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Consie

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Nov 13, 2010, 9:38:42 AM11/13/10
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Hi - My son is 7 1/2 years old. He got Wii for Christmas last year.
Since then, that is all he wants to do. He plays it all day long.
Now that Christmas is upon us again, we are getting nervous. A fellow
homeschooler told us it may take a year to get it out of his system.
He is not reading, yet, so this makes me more nervous. Any insight/
experience/suggestions?
Thank you
Consie

Robyn L. Coburn

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Nov 13, 2010, 1:55:28 PM11/13/10
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My suggestion is to get him some new games that he will enjoy or has asked
for as his Christmas gifts. A year is a long time, and not only do games
evolve, but his skills will also. I bet he needs some slightly more advanced
games.

Here's Sandra's page about Video Games http://sandradodd.com/videogames/
Tons of reading there to reassure and excite you about video games.

My daughter went from not reading to reading aloud all kinds of complicated
words from many sources over about two years. She is now 11 and there has
never been a moment of stress or worry over her reading except when Granny
wanted to keep asking her if she was reading yet whenever she called.
Result: Jayn refuses to converse with Granny, even though she is now
reading.

Here's a piece of writing that may help with your serenity over reading.
It's an older article, but I added it to my blog today.
http://robyncoburn.blogspot.com/2010/11/when-jayn-reads-vintage-article.html


Robyn L. Coburn
www.robyncoburn.blogspot.com
www.iggyjingles.blogspot.com
www.allthingsdoll.blogspot.com

Schuyler Waynforth

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Nov 13, 2010, 1:59:27 PM11/13/10
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He may not ever get video games out of his system. Simon and Linnaea really enjoy video games and have for a very long time. What may happen, with time and engagement by you with the games, is that he'll be a little more willing to go and do other things. 

The Wii is a really cool system. Nintendo has been very good at aiming at both younger and older audiences. There are so many fun games for families to share on the Wii. We are planning on getting the Just Dance games to add to our collection after a cousin played them with us a few weeks ago. Simon's really enjoying the game Monster Hunter for the Wii. 

Simon didn't read until he was 12. And there were times when I worried, times when I felt that reading was the hinge on which ability to function within the rest of the world rested. When I found myself getting nervous about his reading it helped to play a video game with him. Truly. Watching him see what I wasn't looking for, watching him explore the world of gaming without looking for the written instruction to arrive to tell him what to do, I realized the limitations that reading had put on my own vision. Simon is much faster, still, at seeing the details of the world. He listens better than I do, he spots changes more quickly than I do. Reading may be a fantastic thing, but it isn't the only thing. And it is amazing to notice the limitations that come with it. 

Schuyler


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Sandra Dodd

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Nov 13, 2010, 3:17:14 PM11/13/10
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-=-Any insight/experience/suggestions?-=-

Years' worth of the greatest hits of insight, experience and
suggestions, starting here:
http://sandradodd.com/videogames
http://sandradodd.com/tv

Cons...@aol.com

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Nov 13, 2010, 2:47:36 PM11/13/10
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I did forget to mention that I am also concerned because my son is gaining weight.  He just plays video games, watches tv and is getting fat.  This can't seem healthy.  I was so convinced about unschooling, since he was a baby, and now my belief is really being challenged. I don't like seeing our young child get fat.  When he does run, he can not keep up with other kids now.  Ahhh.   
 
Both my husband and I play Wii with him on a daily basis.  So, he has that human interaction, but he does not want to have friend over very often.  When he does, he is ready for them to leave after an hour, so he can play again.  He does not want to go to the theater, museum, or anything else.  He just wants Wii. 
 
Thanks again for your input.
 
Consie

Schuyler Waynforth

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Nov 13, 2010, 5:44:39 PM11/13/10
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Weights change over a child's life. It is absolutely possible that the two things aren't connected. My son is relatively thin and he isn't a particularly active fellow. He's been chubby at other times and then he grows tall and thin. It's happened over and over again. It's happened with other people's children. It's happened with friends of Simon's and Linnaea's, it's happened with friends of mine. I used to be amazingly (scarily) thin and now, I'm not. I'm more active now than I was when I was thinner. 

It sounds like you want to tell him no more video games. It sounds like that's what you want to justify. You have gone down this route for a while with little niggling worries and now, well, where I am it's colder outside. Going outside to do stuff is less appealing, less desirable, less comfortable. It was easy when Simon and Linnaea were younger to not see the cycle of winter versus summer activities, of any kind of cycle of activity. Now that I've had a lot more cycles of their lives with them, it is easier to see ebbs and flows as normal parts of their engagement with the world.

What would you do to make it all better? If you feel that video games are unhealthy and too big a focus for your son what is your response? Is taking this thing away, or limiting it to just a set number of hours a day a legitimate option? If you really loved something, if you really enjoyed something and doing it made you really happy, what would you feel if others began to try and limit your engagement with it? Would you trust them? Would you want to hang out with them? Or would you cling more desperately to the thing you enjoyed so? 

