Monday, January 17, 2011

"My Child Just Wants to Play Little Blue Planet All Day Long And It Is Driving Me Crazy"

...said the home educating lady on the messageboard.

I'd be going in two directions

1. Have some absolutely FAB activities on offer. Swimming, season ticket at local petting farm, season ticket at local soft play, all that stuff that other people do at the weekends. Offer something FAB every single morning, but not even really as an offer, but matter of fact. "we have to eat breakfast, put on our shoes, and then go to THE MOON!!!!" (or whatever slightly less amazing activity you have on offer).

That is your learning time. None of it is likely to happen through writing or reading, but your child will be out there, in the community, interacting with a really exciting environment and (with luck) with various people in that environment. It's quite likely that she will love doing the same thing day after day for quite a long while, so be ready to go with that. I do know a family who went to one local attraction every single day for 3 months. They certainly got their money's worth out of the season ticket that year...

2. When you get home, it's Little Big Planet time. Give her some time alone, and some time where you are watching with her. If she's receptive, it's an opportunity for conversation, for story telling. If she likes, she could freeze the screen and you sellotape a piece of paper over the screen and trace through the picture for her to colour in. Is there any way of having subtitles on while she is playing? And let the Little Big Planet obsession run its course. In a few months, she'll be ready to move on - perhaps to another computer game, or perhaps to something else entirely.

Are there Little Big Planet videos on Youtube (for lots of games people put them playing the game up as a video), or are there spin off cartoons or comics or anything? Just go with it, wholeheartedly

If she is telling you a long boring narrative about Little Big Planet, write it down in clear handwriting and then when she pauses, READ IT BACK TO HER. that is such a good game!


Danae said...

Why does it drive you crazy, lady?

Is it because YOU want to direct activities for your child? Is it because YOU are the only one who can tell what is good for your child?

Your child obviously is learning something important from Little Blue Planet. If she's still playing it all day, everyday when she is twenty, then you can get worried.

Otherwise, leave her alone.

emma said...

Heh. I think I said pretty much that, only more gently.

I guess people get very worried about whether their children's lives look educational from the outside. It seems to me very common to pay lip-service to "unschooling" when actually the parental interpretation of that is that children will be doing School Work, it's just that the child gets to determine exactly what the School Work is.