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saw

A new subject my dd's school is apparently introducing ...

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(and one more reason we will be moving in the next two years to homeschool). NINTENDO! DD 9 yo came home this afternoon to tell me that her teacher and the class voted that next Thursday afternoon would be Nintendo DS afternoon. All the kids are supposed to bring their DSs (I'm not sure that's what they're called) and play on them. It was going to be an all-day event, but some older boys misbehaved and lost the "privilege" of playing all day, so now it's just the afternoon.

We sent an email to the principal explaining that dd doesn't own one of those things and that we don't believe that school is the appropriate forum for playing games like that.

Am I crazy, or is this just plain out of line? It's not like we strongly object to Nintendo at home (although we don't own anything like that) and I'm considering getting a Wii, and the kids play Webkinz for limited amounts of time. I don't want to judge what other parents let kids do at home, but I just can't see this at a school.

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Eh, for one afternoon I don't think I'd worry about it. Maybe because it's the last day before Spring break? I can remember being allowed to bring in board games for free play day every so often as a reward, which is sort of the low-tech version of a ds. The fact that your daughter and maybe a few others don't have a ds is bothersome, but maybe she could bring a book or other entertainment? Bottom line, there are a lot about schools that are annoying and I sympathize with you. But I don't think this is the hill I'd choose to die on.

Barb

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Is the teacher going to bring spares? I'd feel absolutely horrible for my kid (who doesn't own a DS) to have to sit through an afternoon watching other kids playing video games! How inconsiderate of the teacher! Esp. in ps when you KNOW there are some kids who simply can't afford video games! I'd be on that phone to the principal, the teacher, whoever ASAP. I'll put this on my list of reasons why we homeschool!

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Yikes! Sounds like an utterly unproductive afternoon (or day). Speak with the teacher and principal and find out why it's allowed. The principal may not even be aware of the decision. If they opt to continue, insist that DC is offered a borrowed DS go home unpenalized.

It sounds like a new teacher "everyone has this game" mentality. I don't personally know of a single kid who doesn't own a Game Boy, DS, or PSP. That doesn't justify allowing it at school, but that many people *assume* something is ok until convinced otherwise.

Good luck!

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Great! I'll throw in a couple of extra game-day-Fridays from now on and count that in my attendance. We're constantly swamped with a mall full of kids on field trips from school, so I could any and all shopping trips as full school days too. My attendance records are looking great and we only do "real" school a couple days a week!

LOL!! I am saying this all with complete sarcasm of course, but I am amazed at what they consider a school day often. I understand the whole "we're just taking a break" or "we're doing something fun" but come on... :)

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[quote name='saw'](and one more reason we will be moving in the next two years to homeschool). NINTENDO! DD 9 yo came home this afternoon to tell me that her teacher and the class voted that next Thursday afternoon would be Nintendo DS afternoon. All the kids are supposed to bring their DSs (I'm not sure that's what they're called) and play on them. It was going to be an all-day event, but some older boys misbehaved and lost the "privilege" of playing all day, so now it's just the afternoon.

We sent an email to the principal explaining that dd doesn't own one of those things and that we don't believe that school is the appropriate forum for playing games like that.

Am I crazy, or is this just plain out of line? It's not like we strongly object to Nintendo at home (although we don't own anything like that) and I'm considering getting a Wii, and the kids play Webkinz for limited amounts of time. I don't want to judge what other parents let kids do at home, but I just can't see this at a school.[/QUOTE]

Sounds like a good day to stay home and do something fun and worthwhile!

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Nothing like that.

I don't object to it tremendously, but I think it's kind of a waste of time.

I find that when we don't have this kind of thing at home, DD is much more creative. I hope I'm not stunting her or something, though. Are they really THAT common?

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[quote name='Carol in Cal.']Nothing like that.

. I hope I'm not stunting her or something, though. Are they really THAT common?[/quote]


Well here on our street, yes they are really that common. We have 13 kids on our street and EVERY child has one. I actually like the fact that one kid can buy a game (bowling is the street favorite right now) and all kids standing close can download it and play against each other. My boys both own them and play them freely on the weekends. I am however, against them in school. I know our local elementary has movie friday afternoon. Two fridays a month, they watch movies after lunch so the teacher can grade papers in class.

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[quote name='Carol in Cal.']Nothing like that.

I don't object to it tremendously, but I think it's kind of a waste of time.