Relax and enjoy the games with him. Offer other things to do, but maybe really invest in the idea that he is enjoying something absolutely amazing before offering too much. We've recently had a Pee Wee Herman marathon and one of the things it got me thinking about, as he plays with giant underwear or has imaginary food breakfasts is how much more engaging and easily accessible fun is now. Simon and Linnaea don't have to work their way out of boredom into activity anywhere near as much as I can remember doing. My brother and I used to put one leg in our trousers so that it looked like it had been amputated below the knee. We used to play don't touch the floor games. I used to read for hours and hours and hours. I watched anything on television for however long my allotted time was and was quite good at watching the things that most annoyed my brother on my television nights. Even made him miss the first televised showing of Carrie which I still feel badly about. My brother even wrote a satirical piece for his high school newspaper about the week our television was in the shop with me sitting in the corner, rocking back and forth with my only few words being "The plane, the plane." 

Simon and Linnaea watch television and don't watch television, they play video games and they don't, they walk the dog with me some days and some days not, they say they want to go do things sometimes and sometimes not. Their lives are filled with choices and people who mostly don't press them to do things they don't want to. Maybe that's what will take a year. But you have to start over. If you've ever freaked out at him, about video games and how much he's playing them, you have to start all over with the first day of the year. Because as soon as you start talking about how the games are taking over his life and how you wish he'd do more things with you or how you don't understand how he doesn't want to play with other people as much as he used to, you are changing how much he believes he's going to continue to be allowed to play on the Wii. 

Breathe and really relax about the games. Really appreciate how difficult what he's doing is and how skilled he's growing at it. Finishing a level on any game can be so much focus. 

Schuyler

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polykow

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Nov 13, 2010, 7:48:00 PM11/13/10
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We love oour Wii. My 8 ear old is a big time gamer.
He actually learned to read by playing games and he is an
amazing fast
reader.
He has learned so much from playing video games it is
amazing.
For his last birthday we gave him an X-Box 360 and he is
getting a PS3 for
Christmas so he can play Little Big Plannet.
I suggest you get him some more awesome games for the Wii
for Christmas or
a portable Nintendo DSi and sit down and play with him.
You will be amazed.
Here are my favorite Wii games together with my son's
favorites:
Super Paper Mario
Mario Galaxy I and 2
Kirby's Epic Yarn
Legends of Zelda ( many)
Super Maro Bros
Super Smash Brawl
Just Dance
Wii Resort
Pikmin

I sure I am forgeting some!
Video games are chuck full of learning. Embrace it.
My son has read 5 Zelda manga style books in one day!
My son also owns plush toys related to video games that he
spends hours playing with his 4 yr old sister.
Alex Polikowsky

Robyn L. Coburn

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Nov 14, 2010, 12:42:29 AM11/14/10
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My suggestion is to get him some new games that he will enjoy or has asked
for as his Christmas gifts. A year is a long time, and not only do games
evolve, but his skills will also. I bet he needs some slightly more
advanced
games.

Here's Sandra's page about Video Games http://sandradodd.com/videogames/
Tons of reading there to reassure and excite you about video games.

My daughter went from not reading to reading aloud all kinds of complicated
words from many sources over about two years. She is now 11 and there has
never been a moment of stress or worry over her reading except when Granny
wanted to keep asking her if she was reading yet whenever she called.
Result: Jayn refuses to converse with Granny, even though she is now
reading.

Here's a piece of writing that may help with your serenity over reading.
It's an older article, but I added it to my blog today.

http://robyncoburn.blogspot.com/2010/11/when-jayn-reads-vintage-article.html Robyn L. Coburn www.robyncoburn.blogspot.com www.iggyjingles.blogspot.comwww.allthingsdoll.blogspot.com>> Hi - My son is 7 1/2 years old. He got Wii for Christmas last year.>> Since then, that is all he wants to do. He plays it all day long.>> Now that Christmas is upon us again, we are getting nervous. A fellow>> homeschooler told us it may take a year to get it out of his system.>> He is not reading, yet, so this makes me more nervous. Any insight/>> experience/suggestions?>> Thank you>> Consie>

Cons...@aol.com

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Nov 14, 2010, 11:32:16 AM11/14/10
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  Thank you so much for you indebth answers.  I really appreciate your taking the time to help me out!!

>>>>It sounds like you want to tell him no more video games. It sounds like that's what you want to justify.<<<<<
Oh, my, my!!  That could not be further from the truth.  What I want if your you all to tell me that everything is going to be OK!!! LOL  I want someone to come out and say they have a child who is now a successful <fill in blank> and that their child spent 14 hours a day watching video games for < blank.."alot of" > years.  I am a scientist, so my brain needs solid evidence, not conjectures, if you know what I mean.  I (unfortunately?) read Jane Healy's books when my son was young, and she had some pretty good scientific evidence about not having children watch tv. 
>>>> It was easy when Simon and Linnaea were younger to not see the cycle of winter versus summer activities, of any kind of cycle of activity. <<<<
There has not been any cycle at all this year.  For the past 3 years, he loved, loved, loved, loved to swim and go to our swimming hole with all the neighbor kids, and play running bases.  This year, he did not want to swim.  He did not want to go where all the friends were.  He stayed inside all summer playing Wii. 

>>>What would you do to make it all better?<<<
Good question.  I wish I had a crystal ball, to look 20-30 years into the future, and know the scientific evidence that all those tv and video game light rays did not effect the growth of my child.  :)  Since I don't have that, I need some people with adult children to let me know that their adult children are successful.  Not monetarily, but a career they like; and not being a vegetable or an alcoholic who just plays video games all day with his wife yelling at him to get a job!!!
 
