Thursday, June 03, 2010


So Trevelyn loves this Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis game.
Loves, loves, loves it.

I'm not one to put a stop to computer play, unless I feel like we're melting into pixels and neer-neer sounds for days at a time.  I'm comfortable with their play, and acknowledge value in the things they choose.

I'm sitting outside sitting on the patio working on something, and Trev comes outside, and starts playing in the mudpit with his dinosaurs.
Maddie wants to play, but he says "Usually I don't mind, Maddie, but I want to create this by myself, today."
She makes noises, and has the dinosaurs talk (in language) to eachother, and has herbivores try to take on or attack meat-eaters... you get the idea.  Most irritating to someone who is going for accuracy in prehistory.
So he's sitting down there, re-creating and narrating Prehistory.
He played and narrated for a half hour or so, and headed back inside.

A little while later he came back outside, very upset.
"Aaaaagh!  I had a twister!  It destroyed my park!  It took down my fences, wrecked my pens.... I hate twisters!!!  Visitors get killed, trees get destroyed....!!!"
"I'm sorry, Bud."
"I hate tornadoes!!  I can't believe it!  All of my park.... lost!!"
"Do you have insurance?" I asked, not really even knowing if it was an option in the game...
"Of Course I have insurance!, but I can't just rebuild everything at the same time!!! It takes time and energy to rebuild!"
"Er... well... Yeah, it does."
"Oh, I should have paused my game while I was playing out here..."

He is learning about dna.  He is learning about scientific research.  He is learning about diseases, and how best to feed animals a healthy diet the most efficiently (cost wise), and storms, and responsibility, and limits and space...
so, so cool.

I went inside just a second ago to get something, and he was talking with his dad about how high his surrounding mountains (that he's building on his island) need to be to deter the twisters, and what else he can do to protect his island...

Life -and learning- goes on.


  1. yes it does! and you are giving them this beautiful freedom, the kind that every child learn
    it's awesome and inspiring

  2. I wish I could get my oldest to play computer games with learning value. All he wants to do is blow things up. Sometimes he'll play a game called The Battle for Wesnoth. But he controls all the teams and doesn't seem to apply strategy or anything to it. Bah. We're trying to be more unschool-y. I'm just having trouble letting go.

  3. I love how it all works. And how amazingly brilliant kids are. :)

  4. So sorry about that tornado...

  5. Love that these games inspire kiddos to exercise their imaginations and lose themselves in other worlds!

    Owen has played Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution ALL DAY. He keeps stopping to tell me how Ghandi is fairing against Ghengis Khan... :0)

  6. Eidolons -
    In all honesty, :), I think the trick is to appreciate what they DO do and love, and not at what the friends and neighbors Do Do.
    Doodoodoodoodoo, for sure. Ick.

    Sans kidding, what I mean is the trick is in the appreciate of life, and not depreciating.
    There are a thousand things I could name off the top of my head that Trev isn't interested in -
    the Civil War
    numbers (per se)
    drawing anime
    pretty crafty paper projects
    being told what to do...

    and there are a thousand things I could name that I'm not interested in either, but that doesn't make me any less interested or engaged in life, or any less worthy of my space and intentions on this planet.

    Perhaps your child will be an explosives expert. Or is doing research for the MythBusters team.

  7. Tara
    fxx'n a.

    Was that too cryptic??
    Been on the pc A LOT today.
    Using shorthand, now.

  8. I got quite a kick out of this post! Your little dude is brilliant!

  9. Loved this post! Going in my 'stop stressing, it'll be fine' file. :)

  10. chocolate
    kiss your kids


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!