I find that when we don't have this kind of thing at home, DD is much more creative. I hope I'm not stunting her or something, though. Are they really THAT common?[/QUOTE]

Add us to the list of non-DS/Wii/PSP/Gameboy/etc owners. We may eventually get a Wii, but it may well not be for a couple of years. My daughter's played it at others' homes (as have we) and it's fun, but not high on the purchasing priority list. She does have limited time on webkinz since her grandfather gave her one for Christmas.

Kind of sad that the vaunted "socialization" at public school is reduced to a bunch of children sitting in a group playing on individual video games. Not sure why the teacher can't simply break out some actual board games or other activities that require non-technologically-aided interaction or cause the children with less economic means to stand out even more like a sore thumb. I'm curious---is it a school that uses uniforms so that children are theoretically not labeled by their socioeconomic status? It would be ironic if so.

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In addition to the other concerns already expressed, I must add that as a teacher (or principal), I wouldn't want to deal with the liability of children bringing expensive toys to school. Maybe they have considered this and have some ideas for making sure they're not damaged, lost, or stolen.

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[quote name='beansprouts']Well you know that reading and writing stuff is overrated anyways... :rolleyes:[/QUOTE]

LOL As Barb says, though, it's not a huge deal. Still, if you can do it at school, that pretty much gives it a :thumbup: right?

I remember in elementary school (public) that we had to put our heads down on our desks on quiet non-busy afternoons, or whenever we were out of work. :rolleyes: Also, we occasionally played Hangman or Seven Up. My 4th grade teacher would actually pass out devotionals and read those to us. :eek: Those shocking days of '78... ;)

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I didn't read all of the responses but...

My kids are homeschooled. If a they went to school and there was a day like this planned, mine would be staying home. One of my kids has greatly struggled with video game addiction and his DS was the prime culprit.

I know we're not alone in this struggle and it [I]really[/I] should be something that the school should take into consideration. What kind of harm could they possibly be doing?:sad:

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I did that when my oldest was in first grade (his last grade of public school) when the teachers were trying to fill mandatory "instructional" hours with movies -- PG movies in first grade, to be exact, and no, parents didn't get to approve the movies. The school had snow days and the board had decided to make the school day a little bit longer rather than tack on days to the end.

I have absolutely no respect for public schools that try this crap, and then the teachers have the nerve to say that homeschooling parents aren't qualified to do what they do. All you need to teach is (1) common sense, and (2) a desire to instill a love of learning. Nintendo during school hours reveals a profound lack of either of these.

You can quote me when you write. :)

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I know I posted that we don't have these things. we don't have any video games...we do have Reader Rabbit computer games;), and Singapore math's Rainbow Rock on the computer as well...but what are "ds" anyway? Call me out of the loop or over the hill...the last time I saw a video game I think it was "pong"! Okay, that was probably in 1980! But what does ds stand for?:confused:

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[quote name='Mamagistra']I remember in elementary school (public) that we had to put our heads down on our desks on quiet non-busy afternoons, or whenever we were out of work. :rolleyes: Also, we occasionally played Hangman or Seven Up. [/quote]


I totally forgot about Seven Up! Loved, loved, loved those days! :D

Except when it would turn into a popularity contest... then it kinda stunk...

Ah, school memories...

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My biggest complaint is that our schools [I]waste[/I] so much of our kids' time. This was one of the reasons I hated school as a child. Honestly if you could cut out all the nonsense and condense the minutes of actual instruction that a child recieves during any given school week, I think any child of average intelligence could pass a high school equivalency by 10 or 12 years old.

Our [I]high schoolers[/I] only spend 6 hours a day on academics. Schooled teens spend at least this many in school, plus transportation, plus 2 or so hours of homework when they get home. Yet our kids are academically so far beyond the public schools it isn't even funny...

But they have time to watch movies and play video games.

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Really??? I think that's incredibly irresponsible. I'm not even talking about the frivolity of playing Nintendo for an afternoon. Unless a Nintendo DS is on the required supplies list for the school, then it's irresponsible for a teacher to declare an afternoon requiring every student to have one.

Oh, and I also think it's just a stupid waste of time.:ack2:

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[quote name='beansprouts']My biggest complaint is that our schools [I]waste[/I] so much of our kids' time. This was one of the reasons I hated school as a child. Honestly if you could cut out all the nonsense and condense the minutes of actual instruction that a child recieves during any given school week, I think any child of average intelligence could pass a high school equivalency by 10 or 12 years old.

