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Get rid of video games get higher grades!

      As students and teachers it is our hard earned right to take the summer to relax and have fun. As a student myself I find it hard to adjust to “back to school” and the biggest struggle I see among my students is that they cannot break through their summer addiction of playing video games. Last year I literally had to drag a student from the monitor and put him on his study chair after asking him for 10 minutes to turn the game off and come for his study session. I had another student in my 10th grade Social Studies class who I knew was an intelligent boy, but because he spend most of his time playing a video game he was constantly absent or late and sometime fell asleep during his classes. We finally figured out he was spending his evenings playing and going to sleep late which of course made him sleep through the morning and miss school. All these encounters over the years led me to a small study.

     In the end of the school year I downloaded an addictive game on my ipad and wanted to see if I would be able to delete the game in the end of August and break my summer addiction. I played the game scarcely in June and July and increased my playtime during August and caught myself thinking about the game constantly when I was doing something else. Last week I started my second year of graduate school and the work is plentiful, just like my students’ homework assignments usually are. It took me exactly one week to bring myself to delete this highly addictive game. I knew for a fact that if I continued playing the game I would procrastinate with my papers and the reading.

I am an adult and I would like to think I have more will power than an average middle or high school student and I was able to delete the game and get back on track with my studies. Many of our students don’t know how to make the distinction between playtime and school time thus failing to manage their time coherently and
organize their day so that they have ample study time and still manage to have some fun. As parents and teachers, I think, it is our duty to teach children the distinction and encourage them a few days before school starts to break away from the bad habits of summer especially playing video games or other app games on the ipad or whatever new gadget there might be.

Step one would be deleting the games, spending the now free time on reading, writing, math, communication and family time. If we all take a few moments and talk to children about time management and the importance of study time it will be easier to get into the “back to school” habit. From experience, I truly do believe students’ scores and grades will go up if they played less video games and spent more time with their textbooks.