Schuyler on Video Games, TV and Computers

A chat with Schuyler Waynforth
Wednesday, February 18
10:00 a.m., Mountain Standard Time
5:00 p.m. in England at Schuyler's house


The chit-chat before the chat

Schuyler: Hiya I'm not late am I

Nicole (Guest50): nope

Schuyler: pshew

SandraDodd: very early, schuyler!

piscesgrrl: impressive!

SandraDodd: We're talking about a carpet cleaning machine called spot bot I have a big hoover that spits out water and then sucks it back up. It works pretty well, but it's not "a bot" Look at that TV down under this chat, to the far right Doesn't it look like a robot? All head and body, and then it opens its arms to lure you in

Zamozo: Is that little round glass thing the screen?

SandraDodd: Schuyler found all these images.

socal77: it does, I hadn't looked at the pictures

Nicole (Guest50): it does and tiny screen

Nicole (Guest50): that is a screen?

socal77: anyone see the Super Bowl hulu commercial about TV? www.hulu.com/superbowl/55719/super-bowl-xliii-ads-hulu-alec-in-huluwood

SandraDodd: I've seen one of the roundish screens like that one with the rose parade picture (which, btw, would NOT have been in color--forget it!) but I never saw a totally round one.

piscesgrrl: Yes, it's "in transition"

Zamozo: Just watched the hulu ad - Alec Baldwin cracks me up

Schuyler: I like the idea of being *in transition*

piscesgrrl: Me too!

socal77: it is pretty funny

piscesgrrl: that's also the name of one of my favorite blogs.. "she's in transition" - how perfect

Schuyler: I can't watch. It won't go abroad

katherand: *in transition* reminds me a little bit of *in translation* ... lost. Bill Murray movie.

piscesgrrl: couldn't decide if I liked that movie or not

Schuyler: I want to see it, but never quite get around to actualizing that desire

katherand: I think lost in translation is about somebody's social reverie. a bit like chattering.

piscesgrrl: we saw Slumdog Millionaire last weekend - inTENSE

Zamozo: we did too! Intense

Zamozo: adorable kid actors

SandraDodd: Don't give away any of that story, for those who haven't seen it.

piscesgrrl: yes, and loved the Bollywood scene at the end - we stayed to the end and danced in the theatre!

socal77: It was a great movie, my bfriend has family from India

Schuyler: We've been watching a lot of Diff 'rent Strokes lately. Gary Coleman carried that show
speaking of adorable kid actors

SandraDodd: Gary Coleman was all energy and intensity on that show, for sure

piscesgrrl: I forgot about Different Strokes

SandraDodd: Holly's been watching Fresh Prince of Belair and it's fun for her, knowing Will Smith as a serious action-movie guy, to see him young and scrawny and silly.

Schuyler: It's interesting to watch it in the present tense and now what at least part of their futures are.

piscesgrrl: you're not late - just chatting

SandraDodd: You're not late. We were just visiting before the real start.

Nicole (Guest50): lol I remember watching that show while my mom griped at me to get my homework done many many times

socal77: Drew watched years of Fresh Prince

Zamozo: all three seemed to have big struggles

SandraDodd: Okay. None of that will count, unless you want to work it in, Schuyler, to history and interpersonals to be learned from TV shows, which is fine with me if you want me to save some of what's passed by. But I'll collect from now. The Real Chat Thank you all for being here. I'm really enjoying these chats.

Schuyler: I am too. Thank you for hosting them.

SandraDodd: Schuyler is speaking in a few months on this topic, and this is not her presentation, but some of what's said in here might help her polish that up.

Schuyler: It's amazing how when you begin looking for things to add to a talk all things seem applicable.

JillP: Go Schuyler!!

SandraDodd: Most of the names look familiar and I'm guessing you know something about Schuyler, but for those who come and read it later (correct me where I screw up, please)...

Zamozo: Watching The Simpsons with my young son (young at the time) was the beginning of my transition to embracing the value of TV and video gaming

SandraDodd: Schuyler grew up in the Midwest U.S., and is living in England with her husband, who's English. His family lives in lots of places around the world (commonwealth countries). The family (Schuyler's) lived in Japan a while.

Schuyler: Yes, that's all true.

SandraDodd: They have two children. Schuyler's formal education is in anthropology, and I love her ability to find and apply scientific explanations to things unschoolers mess with in an everyday way.

Schuyler: Television has been a part of my life in all of those places.

SandraDodd: Her husband teaches something biological and also anthropological at a medical school. And they have a wood-fired hot tub.

Schuyler: We were just in that the other night.

SandraDodd: I have met Schuyler once, at a park in Albuquerque, and we'll see each other again a time or two before long.

katherand: does that mean he's a doctor? just curious.

Schuyler: He has a doctorate, but he isn't a physician In the UK you can teach in other fields, other departments, without having a degree in that subject.

SandraDodd: Schuyler has been WONDERFULLY helpful to unschoolers for years now, and I'm glad of my association with her on lists. She has helped lots of people have better lives.

Schuyler: He has an anthropology degree, but started in the UK in a psychology department

katherand: you can do that some in the US too.

SandraDodd: And there ends the introduction. Take it, Schuyler!

Schuyler: Alright. Television, as I mentioned at the off, has been a part of my life, my whole life. But it was used as leverage in my childhood. Which meant that I didn't trust it, or see it as a neutral creature that sat in the corner of the family room and that needed needle nose pliers to change the channel after a while.
It meant that I didn't trust it with my child. My baby boy Simon. It meant that I believed that it would abduct him, in some way, like the Carol Anne in Poltergiest.
And it didn't.
Or it did, but not in a scary go into the light and then run from the light sort of way. It did in a look at what I can add to your life sort of way.

Zamozo: What made you change your attitude towards the TV and your baby?

Schuyler: It highlights things and allows for exploration of things that I couldn't do with all the money in the world. Watching him watch teletubbies Again, again, again, But that didn't stop the limits. The limits stopped because of Unschooling Discussion and Always Learning.
Simon hit Linnaea when she was little and she playfully turned off the tv . He was watching something and she interrupted him But I didn't see it that way. I saw it as television turning him into a demon A little boy demon who saw television as more valuable than his sister I didn't see it as my responsibility to help her to not turn off the television when he was watching it. So I limited. He must have been 6 at the time. Or almost 6. He was grounded from the television for a week.

katherand: It's our own psyche that does all that? Not the stuff on the screen itself but maybe people believe that tv has a power all it's own like .... the Borg.

JillP: Ah, yes, I have an acquaintance that says the tv makes her kids hit each other.

Guest38: I have friends who limit t.v. because they say it makes their kids cranky.

Schuyler: I clearly believed that television was overriding his ability to control his emotions Television could make Simon cranky, or so I thought.

Zamozo: so did grounding seem to help?

Schuyler: Not the lack of food while he was sitting there watching. Nope.

JoyfulMom: Do you think it was your pre-digested thoughts about television that made you react in that way? What if he had hit her because she tore a page out of a library book? Would he have been grounded from books or the library? It's all in our previous assumptions

Schuyler: The grounding didn't help at all But the lists did The lists saying that it would help to bring a child food helped The lists saying that it would help to make sure he wasn't thirsty helped

JGuest38: But why do people fear that t.v. will zap all their children's creativity?

Schuyler: The lists saying that television is as valid an interest, and that's not quite how I want to say it, anyhow, as any other interest helped

SandraDodd: Schuyler, did that advice make you feel we were making you a demon's handmaiden?
I should apply for a grant from CBS or something for all my encouragement of people lightening up about TV watching.

Schuyler: I don't understand, I didn't feel like I was serving the demon television, ever.

SandraDodd: I'd apply to PBS, but they have no money

Zamozo: Pam Sorooshian's "Economics of Restricting TV Watching" sandradodd.com/t/economics helped me a lot

Schuyler: I felt that I was serving Simon and working to make my relationship better. The marginal utility stuff really helped.

JoyfulMom: People are fearful because that is how he have been conditioned. We need to revisit these indoctrinations and look at them with fresh eyes

Schuyler: Although I think that was later than this pivotal grounding moment for me.

piscesgrrl: I'm finding that other parents are more wary of me now, I'm seen as permissive, indulgent.

SandraDodd: I think all of unschooling is looking with fresh eyes.

socal77: absolutely, coming from a finance/ economics background myself; putting it in that perspective resonated with me

katherand: Brian used to say he would turn off the tv if Karl didn't sit down and watch the movie (or show or whatever) with us. Unrealistic expectation. Karl has always bopped up and down a lot with (or without) tv.

Schuyler: Someone asked about creativity.
Simon does something he calls a run around game
He runs as he tells stories to himself
Usually it is a way that he works through new things he's watching or games he's playing.