Our [I]high schoolers[/I] only spend 6 hours a day on academics. Schooled teens spend at least this many in school, plus transportation, plus 2 or so hours of homework when they get home. Yet our kids are academically so far beyond the public schools it isn't even funny...

But they have time to watch movies and play video games.[/quote]

:iagree:

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Wow. There are so many things wrong with that--I can see having an hour or so for board games but a whole afternoon for individual video games that the kids might not even own? I would definitely keep my kid home for the day; we could read a neat book together, go on a nature hike, and play our very own board game! (Or heck, we could go shoe shopping, it would still be a better use of time.)

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played every now and then, I have REAL issues with using time for this at a public school. I also have real issues with movie day at school. I knew a child in an LD/BD classroom who watched movies at school every. single. Friday. afternoon. :eek:

Bottom line--it's school. Period. If the kids need a break, let them come home. Otherwise, fill those hours with something at least marginally educational--a nature documentary or something? Books, God forbid??? But with all the time kids get to play video games outside of school I see absolutely no reason to fill school hours with even more video game time.

Ugh.

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[quote name='strider']Bottom line--it's school. Period. If the kids need a break, let them come home. Otherwise, fill those hours with something at least marginally educational--a nature documentary or something? Books, God forbid??? But with all the time kids get to play video games outside of school I see absolutely no reason to fill school hours with even more video game time.

Ugh.[/quote]

What she said!!

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[quote name='Jennifer in NH']I know I posted that we don't have these things. we don't have any video games...we do have Reader Rabbit computer games;), and Singapore math's Rainbow Rock on the computer as well...but what are "ds" anyway? Call me out of the loop or over the hill...the last time I saw a video game I think it was "pong"! Okay, that was probably in 1980! But what does ds stand for?:confused:[/QUOTE]

I don't know what the DS stands for but it is a hand-held video game system put out by Nintendo.

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The only thing I have to add (I think it's a waste of time, too) is that I'm not surprised if the teacher might just assume "everyone" has one. There's a lot of that going on in our technologically based society -- doesn't everyone have a cell phone? Broadband internet access -- heck, a lot of the people out here don't have dial-up, let alone a computer. We've lived here almost ten years now and for the first five we didn't have a phone at all *or* electricity.

I think kids spend enough time playing video games -- they don't need to be doing it at school. There are *so* many other "fun" things they could be doing -- can't she think of a single one?

It was quite a treat playing Hang Man at school. :-)

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[quote name='JessicaRush']Great! I'll throw in a couple of extra game-day-Fridays from now on and count that in my attendance. We're constantly swamped with a mall full of kids on field trips from school, so I could any and all shopping trips as full school days too. My attendance records are looking great and we only do "real" school a couple days a week!

LOL!! I am saying this all with complete sarcasm of course, but I am amazed at what they consider a school day often. I understand the whole "we're just taking a break" or "we're doing something fun" but come on... :)[/quote]

Don't forget movies. I hear they watch a lot of movies in school (especially right before spring break and towards the end of the year - anytime after testing).

I don't even count documentaries as school time. What's the matter with me? :001_huh:

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saying that y'all have been great this week so let's all take a field trip, or the afternoon off to just vegg on the porch, the day off?

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[quote name='BMC']saying that y'all have been great this week so let's all take a field trip, or the afternoon off to just vegg on the porch, the day off?[/QUOTE]

For me, the key is that every kid is expected to have an expensive (relatively, and for some, prohibitively) toy to bring and play. Taking the afternoon off doesn't bother me as much. That's just part and parcel of institutional schooling.

It's just that in the place that's supposed to have equal access for all, there's only equal access to the proposed activity if one is fairly well off and does not object to their child owning a hand-held gaming device.

That's not to say everyone can afford the field trips, either. But there's usually a fund that families can tap into if they write a note citing hardship.

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[quote name='BMC']saying that y'all have been great this week so let's all take a field trip, or the afternoon off to just vegg on the porch, the day off?[/quote]

But we don't count those hours (vegging on the porch) as [I]school, [/I]I count those as being [I]out of[/I] [I]school[/I]. And yet we are supposed to have the same number of days as the public school (here, anyway).

It's amazing to me the number of days in ps that are, "Oh, well, we aren't going to do anything today, since it's almost (spring break/Christmas break/end of the year). A bunch of wasted time, that should count as an off day, IMO. But then they wouldn't get their required number of days.