I so believe in letting a child be a child.  I love how confident my child is.  How happy he is.  How carefree he is. (pardon the sentences ending in a preposition)  How his little adrenal gland is not producing cortisol from constant stress.  I think this is going to do him such a great service later in life. I just worry about a young, growing mind being effected by constant light flashes of video games.  Does Jane Healy have it right?  My son is not getting any Vit D from being outside.
 
>> If you really loved something, if you really enjoyed something and doing it made you really happy, what would you feel if others began to try and limit your engagement with it? Would you trust them? Would you want to hang out with them? Or would you cling more desperately to the thing you enjoyed so? <<<
 
This is another great point.  I love horse back riding.  When I was young, I rode all day long.  But, I still wanted to do other things. 
>>>> Because as soon as you start talking about how the games are taking over his life and how you wish he'd do more things with you or how you don't understand how he doesn't want to play with other people as much as he used to, you are changing how much he believes he's going to continue to be allowed to play on the Wii. <<<<
I don't mention my concerns to him.  Thank you for reminding me of this, too!! It is just that he is so young, and a large percentage of his life now has been in front of a tv screen, and I don't see an end soon.  I love to play with him, and the bonding we have that I know all the characters and the games.  I just don't want to do damage to his brain.  Those articles I have read don't seem to address this concern of long term, extended use. 
 
Thanks again!!!  You have been great!!
~Consie

Schuyler Waynforth

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Nov 14, 2010, 12:26:01 PM11/14/10
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The evidence on television doesn't begin or end with Jane Healy. There's a lot of stuff out there about how television isn't bad for you at all. Maybe you need to put your scientific lenses back on and really look for stuff to challenge what you read about years ago. 

You mentioned be an alcoholic as an adult, it's a weird fear, it feels pulled out of a hat of fears. But, I can send you a lovely piece of poorly cited science to make you question the hole you see your son residing in for his adult life. http://www.walrusmagazine.com/articles/2007.12-health-rat-trap/ is a review of Bruce Alexander's fantastic work on addiction. He started with rats and moved on to people looking through the literature that already existed. What he found was that you can't take a creature in a good and engaging environment and get them to choose addiction. Miserable, bored rats line right up for a bit of whatever's on tap, but happy rats with a good life and a good place to live it seem to be willing to take or leave anything other than water. 

>>>"My son is not getting any Vit D from being outside.">>>

The range of ability to synthesize vitamin D is huge in humans. Folks with whiter skin synthesize it much much better than folks with darker skin. Good ol' evolution. Does he have rickets? Does he show any signs of being vitamin D deficient? Or are you just piling fear in from any quarter that you can find it?


>>>>"Good question.  I wish I had a crystal ball, to look 20-30 years into the future, and know the scientific evidence that all those tv and video game light rays did not effect the growth of my child.  :)  Since I don't have that, I need some people with adult children to let me know that their adult children are successful.  Not monetarily, but a career they like; and not being a vegetable or an alcoholic who just plays video games all day with his wife yelling at him to get a job!!!"<<<<

I don't have a crystal ball. I can't tell you that your child will have a good adult life, I can't tell you that your child will make it to adulthood. I don't know that about my own. I don't how much longer I've got to be with them. I can tell you that right now I have a 13 year old and 10 year old who are wonderful to be around. They are happy and engaging much of the time. They are funny and interested in talking about ideas and more concrete things. I know that if they had someone yelling at them all the time they would work to be around them less. That's probably as good a response as I could possibly want. Be happy right now with him. That's all you've got. You don't have tomorrow until it's right now. And yesterday's past. If you put him in school the guarantee of success would be the same, none. I know lots of happy unschooled kids, more happy unschooled kids than happy not unschooled kids. But that still isn't a guarantee of your future. And since I haven't done any kind of data analysis on it, well, I've got nothing to show you. 


I don't mention my concerns to him.  Thank you for reminding me of this, too!! It is just that he is so young, and a large percentage of his life now has been in front of a tv screen, and I don't see an end soon.  I love to play with him, and the bonding we have that I know all the characters and the games.  I just don't want to do damage to his brain.  Those articles I have read don't seem to address this concern of long term, extended use. 


When I was in grad school a study came up demonstrating that gay men had more feminized brains than straight men. Autopsies had shown the difference. My biology professor was furious at how stupid the study was, of course they had different brains. Behaviour changes brains. Is change damage? If change is damage then you've been damaging your son's brain with every behavioural thing you've done. And he's been damaging it himself. I think there is no evidence that long term television watching or video game playing is damaging, at least no replicated study. It'll change him  It'll change his brain. Neural pathways will be different than if he were pursuing different interests. That doesn't mean better and that doesn't mean worse. 

When the heck was Jane Healy writing anyhow? There is a fantastic little note from America that Alastair Cooke sent in the 1950's or 1960's that mentions a study down at Northwestern about television watching and it showed there was no damage to attention span or school work or any factors. He was lovely in his comments, but I can't find it, maybe someone else has a link? 

Does he seem to have brain damage to you? 

Schuyler

Robyn L. Coburn

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Nov 14, 2010, 1:27:36 PM11/14/10
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====I am a scientist, so my brain needs solid evidence, not conjectures, if you know what I mean.  I (unfortunately?) read Jane Healy's books when my son was young, and she had some pretty good scientific evidence about not having children watch tv. =====
 
I have not read Jane Healy's books. But I only had to look at the front page of her website to know that her point of view is school focused and her definition of success is school based. She is a former classroom teacher, and just by the title of her latest book, she pathologises learning differences as learning problems requiring treatment. Her whole approach is most likely diametrically opposed to how unschoolers interact with their kids or view learning.
 
