"Unlock a World of New Possibilities"

Hayden Jenner Reads BIGtime
and doesn't HAVE to!

(and other stories, below...)

I want to share our most recent video game development... Today is the release of the World of Warcraft expansion pack (a really big deal for those who know!!).

In support of this amazing, magical, inspiring game, that has SO enriched our lives, I borrowed a car and drove to the mall at 11:30, for the Midnight release.

My son, Hayden, 8, who will swear up and down that he doesn't like to read, read this to me on the way home:

Official Expansion to the Game of the Year!

You've taken Azeroth by storm. Now a dark frontier awaits. Beyond the Dark Portal, the sinister agents of the Burning Legion have renewed their demonic crusade to consume the magic of the universe and lay waste to all in their path. From the black horrors of Hellfire Citadel, to the opening of the Dark Portal itself—an infinity of new experiences await.

Pilot Flying Mount - Navigate the shattered skies of Outland astride netherdragons, wyverns, and other flying mounts. Many of Outland's most remote and dangerous regions are accessible by air.

Battle to Level 70—Continue your rise to power all the way to level 70. Then unlock a world of new possibilities, piloting flying mounts, exploring the fabled towers of Karazhan, battling in the Caverns of Time and much, much more.

Master Two Bold New Races—whether embracing the mystical energies of the blood elves or unleashing the light-given power of the draenei, new realms of power and possibility await.

Seize the Dark Frontier—Explore the entire new continent of Outland -- the shattered remains of the once beautiful orc homeworld, Draenor.

(you can see the text as it appears on the box at the bottom of this page. —Sandra)
A few words he needed help pronouncing, but none I had to define for him, he knew them all!!

Mentally, I compare this passage with the other things I was compelled to read at his age: Charlotte's Web, Little House series, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, etc. This vocabulary is way above what I was offered at the same age—and I *loved* to read!! And that it comes into our life via a videogame is a bonus

I'm not supportive of his gaming *because* it's educational... I support his gaming because it is of direct benefit to who Hayden is, a holistic benefit to our lives. The whole educational part is a bonus, proof that indeed when we follow our hearts are minds are right there with us, sucking up information and creating meaningful connections to our new knowledge. Really, is there anything we do that doesn't teach us something??

I'm so glad to be on this journey, side by side with the best Life partner I could have, my child!

Diana Jenner (hahamommy)

What Hayden looked like on the day Diana wrote the above (playing Guitar Hero).

LJ Stewart wrote:
I completely credit the computer game, The Sims, for my daughter's discovery and love of reading. She was about 8 years old and went from could care less to devouring books in a matter of days- was quite remarkable. I was struck this week the same way when I was helping my 3 year old son use a mouse on Monday and the next day he was dragging and dropping like a pro :-)

My daughter "learned" to read because she "needed" to read in order to enjoy more aspects of the game.

I don't know why words written on a monitor have less value to other parents then words written in a book.. I see this come up time again- even on other unschooling lists.. At the risk of sounding mommy-er than thou, Moms and dads proud to call them unschoolers but OF COURSE limit those dreadful tv and video games.... makes me crazy :-)

Mrs Stranahan added:
My youngest is 5. He LOVES his video games. We have an xbox, 2 Nintendo DS hand held things and a PlayStation. He used to have to have to get someone else to read what was on the screen. Gradually that became less and less and at this point it doesn't happen often. I really believe he learned to read because of his huge interest in the games.

He will usually pass on having a book read to him but sometimes I'll find him with a game manual or some Star Wars dictionary books we have and he likes gamer type magazines, too.

Long live the video game!

Bob Collier:
After Pat quit school, he refused to read a book. He hates them. Thank you school for teaching my son to hate reading books. My son has never read a book since school and that was five years ago. He's had not even one minute of a reading lesson since school. Yet his reading is excellent. He developed his reading skills from reading videogame manuals and web pages of cheats and walkthroughs and from videogames themselves, some of which have an enormous amount of text in the gameplay that you need to be able to read to play at all.

Pat's motivation for developing his reading skills came not from being told it was something he needed but from his own understanding of how it would help him get what he wanted.

There's no more powerful form of motivation, probably.


I (Sandra) wrote this to Bob:
Bob, I added this to a reading-from-videogames page. How old was Pat when he came home?
...and Bob wrote:
Cool. He was seven.

We played a lot together in the first couple of years. Old games on the Nintendo 64 (he started on that when he was three); mostly Super Smash Bros and WWE Day of Reckoning on the Game Cube; dozens of dinky little games we turned up on the internet. We also played Pokemon and other card games together - Yugioh was very big for ages. Then Runescape was his big passion on the PC for a long time. And Empire Earth. I did play those a bit myself, but they're not really my kind of game. I'm definitely 'old school'. Pat prefers the complex games that require more sophisticated thinking and tactical skills.

He's left me completely behind since he got his Xbox 360 for Christmas and plays online mostly these days (which has added new interpersonal skills). The game we play most together at the moment is Tony Hawk's Project 8, which is totally awesome.


Video Games Reading an Unschooling Nest