Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Do your homework, make your bed, and play your video games

I'm not sure if I should share this with my son, but apparently there's a study out that says that spending about 15 minutes a day playing the Nintendo DS video game, Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day, improves math skills. Oh yeah, it's supposed to help them behave too.

At the end of the ten week study, not only had their math accuracy improved but their time had improved as well. It seems playing the game improved that optimal balance of speed and accuracy that are the essential elements of mastery. As for the improved behavior aspect of the study, researchers said they found a “noticeable impact on behaviour and levels of concentration throughout the day, with the children becoming more self-confident.”

I wouldn't share these benefits with my son, though. I think that would just about take all the fun out of it. It would be much, much better to just let him think his mom is so cool, she actually lets him play his DS every day. We currently have a strict no-video game, no-computer game, no-television policy enforced Monday through Thursday. Such a radical change in policy would be a big deal around here.

All in all, not bad results for a handheld video game. Just in time for the holidays too.

Sound too good to be true? Read on...
Children + DS = Better Math Scores, by Samantha Mason


PaulaV said...

"We currently have a strict no-video game, no-computer game, no-television policy enforced Monday through Thursday."

My sons can play their video games (Gameboy and DS) only after they finish all their work, and for a limited time. However, they are not allowed to get on the computer or Gamecube until Friday afternoon.

My son is "advanced" in math at school. Is this do to his playing DS or the fact that he goes to Kumon? I would say the latter.

concernedCTparent said...

Yep, it's the Kumon. However, there is a connection between the methodology behind Kumon and this particular game (Train Your Brain). I'll try to find the article(s) and post links.

concernedCTparent said...

Train Your Brain (the book) is published by Kumon Publishing. This is the research behind the Nintendo game.


So, I guess if you're rationing the videogame time, this is a good way to spend at least some of the time.

PaulaV said...

Hi CT,

Thanks for the link! I'll have to go read up on the Train Your
Brain DS game. Do you think getting the game and doing Kumon would be overkill?

concernedCTparent said...

Actually, no I don't. It's not just math. There are passages to read and other non-math mental exercises. I wouldn't overdo it, but it's a fun way to sneak learning in. It's fun for adults too!