I have read the descriptions of some of the studies that various people and groups have undertaken about tv and children's brains, the kinds of studies that writers like Jane Healy will be using as the foundation of their theses and from which they will be drawing their conclusions. NONE of the samples (ie the kids) are ever unschooling children. ALL of the results are seen in the context of how they effect school performance and children's behavior in relation to school and school needs (eg are they willing to devote time to homework? Do they act out in class? Do they prefer video gaming to schoolwork?)
 
The studies I have read are goofy. Far from being "pretty good scientific evidence", the ways they set up the viewing in the lab situation are so far removed from how my daughter (or any real person in their own home) watches tv or uses video games that I am completely confident that the results don't apply in the slightest. Speaking scientifically, the hypotheses tend to beg the question and be theory laden, with the conclusions often demonstrating cognitive dissonance and bias.
 
Frankly there used to be the same arguments proposed about reading by the masses, listening to radio in the home and early cinema. New technology as it comes into general use often is demonized initially. Once upon a time it was feared that if people drove in fast cars (over 25 mph!), they could become impregnated with speed and it would be harmful their body and mind. 
 
Is the brain changed by video gaming? Of course! I believe the brain is changed by all experience. New connections and brain pathways. That's called "learning".
 
Are these changes harmful in the long or even short term? That is asserted but not proven - and I'm going to throw my lot in with unschoolers on the side of no - because our experience with our children form an ongoing research project that is now some twenty-five or so years old. We have a good sized sample of several thousand families all over the world. No one has come forward to describe their now adult child as illiterate (a better rate than schools), unemployable, denied college admission (sometimes conditional - corrections anyone?), or more sorry than glad that they unschooled for all or part of their childhood. My theory is that yes brains are changing and adapting to the new technologically based world in which our kids will be living, and it is good and needful.
 
Some scaremongering I read recently was about kids being cranky after playing video games for some random length of time they described as "extended" - but I can't remember how long. It is definitely true that Jayn is sometimes cranky after playing video games for several hours. However is it simple causation, or are there numerous other factors in her emotional state, like being a bit stiff from tensing her muscles without realizing it, or perhaps hungrier than she realized because she forgot to eat. Maybe it's because she always has trouble transitioning from one activity to another, especially intense ones. Maybe she's just tired. Or maybe after extended video gaming her mind wants to process and store the new information, and she has an emotional reaction that manifests in temporary crankiness while this process occurs. I hope she is not turning into a psychopath because of gaming.
 
If video games cause cranky, what causes the cranky on all those days when she didn't play video games?
 
Another big difference between our unschooling children and many schooled kids, including those experiencing video gaming, is the quality and quantity of emotional interactions with their parents and family. I'm not suggesting that schooling parents don't love their children - not at all. I'm pointing out that the parenting choices made by unschooling parents, founded on mindful parenting principles including acceptance and support, as well as the greater amount of time that unschooling parents consciously choose to spend with their kids (in the same house if not the same room), our Presence in our kids' lives, make a difference to their emotional lives and cognitive development. This is the filter through which all the tv and gaming studies must be viewed.
 
On weight issues: alas my poor near pubescent daughter is also a bit fat. Unfortunately she has a mother who was fat at the same age (in the absence of video gaming) and a grandmother who was exactly the same at the same age (who did ballet several times a week). Both Mum and I got fat again in our forties. Sorry for the genes, Jayn. But I bet dollars to donuts you will suddenly slim down like magic, just like we did once we started menstruating. Except I think you are going to be taller than either of us.
 
So my biggest suggestion is never to look at your son playing video games with the question "when will this end?" in your mind, but instead to think about "when he pauses, what cool thing can I have ready?" - some other kind of activity.
 
The difference in your thinking/attitude is visualizing an invitation to join you in a walk or gardening, rather than a requirement that he "do something active". You don't have to speak your concerns in words for them to be communicated to your son. If he senses your worry intuitively, he might instinctively hold tighter to video gaming.
 
If you are truly worried about Vitamin D, supplement it, but also remember that significant numbers of homo sapiens live in parts of the world where there are very long winter nights, and they survive to reproduce and thrive.

Cons...@aol.com

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Nov 14, 2010, 11:57:59 AM11/14/10
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>>When I look at our life now, Jayn’s pre-literate life and activities, I can see that there are things that are likely to be lost once she can read for herself.
When, in due course, Jayn can read for herself, she will enter a world where she too will have a level of skillful self-reliance that will remove some of her need of me, remove me from her service.
 
Perhaps we all share similar pangs and shed gentle hidden tears as we realize that once again our babies have moved on in the process of releasing us from the center of their innocent world. <<
 
I really needed this reminder!  When I was pregnant, a friend of mine told me a story about her looking in the rear view mirror, at the car behind her.  Her youngest child was driving the car behind her, with her 2 older children in that car.  She remembers when she would look in the rear view mirror, and all 3 kids were in the back seat, strapped in their child seats.  When my son was young, I would play "flash forward" based on her story.  If he was an infant, crying from GERD for hours, I would put on music and dance with him held close to me.  I would flash forward to when he would be an adult and we are dancing at his wedding, and I would be yearning for that little baby to hold in my arms. Oh, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. 
 
