easily there too. But I have a hard time letting him have that much screen time, because he will do nothing else! And then he will have melt down after melt down because he spend all his time on the computer or watching tv and didn't get to do the other things he wanted to do that day.

I'm always torn between letting him watch/play or forcing him to get outside to discover nature because he does enjoy nature too!

He can't stop himself from certain things. He literally needs me to turn off the tv or he will watch the screen saver on the tv! He will stay awake ALL NIGHT if I don't stop all sounds, images, light, etc I have to shut the world out for him to fall asleep. His mind is always going!

dottieanna29
04-01-2012, 10:25 AM
I have totally been teetering on this.
My son wants to watch certain types of cartoons (pokemon, magi-nation, digata defenders, sonic hedge hog, etc...always fast paced, innocent battles, but for sure the good vs the evil, nothing really educational involved (minus magi-nation, that had SOME educational value) he can easily slip into obsessed mode. He would put in his 10K hours in a day if it were possible!

That AND he loves computer games, playing computer games. He could put in 10K hours easily there too. But I have a hard time letting him have that much screen time, because he will do nothing else! And then he will have melt down after melt down because he spend all his time on the computer or watching tv and didn't get to do the other things he wanted to do that day.

I'm always torn between letting him watch/play or forcing him to get outside to discover nature because he does enjoy nature too!

He can't stop himself from certain things. He literally needs me to turn off the tv or he will watch the screen saver on the tv! He will stay awake ALL NIGHT if I don't stop all sounds, images, light, etc I have to shut the world out for him to fall asleep. His mind is always going!

My son is similar - right down to which cartoons he likes - but he finally is sleeping better since I let his sister wake him up in the morning.

He is starting to get into Minecraft so we decided, along with his current interest in computer games, that we needed to set some rules. So I typed up a little contract and went over it with him before we signed him up. It's posted on a bulletin board over his computer now. Sorry it came over so large, I can't seem to fix it. Most of these were rules we already had but I thought if they were there for reference it might help. We didn't have a schedule before though. He used to come out of his room still half asleep and head right to the computer to turn it on. I'm also trying to increase his reading time.

George Jr’s computer time guidelines:

1. No computer first thing on waking up in the morning. Reading will be done during breakfast.

2. After breakfast reading is done, school will begin with binder work. (which is our math and language arts)

3. After binder work is completed there will be free time for computer or other play while lunch is being eaten.

4. After lunch will be additional school (science, social studies, art, nature study, etc.), outside activities (bowling, gymnastics, 4-H, etc.) or outside play.

5. When afternoon activities are completed, there will be free time for computer or other play until dinner.

6. From dinner until treat time will be time to play in bedroom.

7. After treat time will be quiet time watching television until Vicki is asleep or in living room. At that point, tv will be off for reading time until sleep.

In addition:

-Computer time will be lost if play doesn’t stop when requested.

-Computer time will be lost if there are behavior problems.

-Computer time will be lost if school isn’t completed due to behavior.

-Computer time will be lost for trying to “help” Vicki when she doesn’t ask for help.

dottieanna29
04-01-2012, 10:26 AM
Now that schedule will actually give him 2-4 hours of computer a day, depending on the day. I know a lot of people would consider that excessive but, going back to the 10,000 hours thing, this is what he loves.

Lou
04-01-2012, 11:56 AM
well that will give him the 10K in 9 years (right?) at 3 hours a day, 365 days a week, roughly that should work out to be 9+ years.

I suppose I could let my children do 5 hours a day in their teen years and still give them that 10K by the time they are adults. Ha ha!

I think if parents let their kids explore interests, then by the ages of 8-12 the kids probably do have a specific interest that would be more pronounced then others and if they allowed intense interation with that interest during the teen years it would by pass sex & drugs (unless of course that is the obsession ha ha!) and they could get their 10K hours by the time they are ready to head off to college and become an adult. Hmmmmmm mapping out future life with my obsessed kiddos! :)

I'm all good with educational computer/tv. It's the mindless crap that I struggle with. I try to see some sort of value, but no matter how I stretch my imagination there is often little educational value in some of the stuff I see him wanting to do?

What is MINDCRAFT about? I hear a lot of people mention that. Is it private or online with strangers? What is the educational value? Please tell me more about MINDCRAFT and the POKEMON games mentioned above. :) I'd like to get them for my son, but want to know what they are first.

dbmamaz
04-01-2012, 12:02 PM
Minecraft is like a virtual lego world, but there are also 'live' parts, like sheep and exploding monsters. you can mine materials and build homes. people build towns and stuff. but it is a 'sandbox' type game - there is no 'winning'. You have to set yourself a goal and then do what is required to meet that goal. my kids tired of it after a while, esp after my son stopped keeping up his own server, because on his server they often would find their friends. The server was I think $15/month and he had to do some administrative work to keep it going, a couple of hours a week, depending on how much stuff you want to add on as options

dottieanna29
04-01-2012, 12:52 PM
That's about what I know about Minecraft. It's a building, virtual world game. We have a group of homeschoolers who get together at a cafe and play on the server one family runs. So for my ds, it would be both a computer game (which he loves) and a chance to be social with other kids who speak his "language". Something we've already started having a problem with. He asked a little girl at gym if she was "on ToonTown", she just gave him a confused look and said "noooo, I live in Denville" (a local town).

Pokemon is either a card game or a computer/video game. Both work about the same way. You are a Pokemon trainer. You collect cards (or just gain them on screen) that are different Pokemon that have different skills and weaknesses. You battle with other Pokemon trainers using your pokemon. At a certain point, they can "evolve" and have more skills and protections. My oldest was into Pokemon, the card game and had the video game for Game Boy. DS isn't as into yet although he's played her Game Boy game and likes the cartoon. The card game takes quite a bit of reading.

I do agree that kids who have a healthy interest (or obsession) often get into less trouble. I know studies have been done in regards to sports but I would think any pursuit where they want to remain alert and active would do similar. Plus, it never hurts to have something to hold over their head for good behavior. :-)