SandraDodd: Is he acting out the story sometimes? Does he stop when the characters stop?

Nicole (Guest50): Courtney has gotten a lot of the ideas for things she wants to do from tv

Schuyler: He's done that for a long time. He is writing fan fiction, I think

piscesgrrl: It might have been someone's suggestion from a list, but we bought a mini-trampoline and tossed it in front of the tv. Lots of bouncing while watching and playing video games here.

Schuyler: Taking the story where he wants it to go.

Zamozo: I received lots of support and kudos from fellow homeschoolers even "unschoolers" when I limited TV and gaming -- when I lifted limits, gradually, other parents started withdrawing from me and my kids' lives

Schuyler: I have a few of them written down, they are huge and involved

katherand: yes.. we finally got a mini tramp, suggested on the lists

piscesgrrl: Me too, Zamozo

SandraDodd: When I was a kid, in the 60's, we would play on the swing set in the yard, and would be playing Roy Rogers, or Tarzan, or things we had watched on TV

JoyfulMom: my ds(10) creates new plots for TV shows as well

Zamozo: Zoe does that running around thing -- more like pacing and she calls it imagining -- I like the fan fiction analogy

Schuyler: Simon and Linnaea have acted out Whose Line is it Anyway stuff.

Guest38: Me too. We used to play Star Wars and now my children do the same thing

Schuyler: It seems to be part of owning the show for him. The run around game

piscesgrrl: HUGE Whose Line fan in my house - my 12 yr old programs the TV to remind us when it's on Which I didn't know could even be done!

Schuyler: American or British?

piscesgrrl: American

Schuyler: We watch the American because it's on more, but I always have preferred Clive Anderson to Drew Carey

piscesgrrl: I should point that out to my son - he'd love to see the British one too

Schuyler: Stephen Fry was on the radio program, apparently You might be able to find it on youtube

katherand: Karl tells a lot of stories and just now he said he was watching my dream last night... referring to the Princess Bride movie I put in to watch while ironing last night.

Guest38: : we have some very good friends that limit t.v. (like once a week for 1/2 hour kind of limit) They like playing with my kids because they are very imaginative and like imaginative play. When their kids come over they play constantly.

Nicole (Guest50): heh I didn't know things like Courtney was programming the tv in her room to turn itself off at 3am to save us electricity

Guest38: : She cant believe my kids watch as much as they want

piscesgrrl: So, my 12 yr old is also studying maps like crazy now because he wants to beat his uncle at Facebook's game GeoChallenge

Schuyler: Television is just another aspect to life.

piscesgrrl: these are all the amazing connections we'd be missing out on if we limited

Zamozo: my kids have free reign with the TV but watch rarely - especially Zach who would rather be reading or gaming

katherand: I've been playing Castle Ages on Facebook..
RPG for newbies.. sorta

Schuyler: When we lived in Belize in a Garifuna village the villagers would all go to a house with a television and watch, oh I can't remember the shows name, the one with Urkle

piscesgrrl: my son asks ME to turn off the tv every night. He almost always sleeps on a sleeping bag in our room.
Family Matters

Schuyler: Family Matters, yay google And piscesgrrl

piscesgrrl: LOL - my son's a big fan of that one too

SandraDodd: I still think about Shirley Temple movies I saw when I was very young. They would be on TV at odd hours. And I'm still making connections to those stories and situations.

socal77: We love to point out actors we recognize in other shows or movies, like one of the guys from Princess Bride was on Life on Mars this week, Drew said, "inconceivable"

Schuyler: Princess Bride has so many wonderful moments in it.
I do not think you know what that word means

socal77: ha

Schuyler: I do not think that word means what you think it means, that's closer

piscesgrrl: So if other families have concerns about the lack of limits, how do you handle it? Our neighbor is asking us to use their rules when their son is over.

katherand: stop rhyming!!

Schuyler: I watched Pollyanna today with Linnaea and I remembered when someone started speaking negatively about homeschooling their children.

SandraDodd: It makes me crazy when people want me to take care of their kids, AND follow their rules as though I were babysitting at their house. HOW RUDE!

Schuyler: I said I was fairly Pollyannaish when it came to homeschooling
I think I'd say the same about television

piscesgrrl: It is. But we also want their son to come over....

Guest38: : when our friends come over the kids are free to watch t.v., however, they usually choose not to because the other kids won't stop.

Schuyler: You are having lots of issues with that neighbor and Myspace, was it?

piscesgrrl: yes and youtube

katherand: LOL.. yes Sandra. I balk at that too. It's *my* house and they know I won't follow *their* rules (unless it's a peanut allergy or something life threatening)

piscesgrrl: they had to take EVERYTHING down

Schuyler: That was a big wake up call for me about Simon and Linnaea and cable

SandraDodd: Holly has learned a LOT from her activities on MySpace.

piscesgrrl: it's also Brady's connection to these faraway unschoolers he's met at conferences

SandraDodd: But it's not just MySpace, it's our encouragement of her, and our approval and our admiration of her photo-artistry.

Zamozo: Schuyler - what kind of wake up call?

Schuyler: Simon would get engrossed in these shows he hadn't seen and then wouldn't do other things at people's houses . I realized we needed to have that at home
It needed to not be a rare good for him. It would give him the freedom to ignore or embrace it based on his own preference
The Xbox 360 has been an amazing connection with other unschoolers lately. Simon and Linnaea have been playing lots of Halo 3 and other games with unschoolers.

SandraDodd: That's how we got Kirby a Nintendo system. He would go to a friend's house and just play Nintendo. We could have forbidden him to visit that family instead, but how counterproductive would that have been!?

Schuyler: It makes the other person's house a better place to be.

Zamozo: yes, our limited friends want to focus on those activities when they're at our house -- fortunately we haven't had parents request that we limit them but... I suspect they aren't allowed to come over as often

Nicole (Guest50): yes

socal77: Drew played a lot of Halo when we were house sitting.

RVB: I don't ever remember wanting to watch tv at others' houses. I could watch anytime at home - my parents were really cool with that. We had the first color tv on the block

socal77: He got his friend's character up to lieutenant or something

piscesgrrl: Our homeschooling group holds classes and parents would make their kids sign up for classes instead of "wasting time" playing pokemon. So I formed a pokemon "class".

Zamozo: We made a mistake that seems to have scarred Zoe in regards to TV watching -- two times we forgot there were scary scenes in movies we encouraged her to watch with us -- now she won't watch anything unless it is fully vetted ahead of time -- or obviously

Schuyler: I suppose you have to decide to lie to your neighbor, to tell the truth and agree to limit television when the friend is over, or to tell the truth and not limit television and not see your neighbors son so often

Zamozo: safe like from PBS kids.

JoyfulMom: That's how we started out - my best friend's son had a Playstation 2 and Yonah would ask to go over and play and ignore everyone in the house, just play Playstation, which was rude

Guest38: : I remember as a kid doing that, immediately asking if we could watch t.v. or ask for a snack

JoyfulMom: so we goto our own system

Schuyler: Joyce has a site that she links often that will review shows for violence and scary scenes

piscesgrrl: Yes, Schuyler, I guess those are the options I'm weighing.

Schuyler: I can't remember what it is

Zamozo: kidsinmind.com -- I use it a lot

SandraDodd: Robin, we had the second one [color tv in our neighborhood]. My dad waited until grass looked green and not purplish. All the neighbor kids came over that year to watch The Wizard of Oz, when it came on as it did once a year.

piscesgrrl: The once a year Wizard of Oz was a big event for us too!

Guest38: : we never got to watch it.. it was sunday night and we were at church

Schuyler: I had a friend who gave up television for lent and would come over to our house and watch it in the reflection of the glass fronted bookcase

Zamozo: That was the movie that scarred me as a child

socal77: We have a playstation 2, I love all of the used games I can find for that system

SandraDodd: Wow, Schuyler.

piscesgrrl: Oh dear - the flying monkeys? The melting witch? The mean apple trees?

Zamozo: <>

SandraDodd: The apple tree scared me more than the monkeys.

JoyfulMom: Yonah used to be scared of pretty much all the Disney movies

RVB: Disney on Sunday nights was always on. My dad and I watched a lot of shows together as I got older. Especially Monty Python.

SandraDodd: We lived in an apple orchard--50 trees right outside the window.

socal77: that is funny, my grandma used to give up chocolate for lent, I never understood it

Schuyler: The Exorcist scared me so much as a child. It was the last time I slept in my parents' bed
It was on the late show

piscesgrrl: I loved scary movies.

Schuyler: I must have been 9 or so.

Zamozo: I watched the Exorcist while babysitting late at night - Yikes!

