OK, I need to blather on about video game playing again. :)
People have been responding to the recent onslaught of news coverage that unschooling has received. This is totally understandable with how slanted the first Good Morning America piece was, but now I have a gripe. And it's actually with some of the unschoolers responses.
Unschoolers are coming back with responses like "we don't just play video games or watch TV". Now I know most people need to hear that type of thing, but I really think that that type of thinking just perpetuates the fear.
What's so bad about playing video games? What's so bad about TV? The fear that is generated from those two activities continues to surprise me. People.. think about it. If your child is engaged, don't you think they're getting something out of it? Even if it's more mundane play, don't you think that sometimes people need to relax or unwind?
My son Alec, 17, has played a lot of video games.. and I do mean a lot. He loved the puzzles, the strategy, the humor, the story lines.. even the history included in the games.. (yes, you can learn history from video games) and you know what? He's a smart guy! Really.. you should talk with him. He carries on intelligent conversations and even knows quite a bit about other things that aren't video game related. But, yes.. he played a lot of video games.
I'm asking people to see that our children, just like ourselves, will do other things when they need to do other things. If they don't, and they continue to play; they might end up following that to a career. Really. What are the options? How about computer programming, management, marketing, game creation/drawing, sales.. the list goes on. If they like to play video games, get them lots of games, let them play different types, let them savor the style, the creativity that is there.. or on the flip side, let them see that they are tired of video games and that they want to do something else.
If we continue to badger them or worry, they will never be able to see if they truly like them or not. It might be a passion and it could turn into a career or it might be something they like and then they'll see it as just that -- a hobby. It won't be viewed as something evil or bad. When parents continue to see gaming in a bad light it can turn gaming into a reactive thing -- Mom/Dad don't like those.. I probably need to check it out! ;) Your child isn't doing it for the joy of it. They're doing it because it's such a taboo activity. You know what I'm talking about.
We've spent a lot of time together playing video games and you know what.. it was a great ride. Was it a waste of time? Nope. Are the kids still playing games? Yes, and no.
Alec, our biggest game player, has recently decided that he wants to go to college and then on to medical school. He isn't playing much right now as he's focused on preparing for that. He also loves, loves, loves playing the drums. Figuring out fancy time signatures and tabs is his passion there.
Abbi has also played lots of video games and watched her fair share of TV but is now focusing on learning French. Just last night she was giggling so much over the fact that you can switch languages on Facebook. She now has her language set to French so she can socialize through Facebook while learning a new language! How cool is that??
Kyra, our youngest, who probably learned to read from World of Warcraft, is now considering canceling her WoW subscription because she just doesn't get on there that much anymore. She'd rather be sewing and creating her own fashions.
I don't want people to think that I'm relieved that our kids are moving on to new things....because I'm not. I am happy and excited, but it's more because they continue to find what makes their hearts sing. If they wanted to keep on playing video games I would have been right there supporting them. It's just another interest and who knows, next year we might be right back at it because.....
there's an expansion for World of Warcraft coming out!