So, I want to enjoy this time with him now.  Enjoying his "pre-reading" days, where he is my little buddy all day long, depending on me to navigate him through games, etc.  If I could just relax in knowing that I am not doing any damage to his growing brain, I would enjoy it even more. 
 
I guess my fears are two-fold.  You shed light onto this.  I am a concerned about the length of time each day, and for almost a year, that he has been playing video games. It is like Vitamins or antibiotics:  some is good, more is not better.  Video games may help people with Parkinsons, but can it hurt them/others with prolonged use. Secondly, I am concerned that he is not reading yet.  They are intertwined concerns, but they are also two separate concerns.  If we did not have such a strict reporting system in our state, I would not be so "aware" of what schooled children are doing.
 
Thanks again for reminding me to live in this moment.  When I forget that, I will "flash forward" to when he is driving a real car, and not a Wii car; and he does not have the time to be my 24/7 buddy.
Consie

lylaw

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Nov 14, 2010, 3:08:45 PM11/14/10
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isn’t he only 7 years old?  this is quite young for many kids to be reading.  I’d really encourage you to read up on that – pun intended.  some kids read at 4 and others at 12 or later, and by 15, you can’t tell the difference between the earlier readers and the later readers by looking at reading fluency or retention, etc. 
 
in fact, pam sorooshian shared some *benefits* to later reading at a recent conference panel, including much better auditory memory as adults. 
 
7 is a baby still, in so many ways.  many unschoolers I know have learned to read quickly and suddenly, and all on their own, at around 8 or 9, without their parents even knowing they had done so!    I myself read at 4, without ever being taught, and a dear friend’s  son didn’t really start reading til 13 or 14.    a different friend’s youngest didn’t start reading til 10, and at 11 is still an emergent reader, and yet her daughter started reading at 6.  they had no video games in their house -  I fail to see what it has to do with video games. 
 
lyla

Robyn L. Coburn

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Nov 14, 2010, 5:10:54 PM11/14/10
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Except it is not like vitamins or antibiotics.
 
Adults suffering from specific illnesses of the brain are not like normal children either.
 
He is very young to be reading. Only some 7 year olds in school are actually reading, what in the real world is reading. What most 7 year olds (which is only either 1st or 2nd Grade) are doing in school are pre-reading exercises - being able to recognize from repeated drilling certain specific and simple words in the context of simple, often rhyming sentences. Real reading is being able to decode and understand new written material in real life contexts - including all kinds of different fonts.
 
Early readers exist. Schools love them because they get to take credit for it, instead of admitting that it is nature and luck.
 
Consie, your local unschooling group or list will be able to help you with strategies to do your reporting more painlessly. My only suggestion is to make sure that you are not doing more than the law specifies. Don't get your legal info from the local school district. Get it from other unschoolers.
 
In unschooling everything is intertwined, all knowledge is connected, and everything counts.
 If I could just relax in knowing that I am not doing any damage to his growing brain, I would enjoy it even more. 

Cons...@aol.com

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Nov 14, 2010, 4:35:12 PM11/14/10
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He is almost 8.  In our state we have to do standardized test that have to be given by the teacher.  If he can not read, he can not take a test. 

Cons...@aol.com

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Nov 14, 2010, 6:47:51 PM11/14/10
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>>>Except it is not like vitamins or antibiotics<<
The analogy that I was making was that I am concerned "some are good, more is not better".  So, my concern should not be minimized by saying that my concern does not exist.   Some may be good and mor may not be better, may be true about video games.  The jury is still out!   I think everyone believes that it changes the brain.  But, is that for the good or for the worse when it is to the extreme? 
 
For my unschooled child, I have learned to validate his feelings without promoting his fears.  This is what I was hoping to find here. 
.>>your local unschooling group or list will be able to help you with strategies to do your reporting more painlessly. <<<
I am not having a problem with reporting.  We live in a very strict district, and I just play their game, and know in the end my child wins by being home and unschooled.  I am not going to try to change the world (ie. un-accepting school officials), except for one child at a time...my child.  I know the game.  I played it in school for 20 years.  Reporting is just more of the same.  Busy work.  My concern, as I stated, was the testing.  If he can not read, he can not take a standardized test, that must be given by a certified teacher. 
 
I really want some success stories. I don't want to be told that I am just overly fearful. ie."alcoholic.. it's a weird fear, it feels pulled out of a hat of fears" I was, by the way, just making another analogy of a different type of addition.   I don't want to be told that my fears are weird.  Again, as unschoolers, I don't think we would say that to our children.  Why would we say that to an adult?  That feels like invalidation.   Let me clarify.  I was hook-line-and-sinker unschooler since my son was born, once I read my first John Holt Book.  I could not stop reading for 2 years.  I found it fascinating, and it totally resonated with my beliefs.   I am the go-to girl for unschooling advice in our community.  When my son taught himself how to swim all by himself, just like JH said he would, I was on top of the world with "proof".  He is a really good swimmer.   So, I am not a newbie unschooler.  I am an unschooler who is now just a little scared.  Looking to others for support and insight and stories of their children.  My concern is that my son has done video games for all of his waking hours for a year!  So, my faith is being tested.  I just want a little support to restore that faith. SD stated in one of her articles "If you don't let them play as much as they want, it's all they'll ever want to do"  This is what I hung my hat on last year when 2 months went by, then three, then six, then nine.  Now it is 11 months, and what I am saying is that this IS all he wants to do; and I just want to be a good mom and do everything to make sure that his brain is not harmed.  Isn't that the one of the foundations of why we unschool?  Don't we all questions ourselves at some time?  I know we do, and I don't want feel foolish or ashamed that I am questioning my faith in unschooling.  Does anyone have a son that spent all of his waking hours as a 7-8 year old or so playing videos, and now that child is an adult?  I want some assurance (without judgement) that he will likely turn out OK, since others have seen it be OK.   I hope that clarifies where I am coming from.  It is like someone's faith in God being shaken.  I want the faith restored.  I do it for people all the time, but this time I need the help.  Please!
 
