02 September 2010

Jumpstart - Starting a New Adventure

We have dug out the Jump Start media we have access to in the last week. Somewhere in the massive project of decluttering we found a calm spot. Or maybe we just hit a tipping point. The point at which you realize that there is clear space, and you can move through the house without being reminded of an obstacle course. The chi is flowing easily through the majority of the house. I know this is so because the boys have donned their turbo charged engines to run the length of the house at break neck speeds, and are accomplishing the designated course without any broken necks!

As we have found this new level of existence for our household, I have noticed some other welcome changes occurring. The most noticeable of these is the resurgence of the boys' desire to learn. They want to watch the educational shows, instead of the violent destructive ones on tv. They are suddenly excited about the idea of workbooks, and educational computer games. And to this end I started digging up all the JumpStart games that we have that still work.

A couple years back we had to give away all of our original JumpStart computer games. We had the old software that ran on Windows 95/98 and when Windows XP put out service pack 2, well.. lets just say that was an expensive update for our house. My oldest child had grown up playing jump start computer games. She loved going through Jumpstart preschool, Jumpstart kindergarten, Jump Start first grade, Jump Start second grade, and last Jump Start third grade. We were just reminiscing a few days ago about the robot from the third grade game. Can't seem to remember his name though. She confided in me how her favorite part of the game had always been the artwork area, but she went through the school work because it made me happy. WOW.. did not know that! Have you seen her artwork now? She is absolutely fantastic! I am so glad that we have been following this life learning journey for so long. I can't imagine what her artwork would be like now if she had been stifled and forced to do things on someone else's timeline... You can check out some of her artwork at www.PenDragonsArt.com for yourself!

Now that all the computer systems in our house are running Windows 7, it has been another purge of beloved software. I am happy to say that our latest JumpStart titles do appear to be working so far. I just installed Jump Start Kindergarten on the computer two days ago. It may be below their level, but there is nothing wrong with going over basics. And going through material that they already know has been boosting their self worth, which has resulted in them trying out new things, and exploring more. I am thrilled to say that after all the difficulties J-man has had with learning to read, he is sounding out words, and wanting to open books again.

For the last two days, the boys have been clamoring to get another turn on the computer and go work on earning their badges and belts, and of course, trying out the different characters and pets! The house has reached a new level of calm.. and I am breathing a sigh of relief as I get some much needed peace and quiet!

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