RVB: I was in college and it scared me to death - plenty of nightmares.

Schuyler: Jaws too, my brother used to play I'm tired and I want to go home on the piano and I would run screaming

JoyfulMom: My Dad, who has no discretion, took me to see Jaws when I was two, and Shockwave when I was five - which was a movie about green Nazis who lived under the sea and came to drown you - pretty scary for a Jewish girl

Schuyler: The followup Exorcists weren't nearly as scary.
I did like the plague of locusts

piscesgrrl: So my younger son wants to watch scary movies but it's hard to know how scary is too scary.

Schuyler: Green Nazis? They'd discovered Atlantis? I know Hitler was looking for it...

piscesgrrl: He watched 'Hide and Seek' with my husband and was totally freaked.

Zamozo: My son freaked out watching Willy Wonka!

Schuyler: Have you seen Shaun of the Dead?

Guest38: : my kids tell me if it is too scary

Schuyler: Or Evil Dead 2, the best of the trilogy

piscesgrrl: My husband was scared by Willy Wonka as a child.

JoyfulMom: I had nightmares for years that they were zombie walking up my street to come drown me in the bathtub

Bwalya (Guest34): The movie that terrified me as a child was Cabaret - my sister and I were babysitting and the couple rented it for us because "it's a musical"

Zamozo: as a 5 year old he stood up, shook his finger and said, "DON'T EVER PLAY THAT MOVIE IN THIS HOUSE AGAIN!"

SandraDodd: LOL! That's wonderful! The old Willy Wonka?

JoyfulMom: lol

Zamozo: He used to hide around the corner when the neighborhood of make believe came on Mr. Rogers too yes, old one - he hated the Oompa Loompah guys

Guest38: : my best friend growing up was scared to death of the old willy wonka

SandraDodd: Kirby was afraid of a Disney-Singalong Pirates of the Caribbean bit.

Zamozo: Yo-ho, a pirate's life for me.

SandraDodd: Schuyler, could you explain this economic principle about limitations, please? It will help to have it in the transcript, and maybe to get us back to the center of the topic. (or not... either way)

Schuyler: Marginal Value (or utility within the economics modelling) is about how the value of an item can be changed simply by limiting or making more available that item. Pam uses the example of a strawberry ice cream. So you buy one strawberry ice cream and it is amazing, the first one is fantastic and tastes so good and you've been craving it and yum
Then you go get a second one, thinking it will be as good, but well you are more full and the second one isn't nearly as good, but it still seems good because it's been a while and well

socal77: We made homemade pizza dough this week; by day three of pizza we were discussing the diminishing marginal utility of said pizza.
By the fourth one, there were two slices left and no one wanted them, then you get a third one, and the third one is moving almost to unpleasant.

Nicole (Guest50): not sure this is going to come out right...what do you do to keep yourself calm when they are spending all day nearly on a video game ...to keep the negative out of your head?

Schuyler: To quickly answer Nicole, I play the games with them The marginal value of the ice cream has changed by the frequency and availability of the item.
Television works exactly like that.

SandraDodd: It can help to imagine what you would think if one had spent all day reading a book, or all day painting.
See whether it's a prejudice of yours that's putting the negative in your head.

Schuyler: Video games work like that.

SandraDodd: But then it seems, in a way, Schuyler, that the "hope" of marginal utility would be that the kids wouldn't want them.

JoyfulMom: Sorry to interrupt the economics of limitations thing - as I totally agree with it - but Nicole - it is all about your beliefs re: video games - if he spent the entire day reading Shakespeare would you need to keep calm or keep negative things out of your

Schuyler: Simon once told me to not make carrot cake so frequently so that it would be a special treat

katherand: if you play with your kids or just sit watching and asking how they play, you will see a lot of learning in what they're playing

Schuyler: I think that's true.

SandraDodd: And we're not trying to "train them" not to like movies or video games, so why is it useful to unschoolers?
(I have ideas, but am trying to get an in-writing clarification.)

Schuyler: The real thing is that the item has inherent utility
A strawberry ice cream cone has it's own utility it's own value.

Nicole (Guest50): oh I know she is learning , in fact dh who not long ago wanted her to start doing some real school work suddenly commented on all the things he was suddenly seeing her learn

SandraDodd: So artificially limiting it makes it more glorious and desirable?

Schuyler: Nutritivea and financial Limiting it manipulates its value

Nicole (Guest50): its just that I've made a lot of suggestions to go out and do things recently

Schuyler: Lots of people felt that Sony was doing it when it only released a small number of PS3s on the first run.

piscesgrrl: like companies do - like Beanie Babies and good Pokemon cards

katherand: The reason most people don't worry about kids reading all day is because there's a cultural idea that kids who read are learning. That's not there for tv, video games and so on the way it is for reading.

Schuyler: What's the weather like where you are Nicole

Nicole (Guest50): and its met by no I want to help my guild or get to level 40 today etc

Schuyler: What are the things you are offering to do?

Nicole (Guest50): sunny and 70 degrees Fahrenheit

socal77: I think the idea is that if tv, and games, and food are freely available, one can choose if that is a valuable use of their time, etc.

Schuyler: Nicer than here... Simon and Linnaea are less likely to want to go and do things in the winter

SandraDodd: I'm in this chat because I want to be. What if my husband came by and started offering me other things to do?

piscesgrrl: sometimes I feel guilty if I don't want to go out on a nice day. But the truth of the matter is, sometimes I just don't want to go out. And I shouldn't have to feel an obligation to.

SandraDodd: Just because HE thought I wasn't doing anything useful?

Nicole (Guest50): go get ice cream at braums, look at and buy new neads, check out a small local zoo

katherand: How old is your child, Nicole? Karl looks to be a homebody for years to come and I've only just recently gotten ok with that, being much more sociable myself. It was hard for me to adjust the fact that he doesn't want to go out.

SandraDodd: (He wouldn't; he understand me. Parents should try to understand their children in the same way!)

Schuyler: Maybe those things aren't nearly as appealing to her as leveling

katherand: it's not the games or tv doing that to him

Nikki (Guest52): It's hard to explain to grandparents that leveling IS a worthy goal.

JoyfulMom: My son Yonah loves to be home. When we were living in Israel, I had planned a trip with my friend to an amazing amusement park and he wanted to stay home.

RVB: Are you offering those things to get her away from playing?

piscesgrrl: here too, katherand. When we're out socially, my 16 yr old is asking to leave sooner and I'm asking to stay longer.

Nicole (Guest50): oh I can see what you are saying

Schuyler: Why do you need to explain that to grandparents?

SandraDodd: Don't explain it, then. Change the subject. Or say "I didn't understand it at first either, but now I do." and then change the subject.

Schuyler: Are they visiting? Isabell: And if guilds are involved she may have responsibilites, so maybe if you can plan ahead nicole?

Nikki (Guest52): Grandparents= shorthand for others that think kids need off the TV

Nicole (Guest50): no not exactly thing is when she does want me to do stuff with her its midnight and I can barely keep my eyes open

socal77: Mine is pretty much a homebody too, but he does have a social side and likes me to plan, or arrange outings, and parkdays, and then I let him choose

SandraDodd: They're probably just making conversation, Nicole.

piscesgrrl: the more you try to get her off it, the more she'll angle to have it

socal77: I let him know ahead of time and then again as the activity is getting closer

Schuyler: Offer to play with her, do you have more than one computer? You can get a trial account for WoW

SandraDodd: You have the right to steer the conversation too, if it's honest conversation. You don't have to submit to their interrogation. If they seem really interested, give them links to Joyce's site or mine.

Nikki (Guest52): oooooooohhhh can someone explain how WOW trial works, please?

Zamozo: Zoe played WoW for months before getting to a point where she wanted to take a break and do other things -- I played with her

RVB: Or read the WoW strategy guides or books.

Schuyler: It's easy to let other people's fear colour your perception

Isabell: Playing with your kids in game can be so much fun.

Nicole (Guest50): I've played wow a little .. I get frustrated with it so fast

Schuyler: Playing with your kids is fantastic

piscesgrrl: that's what my kids do too - they play a lot of something, then it tapers off after they've gotten their fill or something else has caught their interest

katherand: schuyler explained last chat that WoW trial is 10 days.

Nikki (Guest52): my kids are convinced it isn't worth it to do the WOW trial, since it's fee free

Schuyler: Go slow Do the quests

socal77: I don't play all the games with my son, I could not keep up with him

Nicole (Guest50): and she seems to get frustrated at me for not getting things effortlessly like she does lol

Schuyler: Try without her for a while

SandraDodd: Is it "free" or do you pay for it if you do decide to sign up?

