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« A Parent-teacher Conference | Main | The Boys Project »

March 18, 2008



Thanks so much for writing this! You could replace the name James with "Jon" and Yu-Gi-Oh with "Mario" and this would be my son. I really needed to read this tonight. :)


My kids all LOVE Calvin and Hobbes and I find that it works better to let them sit and read our collection than any reading curriculum. My kids love Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing--which have also helped foster reading, saving, learning economics, learning about caring for animals, and many other things. I am amazed at how many opportunities to share my love of reading and history come up--yesterday my oldest asked about segregation (she is 10 and I have never taught her anything about it--even the name. She read it in a book and wanted to know how it had happened.)

Colleen Smith

I just had to comment on your son reading Calvin and Hobbes. My son Eric, taught himself to read using Calvin and Hobbes comics as well. Our copies are all ragged and torn due to constant use. I was seriously thinking of writing a curriculum called "teaching your child to read using Calvin and Hobbes". Maybe we could collaborate! LOL.


Brilliant! Thank you *so* much for writing it. I, too, struggle with connecting to a boy who seems to want to 'just get it over with' so he can run off and do something, even if what we're doing is a board game. He's the child who's lead me to discover mindful homeschooling - if I'm really paying attention to the moment I can tell if it's time to lead or time to follow, time to coast or time to push.


You could be describing my 7 year-old exactly, except in addition to Calvin and Hobbes and Yu-Gi-Oh, he also loves Star Wars - which has led to some very interesting rabbit holes, like space, space travel, and crystals (I know, it's not easy to see a connection, but trust me, it's there). I try to think back to when I used to "make" him do work, and I'm so glad that I got up the guts to let him find his own way; at age 7, he just read "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" by himself, in one day! Kids are truly amazing.
Thanks very much for this post!

Tina Essert

It is so nice to read your post and know that I'm not alone in the world of: I don't know. Whatever. Can I play my video game now?"
Maybe this means I'm not a failure after all! ;-)

crazyduplicate's mom

Thanks for this article - yes from another mom! My husband stayed home and unschooled our now 8 almost 9y.o. He taught himself to read using my hubby's extensive comic book collection and the incentive that they were all his when he could read them. We have used loads of ed. software for the computer and various gaming systems. "School" includes of one hour of ed time on the computer each day. It is amazing what they will accomplish when left to their own interests.


Heh Heh! I have a Yu-Gi-Oh lover too. I've used a lot of the same rabbit trails. My son researched ancient Japanese theatre and was able to see how the basic characters (similar to Commedia del Arte characters) correlated to his Yugi pals.
Great ideas here!


Thanks for contributing this post to this week's Carnival of Family Life, hosted at Intensive Care for the Nurturer's Soul! The Carnival will be live on March 31, 2008, so make sure you stop by and check out all of the other wonderful posts included in this week's edition!


Hueina Su - Intensive Care for the Nurturer's Soul

What a great story! Our kids do learn best through their own passions & interests. For my 10-year-old son, it's Bionicles and Transformers. Thanks for sharing this with the Carnival of Family Life, hosted on my blog this week.



Thank you so much for sharing this with Unschooling Voices. The carnival will be up bright and early Tuesday morning.


What a neat post! thank you for sharing. i am a well intentioned homeschool teacher as well. your post reminds me that it is less about putting them through our rehearsed lesson plan but us spontaneously improvising to their lead.
thanks for a neat reminder!

Rob at Kintropy

Yugi lovers unite! My son is also hooked, and my wife, a Magic aficionado, is thrilled. Gabriel asked if he could go to the game store with Mom one of these days to play there. It's (semi) social & great for helping him learn strategy, math, reading, etc..

Thanks for your blog. I'll definitely share your story with my wife.

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