Monday, September 14, 2009

Technical difficulties

We just found out that one of our first parenting decisions appears to have backfired.

Up until now, we've been very careful about how the kids have been introduced to various types of media. They don't have (and never will) computers, phones or TVs in their rooms. They watch and love movies, but we have limited their early TV watching. When they do watch it's usually PBS or Noggin, although we've relaxed a little bit with that and, thanks to TiVo, we can FF through commercial breaks and objectionable scenes. And as far as computer games go, except for our whopping three Dr. Seuss CD-Rom games, a few passes around Webkinz world and playing Bedazzled on Aunt Jenny's iPhone, neither kid has ever played online games. They really don't have the attention span for it and since neither Mr. J nor I have the slightest interest in Nintendo, PS2, Wii, online games, etc. the kids have had minimal exposure or interest in those types of things.

BUT. This year a lot of Dagny's homework and practice sheets -- especially for Maths -- is online! And guess what? She doesn't like it! She gets frustrated and bored and doesn't know where to click and is really unmotivated to do her work. I think she'd rather do flash cards with me (I hope I'm not projecting). It's not that she can't do the work, she just doesn't want to do it on the computer and more importantly, she doesn't really get how the online games work. There's no "competition" that she can see, hear and talk to like there is when she & I are throwing down with Quirkle or Mancala or Clue Jr. So now we're in the position of recanting a little and are going to try to encourage her to play online and learn how online games work. We've even debated getting a little laptop dedicated to their homework to make it more fun and to head off any competition between me reading blogs and someone wanting to practice addition.

Or maybe I won't worry about it, buy a set of dominoes to practice number theory, and continue our philosophy that sooner or later they'll pick it up on their own.

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