Direct and positive experince:
Mandy, in the UK, gave me permission to share this more widely:
I want to share a story with you about our (almost) 16 year old who we have home schooled since he was 5. We also have a 25 year old and a 30 year old who went through the school system.
After listening to you talk and having read your blog and book we decided to experiment with having unlimited access to screens with the caveat that we would see how it went and review how we felt it was going in a few weeks. We have never looked back.
The amount that he has learned through the games that he chooses to play is amazing.
And he has learned so much more besides.
When none of his friends are online when he is, or when he doesn’t want to talk with his friends he has documentaries playing on one screen while he games on the other screen.
I now have to look up some of the things that I hear him talking about, or have to ask him to clarify points when he’s talking to me about what he’s learned as I’m very pleased to say that his knowledge has outstripped mine in several areas.
He covers a wide range of topics and is an interesting and engaging young adult whose knowledge goes far beyond the National Curriculum (we’re in the UK).
He has also got an interest in art and painting through watching Bob Ross videos on YouTube and is now a budding artist. I find this astonishing as I ran an art group in our home for about 5 years which he didn’t participate in but came to to see his friends. Other young people in the group found the sessions interesting and engaging but it was obviously the wrong time for my son.
I have a friend that has boys the same age and she is openly critical of the way that I parent and of the unlimited screen time. I don’t feel the need to defend my decisions as my son is happy, self aware, self assured and self possessed with a deep knowledge of how the world and others in it operate and what he wants from life. What she fails to realise is that because he has freedom to game as much as he wants he learns through that and he also learns much more besides due to his thirst for knowledge.
Last week my son was telling me about his 10 year plan and talking about how he was going to make his plan come to reality. He was asking lots of questions and was investigating the local housing market. He walked streets that he was interested in living in and has chosen where he’d like to be living. He has also decided which type of cat will keep him company in his home. I won’t be at all surprised if he makes it happen sooner than 10 years.
I met you once when you were in London and you have helped me more than you will ever know for which I am eternally grateful.
Love and light