Sunday, November 11, 2012

Confiscated the Kindle Fire

My older son owns two Kindles, the second one, the cheapest most basic model, was won in a raffle.

I took away the Kindle Fire since it was being used to play video game apps before bed (instead of reading a book for pleasure) and it was being snuck to read in the middle of the school day. My son was also using it for the Internet although we shut that off at the router. The first time he hacked it and the second time he let it stand, but he could still play the apps that already were downloaded.

I blogged about these challenges in detail here.

Well now I took the Kindle Fire away from him. He can read ebooks on the more basic Kindle.

I am probably going to purchase the cheap-o Kindle Fire for my younger son also just so he can have an eReader that does not allow playing video game apps.

Since my kids cannot self-regulate and since they were not getting their academic work done, I have to resort to putting limitations and restrictions on them.

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Update 11/11/12: Recently I have been blogging details of our family's struggles to get basic academic work completed. If you have been reading along then this blog post will make more sense. See comments for more commentary.

4 comments:

Deborah said...

Is there any reason a 15 year old should not be able to choose to play games instead of reading for pleasure at night? I'm not sure what you mean by "self-regulate" in this sense...how is he to learn that skill if he has no leeway to make (occasionally bad) choices? Is there really any value to taking all of his "free" time and choice of acticities away because he's having difficulty focusing on his schoolwork?

ChristineMM said...

Deborah,
My son has plenty of "free time" which he chooses to spend doing things such as the sport team which takes up almost 20 hours a week not counting competition weekends which involve the entire family's time and energy.

How long is long enough to try the self-regulation? Is 11 months enough time? That is how long he has been addicted to video game apps and how long it has interfered with not just pleasure reading but basic schoolwork.

He also takes a hour break on the toilet in the middle of lesson time which is spent playing video game apps on the Kindle Fire. That hooks his attention and keeps him away from his schoolwork.

My son sleeps much later than schooled kids. He rarely does lessons after 3pm (when it is time to go to sports practice).

He eats 3 solid meals at home a day and does not do schoolwork at night after dinner like schooled kids.

We have had limits on the xBox360 since we purchased it for Christmas 2007. However the laptop in 2011 and the Kindle Fire in 2011 have let video games creep in, as well as other distractors such as Facebook, Twitter, chat boards, YouTube fun videos, music management on iTunes, making music libraries and loading them on the various MP3 players that he keeps losing and replacing. Oh and text messaging.

Homeschoolers have access to many entertainment things at home that schooled kids don't have at their disposal as they are BANNED during school hours.

If my kids can't get basic academics done for homeschooling we are in violation of state law. As a parent it is irresponsible and illegal for me to let my kids go on with entertainment fun activities instead of doing schoolwork.

So how long is long enough with the failed experiment in self-regulation? I think 11 months is long enough.

We did not get the Kindle Fire to have a small laptop computer with YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, cable company app for TV and movie viewing, and video game apps. We got it to be a book eReader.

This son has not read a fiction book in 7 months now. It used to be a daily fun activity that is no more. He also does not read nonfiction for pleasure, just nonfiction magazines (i.e. Popular Mechanics and Scientific American). He also balks at reading anything for schoolwork (i.e. good living book or a boring textbook).

How long must a student go down a road to academic failure before the homeschool parent steps in to make changes to help toward academic success?

My son's request to do half the studies of the state's requirements and to take 8 years for what is supposed to be 4 years of high school is unacceptable to my husband and I. He is not welcome to live here and graduate homeschool high school at age 22. That is not an option. If someone thinks I'm a jerk for that, I don't care.

Joyful Learner said...

I respect what you are doing. It must be terribly hard what you are going through right now. Hope things begin to improve and you and the boys find your groove.

Susan Silver Dill said...

I tried to type a reply before but not sure it went through.

Deborah, have you read Christine's past posts about her issues with her son and him doing his work and attempts to overcome their limits on his internet and tv/game access?

I think if he were doing as asked on a daily basis, this game playing at night might not be an issue. However, his repeated attempts to sabotage what is requested and alter all family plans by doing so are deserving of such limits and restrictions.

Have read the book "Boys Adrift"? If not, perhaps you should. He makes a great case for severely limiting boys access to things like video games. A worthy read.

As for my own boys (and I have 4), we limit them to 1 hour a day, 2 days a week, and then only if it is NOT a nice day. Otherwise, they play outside as much as possible.