Schuyler: My mom learned a bunch of string figures from a book so that she could show me how to do them.

SandraDodd: Sometimes they'll let you try it before you pay. But honestly, it's NOT very expensive.

Schuyler: I couldn't figure out how to do them from the book

SandraDodd: You could buy an inkle loom and some yarn and a book and spend big bucks. And all it does is make strips of weaving.

Zamozo: I do most of my leveling when I'm playing alone because Zoe wants me to follow her around in her areas that are way too high for me.

katherand: $15 per month right, Sandra?

Schuyler: It's free for 10 days and then you join

SandraDodd: Lots of hobbies are VERY expensive. You could go skiing for one weekend, or play WoW for a year.

Schuyler: At least in the UK

socal77: but I do research and purchase games, and look for help online, and purchase the games and the guides, and encourage his use of them and connecting with friends, and bring him snacks, drinks, etc.

Schuyler: You could join on the Horde of Unschoolers, if you are in the U.S. It's on the Venture Co. I think They are so fun to play with

RVB: Yes.

SandraDodd: Anyone who missed the chat on Monday about WoW can read it here: sandradodd.com/chats/wow

piscesgrrl: Lean on the confidence and support of other unschoolers when you are worrying. I often say I'm channeling so-and-so - WWSD? (What Would Sandra Do?) Or what would Sandra say to me right now?

Schuyler: Anyhow, I was saying about my mom and string figures, cat's cradle like thing. She mastered the skill to share with me, because I wanted her to. It was important

Nicole (Guest50): I did for a short amount of time and got frustrated lol

SandraDodd: So is marginal utility related to "you can only make a choice if you HAVE a choice"?

Guest62: One of the things my kids do is play online games with friends near of far while on Skype so they can talk and play at the same time. It's like long distance board games. Nicole (Guest50): I think that sadly is left over from school

Schuyler: Yes. The marginal utility of things can change at a buffet dinner for example

SandraDodd: I'm a voice in some people's head, elbowing their grandmothers and grumpy aunts, and shushing them up.

piscesgrrl: It might be. But that's your issue to work though and you don't have to pass it on.

Schuyler: If you have lots of choices, each choice can be made relationally

Nicole (Guest50): IK ..

piscesgrrl: See it as an opportunity - it's been brought to the surface so you can deal with it.
the buffet thing... sorta like how I have this little rule of thumb that I order things I couldn't/wouldn't make at home, rather than foods I can easily have at home.

socal77: but some utility can be controlled outside of the individual as in Schuyler's example about the PS3, limiting the availability of something can affect its supply and thus demand

SandraDodd: I love mashed potatoes I didn't have to make, so maybe for me the potatoes-I-didn't-make are more valuable at a buffet than they are for my kids.

Schuyler: The marginal utility of each thing will change in the presence or absence of other things. It's like being at the end of your grocery week

SandraDodd: Schuyler, do you have computer thoughts separate from or other than the TV/video game thoughts?

piscesgrrl: I've found that after years now without limits, there are things my kids seek in an excited eager way, but never in a frantic desperate way - like before when I'd made things into limited commodities

socal77: or lasagna, I will usually order something out that is a lot of work to make

Schuyler: Video games were scarier for me.

SandraDodd: Scarier than TV?

Schuyler: Television didn't carry all the fear that video games did The potential for violence, the slippery slope thing felt much more real with video games. But the breakthrough on video games was much earlier

Guest38: : Video games have been harder for me as well

Schuyler: My brother gave us a Dreamcast for Christmas one year. I freaked out. Lots of angry conversations with David. I couldn't believe my brother was setting Simon, 2 year old Simon, up for such an addiction
Clearly an addiction
Oh, I could wander over to Rat Park now [there will be a description and a link down below. —Sandra]
And I fussed and fretted while Simon played fishing on the Dreamcast
And then he got bored
And we went out and bought an Ice Racing game
And it was so much fun and David got Tokyo Extreme Racer and we played that into the night
It was wonderful to stop being afraid and angry
We moved to Japan and were video game free for a year and when we moved back the fear was gone
It hasn't ever come back

katherand: all that nonviolence ... is that like the marijuana gateway to drugs argument tho? .. J/K But seriously people say that or something like it.

Schuyler: I think it is

RVB: I wasn't sure about more "violent" computer games (horse riding, Zoo Tycoon were fine), but the kids I knew who played them were sweet and lovely. So I bought them for Michelle, starting with Impossible Creatures.

Bwalya (Guest34): It's probably easier now for people to move into gaming through the Wii

Schuyler: It's interesting—a lot of the games that Simon and Linnaea have been playing on the Xbox 360 have karma reactors in them

Bwalya (Guest34): Wii tennis is obviously harmless and active.

Schuyler: You can be evil or good, and people's actions change based on your actions

JoyfulMom: It's all about the experts - people telling us what is or is not healthy - remember how eggs were not healthy - until new research showed they were healthy - and chocolate, and coffee, and grape juice

katherand: I've found that violent games versus nonviolent becomes part of a range of choices like having sweets and veggies on the same plate.

Schuyler: Linnaea has played through Fable 2 as a good character and we had lots of conversations about how an action would be perceived by the game system

JoyfulMom: how violent are fairy tales? Hansel and Gretel, cinderella, little red riding hood

Nicole (Guest50): a couple days ago dh got this new game and we were all sitting around watching him check it out

SandraDodd: Schuyler brought a link (I'll add it to this chat here) that the European Union has declared video games are good for kids.

Schuyler: There were lots of ethics discussions from that game

SandraDodd: It's legislated, in Europe.

Nicole (Guest50): there is a tank in it that shoots sod at people and bodies go flying

Bwalya (Guest34): You can sometimes see the endings on YouTube if you can't bring yourself to play the game as a baddie
Gives you a chance to see how it differs.

SandraDodd: shoots sod?

Nicole (Guest50): I sarcastically told dh he was ruining our children laughing at these poor people

Schuyler: Kelly Lovejoy talks about a friend of Duncan's who chose to starve his dog on Nintendogs. He wanted to see how far it would let him go in that neglect

Nicole (Guest50): and my nine year goes sigh mom those are not people they are characters someone programmed onto the screen

SandraDodd: Holly has "abused" the game on Harvest Moon.

Schuyler: Kelly had a really hard time separating the dog from the pixels

Nicole (Guest50): I guess I can be assured she has a good grip on reality

Guest38: My children know the difference in reality and fantasy. On a game it might be funny, but in reality it would not be funny. They are constantly telling me "it's pretend, Mom"

SandraDodd: I feed my neopets. Marty shakes his head. They won't die, he says. But I don't feel like "a good mom" if I don't feed them!
It's all about ME!

Schuyler: Linnaea and Simon can explore actions and reactions (we talked about this in the WoW chat, the socializing thing) without consequence, beyond the game's response

RVB: Yes, Michelle would remove all the fences and let the t rex rampage through Zoo Tycoon, eating people. At first I was horrified, but I realized she was figuring out cause and effect.

JoyfulMom: I love Nintedogs - so much easier than actual dog care

hahamommy: Out of Kelly's story came "Dancing Pixels, ma, just dancing pixels" when my angst gets to be too much

Guest38: My son puts people in the animal cages to see what happens

Nicole (Guest50): lol

SandraDodd: Stephen King wrote in "On Writing" that he had a character in a book kill a dog--kick it to death--and he got letters from horrified readers saying he was horrible.
He said he wrote to them and said it was fiction, and there was no dog.

Guest38: : The other night I was watching one of the lord of the rings movies and my 6 year old came in. I told him it was kind of scary and all these orcs came on screen. I looked to see if he was scared and he just smiled and said, "it isn't real!"
That being said he quit watching when he saw gollum.

piscesgrrl: My son will remind me that the horror in video games isn't real, but he took my husband to task yesterday for uttering the saying, "Killing two birds with one stone" - he'd never heard it before, needed lots of clarification, and afterward said, "Well, it's NOT a pleasant phrase!"

Schuyler: Its like the fairy tale 5 with one blow, or was it 7. Where the guy kills however many flies with one blow and makes a jacket with it on the back Advertising how tough he is. He ends up marrying a princess, I think

SandraDodd: Self-promotion...
Padded his resume

Schuyler: Very good work in advertising

socal77: Drew likes to discuss the realities within the games; from Pokemon "What's a squirtle? It is like a turtle, oh, what's a turtle" That one cracks him up

Schuyler: It's all how you spin it
Pokemon animals are amazing
I love Pokemon, although I often prefer Team Rocket to Ash Ketchem's gang

Zamozo: When Zach was younger he was passionate about Digimon/Pokemon/Yu-Gi-O -- the shows, the cards, the movies, the video games -- and my attitude was that they were mindless, commercial junk to separate me from my money

RVB: They're funnier!

