April 8, 2013

Unschooling and Minecraft

There are weeks, even months, where I feel like our days are only filled with YouTube and Minecraft.  It's hard to see those days as valuable.  I spend a lot of time worrying in my head about which scientific study is right, the one where screens are the future or the one where they turn brains to mush.  Actually those two statements could both be true, so I suppose it doesn't much matter.  Fortunately, there is plenty of good that comes from these things too.

I just listened to Geshtro making a video for his YouTube channel.  Normally his stuff just sort of mingles with the rest of the background noise and I don't pay much attention.  This time though, I got caught up in his narrative.  I can't actually tell you what he was saying, only how he was saying it.  He wasn't stuttering.  I'm not sure it's a stutter that he has really, but he does this thing at the end of his words where he repeats the last syllable 1-3 times before moving on to the next word.  It's sort of like his mouth is moving faster than his brain and instead of just having silence while he gets out the next word, he draws out the last one.  I can't really describe it properly.  I've noticed that when he thinks about what he wants to say before he says it, it doesn't happen.  I've also noticed he doesn't do it when he's extremely familiar with what he's talking about.  It happens most often when he's unsure of what he's talking about.  While listening to him make this video though, I noticed he kept the flow of the conversation going, quite rapidly actually, without the end stutter even though he was playing in a mod that he had never used before.  I also noticed that all of those hours of watching others' YouTube videos has made an impact on the cadence of his speech and the phrases he uses.  His narrative was seamless and witty, despite being totally off-the-cuff.   It's quite a difference from when he first began making videos several months back.  I may not always see the value in his choice of activities, but clearly he is learning.  

I'll have to write a whole other post later about his musical accomplishments.  They are really quite extraordinary as well!


  1. That's really cool. When we are motivated to work, we learn. It's easy to think, this isn't directly related to x, therefore it's not useful, but I've really learned, that as long as you're trying new things and learning, it will be useful one day.

  2. I am in the same place you are with this. On the one hand, I think it's great that my kids know so much about Minecraft and all these youtubers and make their own youtube videos, etc. I think they are definitely learning...on the other hand, I want to see them physically DOING things, building physical things..it's hard to find a balance sometimes.

  3. Thanks for the comments, ladies!

    I agree Theresa. I prefer to see them moving, but then I think back to my childhood. I only wanted to read. Everything else was of no interest. When my mom said go outside and play, I took a book and found a tree to sit under. It feels like books are a more worthy sedentary activity, but are they?