In unschooling everything is intertwined, all knowledge is connected, and everything counts.
Well-stated!!!
Consie

Jacquie Krauskopf

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Nov 14, 2010, 7:20:04 PM11/14/10
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My son was encouraged to read by playing video games so he could read what the game had to say!
 
Jacquie

Jacquie Krauskopf

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Nov 14, 2010, 7:22:38 PM11/14/10
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What about when you discover your 10 year old playing a favorite game and crying because he has played so many games and not won a single one that session?

 

Jacquie


Jacquie Krauskopf

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Nov 14, 2010, 7:31:45 PM11/14/10
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This a problem for most people today- kids and adults. Look back at a hundred years ago and they did so much more and ate so much less. Now today we have made so many machines to do so much of our work for us that a lot of people have to go to the Y or a gym to workout on even more machines! I find myself pulling hens teeth to get my 10 year old son to go outside and PLAY on even the nicest day- (too hot, too cold ect.) A few weeks ago we had called up another homeschooling family and had the kids over to play kickball. The kids came and played for maybe 10 minutes before they wanted to come inside to play in my sons room. SIGH.
    How do we encourage our kids to be physical? Last week i took him the park and we walked a trail in the woods where he had a blast trying to climb up hills and explore but i can't do that every day.
   So what do you all do to get your child(ren) to be physical when they are not?
 
Jacquie


From: "Cons...@aol.com" <Cons...@aol.com>
To: unschoolin...@googlegroups.com
Sent: Sat, November 13, 2010 2:47:36 PM

Subject: Re: [UnschoolingDiscussion] Video Games
--

Cons...@aol.com

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Nov 14, 2010, 7:42:27 PM11/14/10
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Awesome!!  Thank you!!!
 
In a message dated 11/14/2010 7:37:31 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, home_m...@yahoo.com writes:
My son was encouraged to read by playing video games so he could read what the game had to say!
 
Jacquie

Cons...@aol.com

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Nov 14, 2010, 7:52:07 PM11/14/10
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That is such a good point. 
 
I thought that if my son was home, he would not get fat, like the schooled kids; because he would not be sitting around in a desk all day.  I guess I thought wrong.  :)  LOL   I guess this is part of the challenge.  Thinking that things were going to be a certain way:  doing little art projects, cooking together, etc.  And, now, reality is different.  Learning to go with the flow, and enjoying what is. 
 
Consie

Rina Groeneveld

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Nov 14, 2010, 8:02:33 PM11/14/10
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Hi Consie,

I know that there are a whole lot of replies about this one that have probably dealt with this issue, but I just wanted to add my two cents about your concern that your son isn't reading yet. All three of my younger unschooled children only started being able to read after the age of 8. My daughter, who wasn't able to read till she was nearly 9, is now, at 13, reading about 5 books in the space of 3 days - we do a lot of trips to the library and it's dangerous to go into a bookstore with her ;-) . So the fact that your son isn't reading yet is Nothing To Worry About. It seems that it's actually unusual for children who don't have reading drilled into them to be doing it at such a young age.

Rina


From: Cons...@aol.com
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2010 11:57:59 -0500

Subject: Re: [UnschoolingDiscussion] Video Games

Sandra Dodd

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Nov 14, 2010, 8:12:45 PM11/14/10
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It's better to start a new subject/topic if you change the subject.


-=-He is almost 8. In our state we have to do standardized test that

have to be given by the teacher. If he can not read, he can not take

a test. -=-

It's vital for you to connect with other unschoolers in your state--
not through this international discussion list, but directly, within
your state.

Be careful of any thought or use of "we have to".
http://sandradodd.com/haveto (" In our state we have to do
standardized test")

This list is to help people discuss and understand unschooling, it's
not for test preparation.
If your priority isn't unschooling that's fine too, but the legalities
and technicalities of regions or nations aren't the subject or purpose
of this list. There are others unschooling in your area, I'm sure,
and if you're not in contact with them, please establish that as soon
as you can.

http://sandradodd.com/world might have a link if you don't already
have one.

Sandra


Sandra Dodd

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Nov 14, 2010, 8:13:54 PM11/14/10
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-=- It seems that it's actually unusual for children who don't have reading drilled into them to be doing it at such a young age.-=-

Children cannot have reading drilled into them, but many (because of the attempt) do have reading drilled out of them.

Sandra

lylaw

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Nov 14, 2010, 8:11:03 PM11/14/10
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How do we encourage our kids to be physical? Last week i took him the park and we walked a trail in the woods where he had a blast trying to climb up hills and explore but i can't do that every day. >>>>
 
are you physical every day?  why can’t you go in the woods every day if he had a blast doing that?  sending the kids “out to play” is not at all connecting or relationship building.  are you going out with them?  initiating games or playful projects?  
 
lyla

Sandra Dodd

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Nov 14, 2010, 8:26:34 PM11/14/10
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-=- >>>Except it is not like vitamins or antibiotics<<

-=-The analogy that I was making was that I am concerned "some are

good, more is not better". So, my concern should not be minimized by
saying that my concern does not exist. Some may be good and mor may
not be better, may be true about video games. The jury is still
out! I think everyone believes that it changes the brain. But, is
that for the good or for the worse when it is to the extreme?