SandraDodd: "Comparison/contrast." Important thing for language-arts teachers to make sure all Jr. High kids can do.

Schuyler: That's sad Chris
: All though it did result in Zach's excellent essay...

Nicole (Guest50): heh Courtney used to call squirrels squirtles

Zamozo: When I finally really paid attention to them I saw how rich they were with learning opportunities and understood why he was so drawn to them

Schuyler: We used to watch Pokemon in Japanese, they'd have an English lesson at the end. I loved those.

piscesgrrl: your son is luckier than most, Zamozo.

Schuyler: Amapanman was my favorite Japanese cartoon.
The superhero has a cookie for a head

Zamozo: I'm the lucky one .

socal77: Drew is still very much involved in Pokemon, at 16

RVB: Michelle, too, at almost 14

piscesgrrl: bc that's what I hear from parents all the time

Schuyler: His dad's a baker so whenever Ampanman is injured he bakes him a new head I think parents are scared of ideas, and television and video games are rife with them.
If you can control the ideas that come into your house than you can control your child.

Zamozo: Zach, at 17, still plays Pokemon games and has a little 9 year old buddy who adores him and looks up to him and they have a very, very special relationship based primarily on their shared love of Pokemon

Guest38: Video games are great for stress relief too.

socal77: One of his best friends is 11

piscesgrrl: why do we go from kids who want things to parents who take them away? Why do we switch sides? Finally worn down?

socal77: they have a special connection with gaming

Schuyler: The problem is that you can't control another person And it will turn on you in the end.

RVB: Michelle connects with younger kids through Pokemon (mostly DS and the clay figures she makes), especially at conferences.

Zamozo: piscesgrrl -- i needed to find a path to peace with my child

SandraDodd: Piscesgrrl, if you do what was done to you, you justify what was done to you. It seems to cause it to make sense.

piscesgrrl: ah yes, that's probably right

Schuyler: Absolutely

SandraDodd: That's one of the ways cultures are passed on--the criticism from other adults who ALSO want you to do what was done to all of them when they were little

Schuyler: I have had kids yell at me that school was necessary for them to learn It broke my heart

Bwalya (Guest34): It's financial as well, isn't it?

piscesgrrl: I'm just so smitten (and relieved) know people who are willing to find a path to peace with their child!

Bwalya (Guest34): It's your turn to have things as an adult

piscesgrrl: things like power

Bwalya (Guest34): You don't want to waste your money on things your kids want.

Guest38: Sandra, how do you help other adults get past that attitude? [Sandra-note to Sandra:****answer this somewhere]

Zamozo: I was big into the attachment parenting/LLL/natural foods/holistic lifestyle -- a lot of controlling and justification for controlling a lot of good came from those associations and interests but the control part was not good

SandraDodd: But wait! I was involved in attachment parenting and LLL and did NOT control.

Schuyler: Kirby and Holly were on the WoW chat the other day. There is no way at 17 and 22 I would have been involved with what my mom was doing. I want that. I totally want that relationship with my children. I don't want them to ever not like being with me.

piscesgrrl: me either, Schuyler

Zamozo: I think the people that I was involved in those things with -- encouraged the controlling aspects

Schuyler: I think that is a huge aspect to Sandra's message that appeals so fundamentally

Zamozo: I was very controlled growing up

SandraDodd: Even though I'm careful never to say I was unschooling since birth, because we figured Kirby would go to school at five, we were letting them watch all the Sesame Street they wanted (or whatever else) and videos and play games on the computer, and eat...

piscesgrrl: Zamozo - I know what you're saying. That was my concern with Waldorf

SandraDodd: Marty was just looking over my shoulder and talking about this chat!

Guest62: Can anyone comment on the idea of TV being a "Plug in drug" that limits mental development to passively receiving and non-interactive development?

Schuyler: It's not true.

piscesgrrl: I found, that for me, it started mostly because I found it VERY unpalatable to pull rank on others. Discovered I really sucked at that while teaching, when I was paid to do it.

Schuyler: David has looked at the research. He likes looking at the research And the studies aren't that well set up

SandraDodd: >>

Guest62: sandradodd.com/tv I've been collecting those kinds of comments for years. And there's a page there on the criticisms of TV. When you look at the unschoolers' writings and then the anti-TV people the contrast is amazing. One is light and joyful. The other is dark and paranoid and illogical.

sandradodd.com/t/anti

Zamozo: for me, I simply saw the falseness in those claims when I really looked closely at what my kids were getting from the shows they enjoyed

Guest38: : I have asked friends before if their kids have seen this or that movie, and they say, no we are studying that next year and I'll let them see it then. Now that is limiting mental development.

Bwalya (Guest34): I've never seen my children watching TV passively.

Schuyler: The problem with all those studies is that they aren't done in unschooling households.

RVB: Done with kids who need a break from school, instead.

Zamozo: I hated The Simpsons at first... then I paid attention and realized the connections

Bwalya (Guest34): They're questioning and reacting and acting out all the time.

socal77: Long before we knew what unschooling was, we had been strewing and such, traveling, reading, playing, going to museums and camping, video games, and board games...

piscesgrrl: My boys announced yesterday that they'll probably have to marry other unschoolers. Sorry, off-topic, but Schuyler's comment reminded me.

JoyfulMom: I think controlled children are way more likely to do things in an addictive manner

Schuyler: Tell them that you weren't unschooled, it's possible to change
Addiction
Yay I can talk about Rat Park
I love Rat Park

piscesgrrl: OH, they know, but it was as we were discussing the contrasting parenting styles

JoyfulMom: we had friends of my children whose TV time was controlled come over and sit glued like automotons on the couch watching the TV. My kids never watch TV that way

Schuyler: Rat Park is a study that was done looking at addiction in rats.
Rats could pull a lever with water or with water laced with morphine
The rats in cramped, boring conditions, like the morphine water more than the plain water

socal77: We are a family of multitaskers, the DVR, games, multiple tabs...

Schuyler: The rats in rat park, an engaging and interesting environment, chose the water over the morphine and water cocktail
They got them addicted and retried the test.

Zamozo: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Park

Schuyler: The rats in a good environment went through the hoops of getting off the drug. They didn't need the drug.

piscesgrrl: Wow.

Zamozo: Wow! I never knew about Rat Park until today

SandraDodd: Marty's girlfriend is here, too. She's not an unschooler. Holly is hooked up with a not-an-unschooler. It's awful! They might marry outside their religion!

socal77: interesting study

Schuyler: Happiness is contagious. I said I watched Pollyanna today, didn't I?

JoyfulMom: maybe she'll agree to convert for the sake of family unity LOL

piscesgrrl: LOL, Sandra most of our closest friends are not unschoolers

Bwalya (Guest34): My children are being brought up by two non-unschoolers We're only converts

Schuyler: That counts, doesn't it? That's why the First Church of Boston became two churches.

Guest62: Yes I remember Rat Park now a very good example. I think it goes with something Ba Luvmour said in his book Optimal Parenting. About how when some is exibiting things like tv addiction it can be a sign that they have a need that is not being met.

reneecabatic: WOW - thanks for the Rat Park info---I cringe when I hear people throw around the word addiction (I don't know the actual "definition") but I know enjoying video games, for instance, is NOT an addiction!

Schuyler: The First church decided that you needed to be saved to be truly blessed and the second church believed that children could get to heaven if they were born to the church
Maybe it's the other way around...

Guest62: If you meet the need the behavior will stop.

Schuyler: But video games might be an escape Might not be, but it might be

Guest62: I can see that in my own life as well so why not the kids

Schuyler: And it may have a really high marginal utility

socal77: I am going to be dreaming about utils after this chat

SandraDodd: I know someone asked me a question, and I didn't answer it. I'll answer it on AlwaysLearning, when I find it.

RVB: What do you mean by "why not the kids"?

Schuyler: I think she may have meant if her needs are met whatever behavior was associated with them stopped.
So if that is the case for her, why not for her kids
That's a guess, though

RVB: Right. I thought it might be about having tv addiction, but I wasn't sure.

piscesgrrl: One of the greatest transitions for me was moving from seeing things as negative, a threat, unhealthy, to seeing things as hopeful and fun and interesting.

Schuyler: Hey Diana, Simon and Linnaea really enjoyed playing Halo 3 with Hayden the other day.

