Posts Tagged ‘computer time’

Tee’s been using his half hour of computer time lately to play Civilization III, a strategy game that he bought with some hard-saved allowance.

Trouble is, when he’s not playing it he’s thinking about it, talking about it, or daydreaming about it, which leaves very little brain space for anything else. He tends to get fixated on things, either positively or negatively, a trait that may serve him well later in life, but which sometimes makes parenting him difficult. He doesn’t transition easily, he tends to block out all information other than anything directly pertaining to object or idea of current fascination, and he gets “tunnel-vision”. On the flip side, he can play by himself for days at a time, needing absolutely no input from me at all, and I’m pretty sure that a bomb could go off beside him when he’s absorbed in what he’s doing and he wouldn’t notice, so at least I know he doesn’t have an attention deficit disorder.

In his desperation for more computer time, the clever boy came up with a sure-fire plan to convince me into allowing it. First, he showed me the game and pointed out it’s educational aspects. Then he suggested that he do an hour of “research” for every half hour extra of time played. By research he meant learning about aspects of the game he didn’t know much about, via library books, or books on our shelves. I agreed, with the caveat that he write down what he’d learned in a notebook so that I could keep track of it (and so that he’d get some writing practice in, but no need to let him in on that).

Today was Day One of the Grand Computer Plan, and so far it’s a success. Tee’s satisfied, thrilled with the extra half hour he played, and I’m happy with the page of notes he took on the Gunpowder Plot. I guess his research started with gunpowder, but he now knows about Guy Fawkes, saltpetre, and a little more about England in the 1600’s than he did yesterday. I think I’d call it a win-win.

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