A lot of times when kids first leave school, they spend a few months playing video games. That’s all. Just video games. And the parents freak out.
But let’s say your kid is playing video games. What would you want your kid to do instead?
Math and reading are what most people would answer. But ask yourself why. Why not let your kid decompress from the pressures of school for a few months. After all, if school were not detrimental for your kid you wouldn’t have taken your kid out of school. So let your kid have a break.
There will be no falling behind. Really. No one falls “ behind” in math and reading from playing video games nonstop for a few months. You can easily catch up. A whole generation just caught up. I know it’s not funny, but in this moment, for you, it’s a convenient reality.
The truth is that most parents just feel uncomfortable watching their kids play video games all day. Too many people tell parents it’s bad, so the parents feel bad. I was not immune to this. At one point, my kids played video games with their coats on as a joke – to make the point every time I saw them playing video games I’d say, “Why don’t you go outside.”
But we know that competitive video games are so so so much better for kids than conventional school. The networking to get on a team is just like trying to get a job. The team negotiations are intense and I’m amazed to see the kids do it themselves. They sound just like adults. Their phone skills are amazing because they have to talk with new people all the time — and actually collaborate with them to win. And the kids work just as hard at gaming as people do at any other sport. Those competitive gamers are intense and driven and serious.
Or maybe your kid is building on Minecraft. If your kid were creating worlds with paper and pencil or making cutouts with a scissors you would stand on street corners bragging.
So be patient at the beginning of your homeschool adventure. And if you get antsy, keep in mind that kids who are on social media all day long have more self-esteem than kids whose parents control their screen time with an iron fist. Because parents who are controlling squash kids self-esteem, and controlling applies to the screen because it’s a window into their social life. So chill.