Guest62: If I can see instances of "Just sitting and watching TV or surfing the net.' because I am lacking in something _
In my case socialization- Then why can that not also be seen in my kids. Clicking on the TV or a game because they might need more of something

socal77: I think it was meant as if adults use media as an escape sometimes, why don't children use it for those reasons, but I may have misinterpreted

JoyfulMom: It's all about trusting your children - seeing them as smart, capable and self-sufficient, instead of struggling or vulnerable and in need of protection

Schuyler: They might need something else, they might just like the games

piscesgrrl: I usually just sit and watch tv because I want to just sit and watch tv.

Schuyler: Simon really likes watching things on youtube
He loves to find other people playing games
Let's plays
If your life isn't engaging enough, work to get more going on.
Find people who want to come over and have game days
We've done that recently, with lots of food and fun and games going and they've been well received

JoyfulMom: I was a little concerned about some of the stuff they were watching on Youtube, until one day Yonah said - that show had bad words, but I liked it because it was funny - and I thought "that's how I feel about funny shows that use foul language}

socal77: Drew has been watching the new season of Naruto on youtube in Japanese. He also uses it a lot to look up things for Runescape and such

Schuyler: You can watch all of Pollyanna on youtube, I have my own copy, but I was happy to find it there.

Guest38: : my kids love youtube. they want to make a movie like the ones on their with Lego characters. we havnt figured it all out yet.

Schuyler: Have you seen the Eddie Izzard lego character stuff, I love that.
It's stop motion.
You can do that with pictures and windows movie maker.
I bet there are how-tos on-line

Guest62: We have free rein on tv here but I have noticed it becomes ??? Habit forming?? for lack of a better term. Not something they are choosing to do because it is the best or most personally favoured option. but because that is what is easy. Not always....

katherand: Ooooo I'll be looking up eddie izzard lego on youtube [One is in the column to the right, and if you click that you'll get to others at YouTube. —Sandra]

RVB: If you were not unschooled, you might see "just sitting and watching TV" as evidence of something that needs a remedy. Unschooled kids see watching TV as something cool to do. Parents need to see that, too. Unless a kid is asking for more.

Schuyler: Make more things easy Like snacks, if you have easy access to lots of things more things are chosen

RVB: Yes, all sorts of choices.

Schuyler: If all you've got easy access to is candy bars and chips than candy bars and chips will get chosen more frequently

socal77: suggest other options, or do something fun right there; they can join you or not

Schuyler: When they are watching tv get out legos and build Linnaea and I made marble runs using geomags and kapla blocks and the metal body of our electric heater today

JoyfulMom: I agree about making choices easy. The last few times I bought groceries I didn't take the kids with me for time's sake. Then I took them with me and they chose way more fruits and vegetables than I would have on my own

socal77: not to pull them away from the tv, just to give them choices

Guest62: ...but sometimes. We live in a cold Canadian city and go through periods of hibernation...

Schuyler: And we watched Oliver at the same time. We'd started singing Food Glorious Food and I put the movie in.

socal77: Kapla blocks are awesome

JoyfulMom: Which cold Canadian city? We are in Toronto

Schuyler: Look for things to spark their interests

SandraDodd: Guest62 sandradodd.com/strewing

Guest38: : today is rainy, we all have colds and we are just enjoying obsessing on Scooby Doo. In the past day we have watched 6 scooby doo episodes on netflix.

Schuyler: Yes, strewing
Cool

SandraDodd: but don't do it just to get them away from the TV

Guest38: : the kids were so excited we got it hooked up to the t.v.

SandraDodd: Better to go into the tv, and connect to other things from there,

Guest62: Edmonton it has been a cold winter this year.

SandraDodd: IMDB is our great friend, finding connections to actors or writers or stories they like

Guest62: Ooo my house is well strewn

SandraDodd: "IMDB it," people will say

Schuyler: My cousin and I used to act out the whole opening scene to scooby doo

RVB: Ack! Go to West Edmonton Mall for fun??

Schuyler: My grandparents had a good recliner for the disappearing into the chair bit

SandraDodd: My kids and I could do the Sesame Street Opera scene, which was Big Bird and others singing the lines of a conversation they had already had without singing.

socal77: we make all sorts of glorious connections from tv and movies, and trivia, and discovery channel, and games....

SandraDodd: Geography, music, humor, history

Guest62: I avoid the WEMall too costly and commercial.

socal77: we also use IMDB as a verb

RVB: Oh, boy. What's wrong with commercial?

Schuyler: In winter commercial and warm is better than not commercial and freezing

SandraDodd: Home is good. I love home!

Schuyler: Home is good.

RVB: Me, too!

Schuyler: I take great pleasure in how much Simon and Linnaea love home

socal77: Drew sings all of the theme songs from shows, I have a knack for cheesy jingles

Schuyler: Have you watched the Live Action Scooby Doo stuff?

JoyfulMom: Yes - we love home - I am amazed at how much we love home

RVB: We love home, even when we're on the road. Home becomes where we all are.

AlexPolyKow: my father was in advertizing and we loved comercials. It was a great subject for debates in our home

JoyfulMom: I've always felt home wherever we are, too

SandraDodd: Holly works in a mall now. It has taken some of the lustre off the idea of going to the mall.

RVB: West Ed Mall has cool stuff in it, like rides and such, though.

socal77: I went to college for marketing, but my love of cheezy jingles goes all the way back to piano lessons as a kid

Zamozo: Zach told me yesterday as I drove him to work, that he likes his job but prefers to be at home with his sister and me.

Guest62: I let them watch when they want to or not. I have just noticed that there is a certain amount of ??? Using TV/pc games to fill a void every so often. It is easily filled once noticed but I didn't notice or know what to look for for a while. Now i do.

AlexPolyKow: jingles are great !

Schuyler: I like malls
I miss malls

RVB: Yeah, I took advertising and marketing classes - fascinating. I love "Mad Men."

SandraDodd: Don't be afraid of it, Guest62

socal77: I worked at Disneyland in high school, so I understand that sentiment

JoyfulMom: I also love Mad Men

Schuyler: There is one near us, but it isn't quite the same. The food court has nothing

Zamozo: TV /PC games are fine void fillers

JoyfulMom: you kind of get a sense of how it would feel to live in that time

Schuyler: I like How to Get A Head in Advertising. I don't know Mad Men

SandraDodd: Our lives haven't had voids for years.

Schuyler: Mad Men

SandraDodd: "void" sucks

Zamozo: maybe they're filling a void for TV and PC Games

Schuyler: We get into lulls, usually weather or flu related

katherand: it's like food Guest62.... there is a certain comfy enjoyment in these things, and there's no need to rush to fill the void with other things if tv/video games are comfy like food can be too.

Guest62: Sometimes

socal77: it has been raining here for what seems like weeks

Schuyler: Inertia driven a bit

SandraDodd: But Schuyler, you can get to "market days"!! Those are cool. You can get to car-boot sales. Those are like heaven to me.

RVB: Mad Men is set in the early 60's heyday of the ad agencies. Awesome costuming and set design. Great character development, too.

Schuyler: True, haven't been to one of those for a while In the rain though, a mall is a nice thing
And I love the mall walkers

socal77: thanks for the recommendation, I had not heard of mad men either

Guest62: Sometimes they need me to drive them to a friends or to the mall or to the park or to their Nana's

JoyfulMom: One of the awesome things in Mad Men is to see how social mores have changed - occasionally you are genuinely shocked to see things like children riding in cars without a seatbelt, or pregnant women drinking and smoking or guests hitting your children for knocking over a drink

SandraDodd: Schuyler, fifteen minutes left. What had you wanted to say that we've distracted you away from? Anything?

RVB: And the open bars in offices!

Schuyler: I hit all the things I had thought about in the run up
I even talked up Pollyanna

socal77: Life on Mars is cool for the same kinds of reasons, not marketing, but changes in time

katherand: like.. for me guest62 I used to play solitaire on my puter so that I could think through a problem while entertaining my right brain enough to get through the thinking. Visual spatial fun to do while working through hard spots in my psyche.
it was good for me

SandraDodd: Holly likes the Mary Tyler Moore show, to see changes since the 70's

Zamozo: knitting was calming to me when I was stressed

SandraDodd: I play a jewel-matching, cascading game that's as comforting as a fountain.

Zamozo: Snood

RVB: Tetris!

socal77: I like those jewel games too

Guest62: Zoomo

SandraDodd: It cost $20 and it the best game I've ever had. Jewel Match, I think it is.

socal77: there are free versions online

Schuyler: Petting the cats calms me

SandraDodd: Somehow it comforts the "be busy" part of me while my mind can think without the distractions of laundry, the dog, the mail...

Schuyler: Your be busy part seems so amazing to me. Much bigger than my be busy part

AlexPolyKow: in your case Schuyler , petting 5 cats!...or is it 6?

SandraDodd: Mine? Or anyone's? "One's"?