-=-For my unschooled child, I have learned to validate his feelings
without promoting his fears. This is what I was hoping to find here. -
=-

Except it's not like vitamins or antibiotics. Your analogy did not
work.
Your "concern" and claim of being scientific and your insistence that
you are NOT wanting to limit your son (quote below) show confusion on
your part, which is fine. Insisting that we're wrong and you're
calmly examining an idea, though, shows even more confusion.
Confusion is fine, but it's good to realize you're confused and admit
it rather than thrash around at the people who are trying to point it
out.

---------------------------------------------


>>>>It sounds like you want to tell him no more video games. It
sounds like that's what you want to justify.<<<<<
Oh, my, my!! That could not be further from the truth. What I want
if your you all to tell me that everything is going to be OK!!! LOL

---------------------------------------------

When experienced unschoolers with older children are freelly
volunteering to read your questions and concerns and respond at length
with ideas they know could help you, if you would thoughtfully
consider them, "LOL" is not any part of a thoughtful or courteous
response.

-=-What I want ...-=-
-=- This is what I was hoping to find here. -=-

If you know what you want and what you're hoping to find, why do you
need this list at all?
You pictured the way you wanted the list to be, and you're arguing to
try to make us into your vision.
You pictured the way you wanted unschooling to be, and the way you
wanted your son to be, and you're trying to get us to agree that
unschooling, video gaming and your son should change.

We're trying to say that unschooling, video gaming and your son are
fine; YOU need to see the world (and unschooling, natural learning,
choices, enjoyment, time, energy, health, video games, your son and
this list) in a different way.

http://sandradodd.com/deschooling

Until a mom changes, she can't begin to see unschooling clearly at all.
Until the parent changes, unschooling can't begin to work.

http://sandradodd.com/seeingit

Had you read through the video game link that several people sent you
("through" meaning following the links and reading all those pages),
you would have felt better sooner. The questions you have are
discussed a couple of times a year (at least) and the best of many
years' worth of answers (since before your son was born) are collected
there.

The scientific thing to do would be to observe and test, not to trust
or have faith in any book or idea or philosophy, but to look
thoughtfully with all that you know from direct knowledge.

"Read a little, try a little, wait a while, watch."

Sandra

Sandra Dodd

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Nov 14, 2010, 8:31:31 PM11/14/10
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-=-Last week i took him the park and we walked a trail in the woods
where he had a blast trying to climb up hills and explore but i can't
do that every day. -=-

If that were your priority, you probably COULD do that every day,
couldn't you?

"Can't" might mean something particular that you didn't clarify.

But if you did it every day, it wouldn't continue to be "a blast"
forever.
http://www.sandradodd.com/t/economics
http://sandradodd.com/choices

You chose to take him to a park one day.
Other days, you haven't chosen to do that.

If you see the choices you make, you'll see more clearly than if you
say "can't do."

Sandra

polykow

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Nov 14, 2010, 9:17:28 PM11/14/10
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"Now it is 11 months, and what I am saying is that this IS
all he wants to do; and I just want to be a good mom and do
everything to make sure that his brain is not harmed. "

Would you feel afraid if all he wanted to do was read books?
Or play basketball?

Alex Polikowsky

Sandra Dodd

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Nov 14, 2010, 9:52:39 PM11/14/10
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This came privately from Consie99, but I think that was a mistake and was intended for the list as a whole.

====================================================
Except it's not like vitamins or antibiotics
 
Can you explain your reasoning further?  I am confused by what you are saying.  Some vitamins are good, more are not better.  I am a doctor.  Some antibiotics are good, more is not better.  What am I missing here that you are trying to get across?
 
Thanks
=========================================================================
 
Writing on a list isn't an invitation for private correspondence, but I think that was an error of response choices.
I don't have time for or interest in corresponding privately with every unschooler.  The quality of discussions in groups is generally better than one-on-one, too, and that's the way I choose to spend my volunteer time and effort (that and the website and the blogs).

It's very important that each person wanting to learn about unschooling read AND wait and watch and think about it and read some more, and wait and watch and think about it.  Writing doesn't create understanding.  Reading doesn't prove that unschooling works.  Only seeing your child learning will help you see how learning looks in and with your child. 

-=-Except it's not like vitamins or antibiotics
 
-=-Can you explain your reasoning further?  I am confused by what you are saying.-=-

Playing video games is not like taking vitamins.
Reading books is not like taking antibiotics.
The analogy of more not being better, as if those things were vitamins or antibiotics, does not follow logically.
I'm not the only one who had explained it.

-=-Some vitamins are good, more are not better.  I am a doctor. -=-

What kind of doctor?  
Unschooling isn't like medicine, either.
The kind of learning kids do in their own interests isn't like the kind of crammed memorization of the names of nerves and muscles and bones and diseases that medical students do, either.

-=-Some antibiotics are good, more is not better.  What am I missing here that you are trying to get across?-=-

Some thought is good.  More IS better.
Some observation is good.  More is better.
Some waiting is good.  When it comes to writing too much about unschooling and not doing enough trying, waiting and watching, more waiting is better.

