Friday, April 17, 2009

Jace was having behavior problems directly linked to the computer. Too much time in front of the computer was the actual CAUSE of the problem; he was easily frustrated, tempermental, and unable to control his emotions. Some kids process time spent in front of a screen differently. Some don't agree with me but that's okay; if I'd only experienced a child, like Kya for example, who can handle unlimited screen time without obsessive compulsive or adverse behavioral effects I would probably not understand limitations either. But I KNOW the screen time is the cause of these issues and I'm intervening. This is what seperates me from the radical unschoolers I suppose but I'm okay with that too. I'm not really in this for the label of unschooler, I'm in it because I'm trying to help my kids be their best selves, sometimes that means choices and following their lead, sometimes it means stepping in when they aren't able to make good choices due to maturity, lack of information, etc. So, Jace is taking a nice long break from the computer.

An unintended result of this break is that just one day into it is already easing my previous panic. I was worried before that his focus was too narrow and now he has no choice but to broaden his ideas of fun and learning.

Earlier in the week Jace bought a DS game that is a generic version of Guitar Hero or Rock Band. He really loves these types of games and has been playing a lot, though not obsessively. This morning when he was tired of playing the game he asked me to bring him the globe. He stretched out in the living room floor with the game, the globe, a dry erase board, markers, paper, and pencil. Out of curiosity I would walk through the living room occasionally so I could observe without hovering. He was planning a world tour. :)

He was using the dry erase board to plan his route; drawing the continents and putting x's and numbers on the cities he would be visiting. On the paper he was listing the cities and their country in order, designing concert t-shirts, and planning his playlist from the list of songs on his game. I asked him how he was choosing the order of the songs and he had an elaborate system that involved fast songs to get the crowd worked up mixed with slow songs to bring them back down.

Honestly, I am always so much more impressed by what my kids are learning when no one is teaching them anything.

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