Schuyler: 5 cats, Hamster Sandra's, yours You are the most prolific writer You are awesome

RVB: Hear, hear!

SandraDodd: Thanks. (shucks, ma'am...)

AlexPolyKow: I read... not books so much as on my laptop

Schuyler: To channel Alex, who I always think of when I think of awesome

katherand: Ah we do that religiously everyday at pretty much the same time, Schuyler. Go out to pet the cats... then I check the mail and so on. The cats live outdoors. A planned interlude.

SandraDodd: I read magazines. Smithsonian, People, Entertainment Weekly and National Geographic.

Schuyler: Hamster is gone

AlexPolyKow: hamster is gone??

Schuyler: that's what I meant to write when I left Hamster hanging
He left a while ago

katherand: AWw

SandraDodd: And from those I follow links and buy books they've reviewed and order things new on DVD...

Schuyler: I stumbled across pictures of him the other day and realized I didn't miss him, until I saw the pictures, of course

AlexPolyKow: Schuyler is awesome...

Schuyler: I love links

katherand: How long do hamsters live? Karl has been wanting to get one.

Schuyler: Hamster was a cat
is a cat if I'm optimistic.
He just disappeared

SandraDodd: Our friends found their dwarf hamster under the fridge after it had been gone three weeks. Isabell: Our dwarf lived 2 years Katherand...

RVB: Syrian hamsters live up to about 3 years in our experience.

katherand: Cool. 2 years... maybe that's good.

Guest62: May I recommed rockband2. recommendation in passing. It has helped my son find the beat that he couldn't find for a few years.

SandraDodd: Rock band has been big here.

Schuyler: We are saving and aspiring for Rockband 2 I think it will happen soon

Zamozo: Years ago Dance Dance Revolution helped my son's coordination -- he told me after playing it for a few weeks, "I know where my feet are now."

socal77: We have really enjoyed the Forgotten Realms games here, Baldur's Gate, Champions of Norath

Guest62: We are looking for dance dance at the used game stores.

socal77: DDR is fun, we go in spurts, play a lot and then not for a long time

Zamozo: we haven't played for years

piscesgrrl: Here's an interesting twist - my son loves DDR at his friends. Got it for him for Xmas and he said, "Well, it's fun when I go THERE - that doesn't mean I really want it all the time."

Schuyler: DDR is my favorite thing to watch at the Life is Good conference

RVB: Just going to mention that.

Schuyler: Part of the fun may be the environment

piscesgrrl: and the anticipation

hahamommy: it's more fun at a conference than at home, imho
to maybe that's because I don't have to clear the floorspace at another spot ..

SandraDodd: I do appreciate the participation in these chats, and thank you very much, Schuyler, for sharing what you know in the way you can word things.

AlexPolyKow: Thank you Schuyler

Zamozo: marginal utility?

piscesgrrl: I need to think more on the marginal utility thing to understand it all. Any links?

AlexPolyKow: I always Skype Schuyler when I need someone to talk to!

socal77: Drew has different activities that he connects with his different parkday buddies

Zamozo: me too -- think/read

SandraDodd : sandradodd.com/t/economics.html

piscesgrrl: cool, thx

Schuyler: Linnaea and I dance DDr together sometimes

socal77: Monday is Pokemon day, if we ever get another Monday without rain....

Schuyler: Maybe she'll dance with me tonight

SandraDodd: Economics of Restricting TV Watching of Children by Pam Sorooshian

Schuyler: She gave me permission to put that in the conference book for Life is Good. I really think it is an important piece of why unschooling works

SandraDodd: I'll stop "recording" at noon, so people and chat freely without it being on the transcript.

Schuyler: 2 minutes to chaos....

SandraDodd: by "noon" I mean whatever hour it's about to be wherever you all are.

Schuyler: And unschooling works the way nothing else I've ever experienced does. It isn't faith, it's effort.

piscesgrrl: yes

Schuyler: It isn't tricks, it's presence It really is amazing.

piscesgrrl: it is

SandraDodd: That's a trick. The idea that changing the way one sees something will change EVERYTHING.

Schuyler: It's not sleight of hand though

hahamommy: yeah, the trick is to BE there

SandraDodd: Well, it's not "a trick," but it's tricky

Schuyler: It's tricky

hahamommy: though it is a bit like magic....

socal77: it's effort, and presence, and faith...

hahamommy: in the sense of fun and wonder and joy

SandraDodd: And then it can become REALLY easy, but people see us living easy lives and then they don't realize there was something to DO to get there.

Schuyler: Only after you've done the work, when it didn't feel like work

JennyC: I've seen magic happen with unschooling!

Zamozo: faith as in trust

SandraDodd: But you have to trust something real, not just the idea that someone else has done it.

socal77: yes, that is how I meant it

piscesgrrl: I feel the magic when I'm with my kids

Schuyler: Faith as in trust but not as in supernatural belief

hahamommy: faith as in the ability to tell the naysaying head voices to stfu

SandraDodd: The trust has to end up being in your real experiences CONFIDENCE, Diana.

hahamommy: confidence for me is a bit of faith... so yeah <3

JennyC: I'm just joining, sorry Schuyler, for missing your chat, I really was planning on it joining in

Schuyler: Joyce has said that you have to take a leap of faith to start unschooling, but I think you have to trust the voices and the evidence And Jenny could have totally talked up DDR

Zamozo: for me, I had to tell myself I trusted unschooling would work in order to proceed to practice it --

SandraDodd: That's one reason I try to be turstworthy. Some of the people talking up unschooling are somewhat full of shit.

JennyC: DDR has been amazing

hahamommy: ...there is a point, when your foot has to leave the shore, so to speak, and it's swim or not swim

Schuyler: Yes, it's after noon now, right?

Zamozo: a lot of them are

SandraDodd: And I have no way to shush them, so I try to be absolutely solidly shit-free

Schuyler: But you see a bunch of other people out in the water.

katherand: 3 minutes after Schuyler

socal77: nice metaphor, Diana

SandraDodd: Not that I want people's faith to be in me myself--not that

katherand: ..

Schuyler: And they aren't only swimming they're having fun!

katherand: now all h*ll can break loose

SandraDodd: But when I say Holly wasn't reading until 11 and then she read Stephen King, second thing she read, I don't want people to say "Well, who knows; she's not always straight with us." So I've kinda laid my life out in public so that people can trust me. It's an odd thing

Schuyler: They are playing with their kids and there isn't anything taking them down

Zamozo: I'm grateful that you did that Sandra, I've not been able to be as open for fear of other's judgments

katherand: It is believable Sandra. Except for people who have chosen not to.

hahamommy: with Sandra, it was really Marty for me, who solidified the real lack of bull$hit in Sandra's life

Schuyler: There is definitely a resonance to your voice and to Joyce's and to Pam's that sounds off in me

RVB: I'm grateful, too. Fear of judgment is also a big one for me.

piscesgrrl: It's interesting to be on the other end of things, sharing in workshops, and hearing people's concerns that I shared not long ago. And they look at me and say, "Well, it worked for YOU" yadda yadda.

JennyC: the judgement of others is an interesting thing! Don't be afraid of it, be confident in your own decisions

hahamommy: seeing *what's possible* in relationships with children is a source of faith

katherand: They don't want it bad enough to believe then they will disbelieve a lot.

SandraDodd: Schuyler you mean sounds off as in "speaks" and not sounds off as in "seems fishy"?

Zamozo: my fear is the judgement of others about our struggles

Schuyler: Yes, speaks loudly, sorry a glass broke behind me, I got distracted with the word resonance

hahamommy: Off to catch the bus ..

JennyC: everyone struggles though, with one thing or another

Schuyler: rings true in me
Bye.

Guest62: Sandra Why/What prompted Holly to start reading?

piscesgrrl: bye Diana!

katherand: To a great degree it is faith (maybe not religious) to believe it then you'll see it, as Kelly says

RVB: Bye, Diana. See you in May!

JennyC: sharing can help alleviate some of those fears and put them to rest

SandraDodd: She read when she could read. It wasn't "prompting," it just got ripe and flowered.

katherand: Bye Schuyler... Thanks!

Schuyler: Being in a community of people who were walking the walk and talking the talk reallyhelps a lot

SandraDodd: I guess "ripe" and "flower" aren't the same season... bad metaphor, sorry.

Schuyler: Bye Katherand, my pleasure Ripe and burst? Pollinated and flowered?

socal77: OT: but Pam is speaking today at DT 2pm

SandraDodd: It flowered. Bloomed.

RVB: I've found that the more I participate on lists, etc., the more the fears go away. I'm almost ready to have a blog! Bye, Katherine.

