People often say that if they gave their child free choice to watch TV when they wanted and play games on the computer as much as they wanted to that they would do nothing else.
Four years ago when Milly came out of school we had a subscrition for Education city. She used it sporadically but she would get very frustrated and stopped using it. After the year we decided not to renew.
A couple of weeks ago Education city came up in conversation and she said she would like a trial again.
We set it up yesterday and she and I spent a very enjoyable hour together as she went through some of the subjects. She remembered the ones she enjoyed and was quite surprised at how many of her *educated* guesses were correct :-) TV programmes, films, conversations and games we have played have informed her. On some of the science ones - about mixtures, solutions, distillation etc - she patiently worked through, using all the information she has gathered from day to day activities, before making her guess with great acuracy.
After Al got home from work tonight they went off to Buttermere for a walk with Beauty and a swim in the lake for Milly :-)
We had a late tea and then Milly said she was going to lie down. I asked her if she would like me to read to her. We had a lovely half hour and a snuggle. When I finished reading we spooned for a while and chatted and then I asked her if she had been reading her new book I had downloaded onto her kindle. She said yes and then proceeded to read it to me. A very funny book . Lots of giggles at the pronunciation of some of the names :-)
She had arranged with Al that they would spend time on Ed city and went down to log on. They spent an hour on the PC and I sat on the sofa browsing on the laptop listening to them. She scored highly in quite a few of the subjects and enjoyed the time spent on it.
After 4 years away from anything resembling school work Milly held her own - at the year level she would be in at school - scoring 90% on one of the literacy options and 100% on a science (biology) option.
At nine we all sat down to watch Luther together on TV and as we got settled Milly said she would watch it then go on Ed city again before heading off to bed....
She is on Ed city now ( 20 to eleven ) working through punctuation. She has just scored 5 out of 5 - she has never had a lesson in punctuation - we have however talked a lot about it and it's use in writing.
Not sure yet if she will want to continue with a subscription, but we will enjoy the trial and then it will be her decision.
Milly is not really a gamer but could - if she chose to - play as much as she wanted to.
She does however *love* film and TV. She has recently been re- watching all her Ghostwhisperer DVDs. Hours and hours worth of enjoyment for her.
We continue to offer things up that we think she will enjoy doing - not done to intentionally take her away from the screen though. - she can choose *not* to do them.
She knows she can go back to her DVD or tape her programme and watch it later.
Given free choice she very, very, often chooses to do other things - whether we have suggested them or she comes up with the ideas.
She could be watching TV ( still learning in our book ) now but at the moment is happily spending her time learning - about DNA and genetics - on an *educational * site instead.