Sunday, November 28, 2010


Every morning this week, my son has woken up and gone straight downstairs to his desk to work.

As early as 7, he's sat himself down with his Life of Fred maths book to do a chapter or two. Then it's on to the Targeting English workbook (which he dug out from where I'd buried it on a shelf). He does two pages. Sometimes he does all this before he has even eaten breakfast. (Which boggles my mind)

The motivation?

An online computer game called Dragonfable.

To my son, this game is awesome—it's complicated, creative, and engaging. In it, you go on lots of monster-fighting quests, gather all sorts of cool outfits and different weapons and go up level after level. He loves it, and says it's even a "tiny bit educational." Bonus!

But although my boy loves this game and wants to go on it the moment he wakes, he has decided he can't just go onto the computer and play. He has to earn his computer time. School work has to be done first.

His rules.

I never said he couldn't just go and play the game. I didn't say he had to earn his time on the computer. I haven't set school work, and I never made the computer a prize.

My son's boundaries.

He is my little workhorse. He asks for help when he needs it. Powers through until he is done.

He is the very picture of a self-motivated learner. So very different from the boy he was at school.

He said on Wednesday, "I can't wait 'til tomorrow!"

"Why?" I asked, and he said, "So I can do this again!"

When I said we'd be busy on Thursday, he said, "Then I can't wait 'til Friday!"

And yesterday, on Saturday, there he was at his desk. Doing maths before breakfast. (Which boggled my mind!)

My boy owns his learning; he owns his day.

He is my sweet example of the Freedom Experiment, working just so beautifully.

(And on a side note, my daughter said, "I don't have anything I want to do so badly I'd do maths for it!"

I said, "So, when you play Dragonfable, do you feel like you have to earn it, or do you just want to play?"

With a big, gorgeous grin she said, "I just play, Mum!"


Which means she owns her learning, too.

How I love the Freedom Experiment.)

1 comment:

  1. One of my best friends son plays DragonFable. He knows I like computer games and has tried to convince me to play. He loves it.

    I think the fact that your boy does his learning before playing speaks volumes of your 'experiment'. Kei and I did some 'lessons' this weekend inspired by you. I starting thinking, "This whole weekend is for doing nothing educational is kinda PS thinking". So we did History and both enjoyed it because it was less stressful.

    You are just inspiring me in many ways. :) Happy week.


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