JennyC: it sounds like spring

katherand: pam is speaking on a chat or in real life?

socal77: irl

SandraDodd: It's interesting, when people move from the question-aaking side to the question answering side.

katherand: Bye Robin

SandraDodd: At the park?

socal77: yes

JennyC: yes Sandra, that is interesting

Schuyler: I never asked questions

piscesgrrl: Gotta go - things to do. Food to eat! Thanks for the chat everyone!

Zamozo: How so, interesting?

SandraDodd: Dragontree is DT.

RVB: Bye!

Schuyler: I have always been too afraid to ask questions

socal77: yes, dragontree

Schuyler: I really appreciate the people who ask questions

JennyC: same Schuyler, here, I think I just questioned everything and I still do

SandraDodd: You don't seem shy.

socal77: I never really asked questions either, just read a lot and let it soak in

Schuyler: I wrote a couple of posts looking for guidance and sat with them and I got the answer without the question being asked. That sounds too mystical

SandraDodd: When I was in school a couple of times a shy kid would look at me and shrug, or shake her head, letting me know she had no idea what the teacher was talking about, and I'd ask the question for her.

Schuyler: I knew the answer and framing the question helped me to see it

SandraDodd: Once the teacher looked at me really hard and said "You know the answer to that," and then went on.

katherand: Ah ok. Well have fun at Dragon Tree. I think it's great Pam does those in real life chats. Wish I could "hear" some of it. Oh anybody ever recorded it to a podcast or something. Maybe a lot of trouble, dunno. Gotta go Karl under the weather today.

Schuyler: You've been an advocate for a long time

SandraDodd: After class I talked to him and said, "Yeah, but so'n'so didn't." So after that if I asked a question he took it as a clue to clarify.

JennyC: I've written many many posts, then deleted them because I found the answer as I was writing

SandraDodd: And I [already] knew then that I wanted to be a teacher, so I was really paying attention to how they were presenting information and whether people were getting it.

Schuyler: I think it might have been good of me to post the questions Maybe I'll try and do that more.

Zamozo: Just yesterday I realized that I haven't heard Zoe lisp in a long time - I don't know when she grew out of that but I remember asking about speech therapy or the dangers of lisping and learning to read - because she wrote how she spoke -- silly worries...

Schuyler: In the same way that you, Sandra, asked for your peers, maybe the more questions the more the discussion moves forward

RVB: I have a huge drafts folder of questions, some of which were answered and some not. I should go through them.

Zamozo: but maybe somebody else was worrying about the same thing.

Schuyler: Yeah, I have some of those in drafts on one e-mail account or another

SandraDodd: Robin, do! Or send them to me and I can put them up when Always Learning gets slow, using them as conversation starters!

Schuyler: Maybe it would be good to air them out.

RVB: Ok, will do.

SandraDodd: I'm sorry to hear anyone ever withdrew a question, because even if the questioner didn't need to know anymore, somone reading right then, or the next day, would benefit.

Schuyler: I would love to see unschooling discussion come back a little Maybe I'll post over there

JennyC: I usually get questions swirling in my head after talking to my mother, and those I already know the answers to, I just have to ignore the questions!

SandraDodd: And another thing (hard to describe without seeming all schoolish) is that it gives others a chance to answer questions who are just new to the answering side of it all.,

Schuyler: Right

SandraDodd: Schuyler, either the yahoo OR the google! Stir them up separately.

Schuyler: The yahoo is shut down, I think

SandraDodd: There's very often more clarity in framing the explanation than there is in just reading answers and thinking.

JennyC: always learning

Schuyler: I was looking through there the other day and I don't think you can post there

SandraDodd: I opened it back up.

Schuyler: Oh, okay

SandraDodd: It should be working again, I think.

JennyC: you did?

SandraDodd: I'll go and send a test message and you guys respond if it goes through to you, on the yahoo. But if you've changed e-mail in the past two years, that might be why you wouldn't get it.

JennyC: I had no idea, but then I've been out of the online loop for about a week now

Bwalya (Guest34): Is it an open group?

JennyC: Anyone can join yahoo groups, some, you have to ask

Guest62: I have sent and received through the old yahoo list.

Zamozo: got it sandra

SandraDodd: I thought it was working.

Guest62: I would like it to be more active just because I like it better then the google interface

Schuyler: It's Unschooling_Discussion. groups.google.com/group/UnschoolingDiscussion?hl=en is the google version

Zamozo: I have them sent to two different addresses so it's easy for me to keep them straight

SandraDodd: I don't mind if they're both going. I collect the gems from the discussion, usually (sometimes) so I don't care where the discussions are as long as they ened up on my site!

RVB: The framing (and re-framing) of questions has often yielded an answer for me. Maybe just as often, though, it's made me think I'm a complete idiot . I think I should post more of them, and get out of my own head.

Schuyler: Drat, I'll have to rejoin the yahoo one. It's on my old account

SandraDodd: I don't know if you guys know, but I'm kind of becoming an unschooling slumlord. Unschooling.info was going to be abandoned, and I bought it. $130 to keep it open, but it's a scary place with dozens of zombies at the door. It gets way more spambot traffic than real unschooler traffic.

JennyC: what I find interesting, is how someone else will see something that I didn't and write about it

SandraDodd:

Schuyler: I know, what an amazing thing I figured you could use a bit of cash when you told me that

JennyC: I like unschooling info, I haven't posted there in a long time

SandraDodd: Robin, seriously--if you're ever embarrassed about a question, let me know and I'll post it anonymously. That doesn't bother me one bit.

Schuyler: The more groups there are, the more sites, the more the stuff seems to spread thinner and thinner.

Guest62: I often write long post only to realize I knew all along what it was I was looking for. I just need a method of working it out and the act of typing helped me organize my thoughts outside my emotional reactions.

Schuyler: I can't keep up with all the sites

RVB: In fact, when I posted on AL about conference raffles/auctions helped a lot. I thought I was in a distinct minority in my thoughts about it. That's good learning for me.

JennyC: me either Schuyler!

adreanaline: (hi all, joining a bit late)

Schuyler: I can, but it seems to pull me in too many places and I get all confused

JennyC: ooo Robin, that's you RVB, HI!

SandraDodd: ~katherand is helping me look at it to see what we can do. Possibly I'll eventually move the forum to my own site and let the other pages go. Or maybe we'll figure out how to work it and spruce it up and leave it there

Zamozo: The risk of letting it be abandoned is that some unseemly type could open up shop under that shingle and give unschooling a bad rap?

SandraDodd: I see all the sites as one big thing

SandraDodd: Yes, Chris, and they're linked from all over the place

Schuyler: I hadn't even thought about it from that side

SandraDodd: Thank you for that donation, Schuyler..

Zamozo: I see

Schuyler: My pleasure

adreanaline: I agree with Zamozo -- I lost one of my sites to an unfavorable linky thing

Schuyler: It made me feel like part of the big thing

SandraDodd: I've been thinking of setting up a bakesale page, and selling stuff I have, and cookies, and letting people buy stuff from there on PayPal.

Schuyler: Like donating to PBS

RVB: I'll buy!

JennyC: paypal would be a nice addition, it's something that I use a lot

SandraDodd: With a price range, like the low end would cover my expenses or not be totally nothingness, and then have a high end price. Like a book, and sell it for $5 to $10. Let them decide, and if it's at least $5 I'll mail it on out,. And I could also find some good homes for some of my interesting toys and little sculpture things I've collected and loved, but that I can't keep forever. I'm still thinking, but it seems possible. I have lots and lots of little-kid books.

JennyC: Me too, lots of little kid books

Zamozo: Autographed used books - not autographed by the author but by you!

JennyC: nobody reads them here, but nobody will let me get rid of them

SandraDodd: I had also thought people could donate that way too, by agreeing to mail something they made or baked, if someone donated to my site.

RVB: Gotta go. Thanks, Schuyler. Looking forward to seeing you and yours in May!!

SandraDodd: It was one of those wild fantasies that settles down into "hey, that's actually a possibility"

JennyC: bye Robin

Schuyler: Bye, I'm getting more and more excited

adreanaline: It's better to have more ideas than not enough

JennyC: me too!

SandraDodd: Not enough has never been my problem.

AlexPolyKow: Well I got to go too!!!!!! Love you Schuyler! Thank you Sandra you rock!


Schuyler Waynforth on video games, television, computers, and maybe food.

More about Schuyler: http://sandradodd.com/schuylerwaynforth



socal77: a friend recently sent me a link to the 1st episode of the Addams Family. I hadn't seen that show in years and hadn't connected how unschooly they were

SandraDodd: socal, I'll add that to the follow-up page for this too, that Addams family episode.

Click through to YouTube for the other two parts of that episode.