[IMG]http://www.33smiley.com/smiley2/work/office/10.gif[/IMG]

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Color me suitably appalled. And for the record, we don't do video games in this family, nor do most of the homeschooling families we know locally. I do know one family that's big on them, and the kids have lost playmates because "all they want to do is sit around and play video games."

A friend of mine had her dd in ps for a brief time last year. She found out that they had video time ("Arthur" shows) every day and twice on Fridays. As my dw said, "Because you know those kids aren't watching enough TV at home..." Sheesh. :001_rolleyes:

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[quote name='Pam "SFSOM" in TN']...But there's usually a fund that families can tap into if they write a note citing hardship.[/quote]


Maybe some goon has established a [I]Nintendo fund[/I] so that low-income kids can tap into it. Ya' think?!? No, I agree with Pam.

For the OP, I'd be in that classroom having conversation with that teacher post haste. And, if there were no accommodations for kids who don't own the game (but...really...even if they get one to use for the afternoon, would they know how to play it?), my kid would be staying home that day. Sudden onset of BGD....Brainless Game Disease.:svengo:



Doran

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We are a big gamer family, so I think kids playing DS together is fine. But NOT in school. I don't even think edutainment games should be school. I agree that you should keep her home that day. Take her to the science center or zoo or something like that. Let her have a fun day also, but an educational one.

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[quote name='Pam "SFSOM" in TN']For me, the key is that every kid is expected to have an expensive (relatively, and for some, prohibitively) toy to bring and play. Taking the afternoon off doesn't bother me as much. That's just part and parcel of institutional schooling.

It's just that in the place that's supposed to have equal access for all, there's only equal access to the proposed activity if one is fairly well off and does not object to their child owning a hand-held gaming device.

That's not to say everyone can afford the field trips, either. But there's usually a fund that families can tap into if they write a note citing hardship.[/QUOTE]

This is my biggest concern as well. I remember being teased by other kids for not wearing the latest styles, not having a designer tag on my jeans, not wearing the full Brownie uniform, carrying my gym clothes to school in a Payless bag, etc. I know that these things are still an issue in schools and that's why so many public schools have started requiring uniforms. Why add another item to compare by? At least designer jeans weren't somehow required to participate in a class activity!

My kids also don't have any of these game systems. We could probably afford the handheld ones and possibly the larger ones as well. (I have no idea how much these things cost.) We aren't completely opposed to video games. My kids play them at their friends' houses. We have just decided they aren't a priority and we'd rather spend our time and money on other things.

I would definitely discuss my objections with the principal and teacher and I would keep my kids home that day if they wanted to continue with the video game day. I would feel badly for the children who don't own one of these games and don't have the option of staying home because their parents work. I think it's incredibly ignorant, naive, and short-sighted for the teacher not to have thought of these things. We know that life just isn't fair and that there will always be those who have more than others, but why choose an activity that emphasizes the differences?

And talk about a waste of time. I know that sometimes teachers want to reward the class for their hard work or they need a little extra time to get things in order, but why not have the students read or do something else with some educational value? I think most kids with video game systems get plenty of time on them at home. Isn't that one of the reasons AR is part of so many school programs now? Kids aren't doing enough outside reading at home, so they make time for it in school and add extra tests to insure that they are actually reading the books. Shouldn't reading be presented as a fun activity and as a reward rather than just another requirement and something to dodge on these fun days?:rant:

Don't even get me started by presenting the argument that some kids can't read and so that would be unfair to [I]:001_tt2:[/I]

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I wouldn't be happy with video game afternoon at school. It's one thing to play a board game where many kids participate in the game...most video games aren't organized that way. And who's going to approve the games????

I will put in a word about movies in school. Many years ago, when I was teaching 8th grade LA, my kids would often talk about the movies they were seeing in the theaters. Mostly I was appalled at what these kids were allowed to see. (Like The Terminator--so now that seems mild, at the time it was just not for kids!) So I decided they needed to see some good movies and with my principal's approval, I had a movie series. I don't remember all the titles, but I know I showed: Hello Dolly, Ben Hur, Gone With the Wind and Oliver. We talked about the themes, how music was used to portray themes (particularly in Ben Hur), whether or not a book had been accurately represented through the movie...things like that. We watched in short segments (maybe 30 minutes depending on the movie) rather than taking an entire period. Then we contrasted what we had seen with contemporary movies...what was good, what wasn't so good. It was fun watching them discover something other than junk--sort of like discovering literature instead of romance novels. (Nothing wrong with romance novels or junk movies, but there's **more** and that was the point I wanted them to get.)

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