Until a person stops doing the things that keep unschooling from working, unschooling cannot begin to work. It seems simple to me. If you're trying to listen for a sound, you have to stop talking and be still.  http://sandradodd.com/gettingit

Sandra

Sandra Dodd

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Nov 14, 2010, 9:53:48 PM11/14/10
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Alex asked a good question:

-=-Would you feel afraid if all he wanted to do was read books?
Or play basketball?-=-

http://sandradodd.com/intelligences

How do you "get your child" to be more musical or more active or more
cerebral or to be a better dancer?
Perhaps you don't try to do that at all.

Sandra

Cons...@aol.com

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Nov 14, 2010, 8:38:47 PM11/14/10
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I thought I read that entire link on video games.  I did not see anywhere that a child was playing games all day every day for this length of time.  If I missed a link, please let me know.  It did not make me feel better.  It made me more scared, that there is scientific evidence that it will change a brain; but no evidence as to if this is good or bad.  It did not make me feel any better.

Sandra Dodd

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Nov 14, 2010, 10:07:41 PM11/14/10
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-=-I thought I read that entire link on video games. I did not see
anywhere that a child was playing games all day every day for this
length of time. If I missed a link, please let me know. It did not
make me feel better. It made me more scared, that there is scientific
evidence that it will change a brain; but no evidence as to if this is
good or bad. It did not make me feel any better.-=-

I'm sure you didn't read it all, because it seems you've been writing
and posting since you first asked, and the quality and direction of
your questions shows no indication that you read anything there, which
is why I wrote "Had you read through the video game link that several

people sent you ("through" meaning following the links and reading all
those pages), you would have felt better sooner. The questions you
have are discussed a couple of times a year (at least) and the best of
many years' worth of answers (since before your son was born) are
collected there."

-=-I thought I read that entire link on video games. I did not see

anywhere that a child was playing games all day every day for this
length of time. If I missed a link, please let me know. It did not

make me feel better. -=-

"That entire link" was a page with links to several articles and to
tons of stories by unschoolers and gamers themselves. If you scanned
it for a story of a child playing games all day every day, perhaps you
should have read what people suggested you read instead of attempting
to use it to prove you were right and we were wrong.

If you want to limit your child's video games, do it.
If you want to have the same good results unschoolers write about
every day, freely, generously and honestly, then you will need to stop
wanting to limit.

If you don't want to stop limiting, then don't.
If you don't want to stop limiting, you will not have the same good
results other families have had.

If you want people to re-write everything they know from scratch,
that's not a good use of their time or yours, as so much is linked
from this page. Do not "read the link." Follow all of the links on
that page, and read thoughtfully and openly. Then try some of those
ideas, wait a while, watch what happens. The read some more, try a
little more, and wait a while, and watch.

What you're missing is having the desire to learn.
Unschooling doesn't work without the desire to learn.

http://sandradodd.com/videogames
If you want to skip all the outside articles, that's fine. Here's
what's by unschoolers:
http://sandradodd.com/game/tales
http://sandradodd.com/game/gamecube
http://zajosa.blogspot.com/2008/04/problem-when-parents-think-childs.html
http://sandradodd.com/game/reading
http://sandradodd.com/game/cheats
http://sandradodd.com/game/nintendogold
http://www.lessontutor.com/kd3.html

Kathy Ward's dyslexia link isn't working; I'm waiting for her to send
me that article, and it will be up again someday. Her old site host
folded.

http://sandradodd.com/videogames

Sandra

Cons...@aol.com

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Nov 14, 2010, 10:21:27 PM11/14/10
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sending it privately was to prevent further public humiliation.  wow.  I would think the kind thing would have simply been to ask me if you wanted this posted publicly, and tell me personally that you did not want to answer offline. 
 
thanks to all of the members who posted to me offline, and gave me wonderful advice to chew on. 
 
I am leaving this list, as so many have advise me that members are chew up and spit out as a routine, if they don't understand things right off the bat

lylaw

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Nov 14, 2010, 10:20:35 PM11/14/10
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=====
What kind of doctor? 
Unschooling isn't like medicine, either.
The kind of learning kids do in their own interests isn't like the kind of crammed memorization of the names of nerves and muscles and bones and diseases that medical students do, either
====
 
nor does being a doctor make one  a scientist.  memorizing muscles and bones does not make one capable of analyzing studies or using critical thinking skills to differentiate between good science and bad science.  fear has no role in science, nor does believing everything you read, or even most of it.  this article is really pretty great about the faulty nature of *most* scientific studies. 
 
 
I’d really recommend the original poster extract and examine each fear, question, observation, etc. regarding video games, individually, rather than lumping them all together in a chaotic ball of fear combined with observation, combined with self-image, combined with questions that contradict each other.
 
if you are worried about brain damage, look into that, with scientific rigor, where possible. if you are worried about addiction, look into that.  if you are worried about obesity, find out more about that.  if you are worried about something else, figure that out, and the look into that.  at the moment all the posts have everything jumbled up together, but you keep saying it’s just about impact on the brain.
 
in addition, anything anyone could tell you, anecdotally, about their kids, would not be scientific.  it would be anecdotal.  so you might need to decide if what you are looking for really is scientific, or if it’s reassuring stories, and not confuse the two...
 
lyla

lylaw

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Nov 14, 2010, 10:22:59 PM11/14/10