Sunday, November 04, 2012

Almost Normal

Today was almost normal after the craziness of moving followed so closely by the hurricane. For the first day in weeks we had a large block of free time during daylight hours, a span that all of us anticipated happily all week. Naturally, I filled it right up with a request of the kids that they take on a much-loathed task.

The storm left a carpet of fallen leaves high-ankle deep which, now no longer wet, makes an ideal plaything for children cooped up too long with their distracted parents.  It was an easy trick to get
I'm assured it's more fun than it looks.
them to rake with a promise that all resulting piles would be made available for playtime.  They tried to interest the dog in their games, but she had the good sense to steer well clear.
The rest of the day consisted of workaday procurement (mop, socks, hair gel), football watching, potpie making, and taking the new XBox for a spin. 

The XBox was yesterday's big project, undertaken after the Boy's report card was posted showing his verbal commitment to straight As fulfilled.  This bargain - grades in exchange for ending our streak as the last family standing, XBox-wise - was struck in the aftermath of 5th grade.  We were just glad to get out of that one alive so when he suggested way back in the distant mists of June that there might be a way to inspire him to regain academic glory the idea seemed so crazy that it just might work. And so it did.  His school is known for a fair degree of rigor so it pleases me to know that he does respond to the right carrot. 

For my part, I've been reading the collected works of Jane McGonigal in an attempt to convince myself that these games?  Are an o.k. idea after all.  I'm the girl who only ever played the first two screens of Pac Man and thought for years that nothing could be more fun than Where in the World is Carmen San Diego.  The original version. 

As they say at the office, this may be a development opportunity.


Elle said...

We are having our first exposure to grading here, with a correspondence course for the little emperor. It has been interesting.

Yk, 4 yrs ago, we used a game console as a carrot. The earning of screen time was a different economy entirely. Still today. Make it work for you!

ruthless said...

We had the first Harry Potter game, some little mermaid action and then a decade of nothing. Frankly, I am relieved that they were more motivated by getting the newest season of Charmed or Veronica Mars.

Marsha said...

Yes, screen time is a precious, precious thing - and must be divided between computer, console, gadget and television. We'll see how it goes. So far, the delight in just owning such a marvelous device has been enough to carry him. Once he wants to start actually using it, well...

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