Thursday, January 30

Anyone Out There Remember Zork?

I am going to date myself.  The first video game I ever played was Pong.  My friend had the console and we thought it was the most amazing thing ever.  That was, until I played Zork.

I think I was around twelve or thirteen on one of our trips to Germany to visit my father's family when I first discovered it.  I had a good friend there who had a geeky older brother who was really into computers at a time that most people didn't have one at home.  He introduced me to Zork and I was instantly hooked.  If you have never played Zork, it is a text-based role-playing game that is quite complicated and addictive.

Duke is a really enthusiastic reader, but he doesn't like to write because he isn't confident in his spelling.  He will not write a word until he is 100% sure it is correct, so he doesn't want to write anything.  I am always trying to figure out fun new ways to help him in spelling so you can imagine my excitement when I found out he can play Zork on the iPad.

I printed out a list of the basic commands for his first run and he is playing right now and having a blast.  Not only is he having to spell things correctly to get the tasks accomplished, he is also working on his typing skills (still one-fingered but he is learning letter placement on the keyboard).   Tricky, he thinks he is getting video game time during school and doesn't realize it is just his spelling lesson.  ;-)

Notice he is rereading his favorite book series, The Adventures of Tintin.  Every night he gets to read with us in the den from 8:00-8:45 before going to bed.  It makes him feel like a grown-up.  I love to see my little tall guy cuddled on the couch with a good book.

"Speaking" about reading, Imp has been stubborn and has refused to learn how to read.  When I would work with him he would get frustrated and tell me he wasn't going to learn until he was seven.  We took a bit of a break and today I pulled out a phonics book and he suddenly was able to effortlessly sound out two syllable (like si and mo).  Just last month he was asking me what sound "s" makes because he forgot (??? :-o), and today he knows all of his sounds and has figured out how to put them together!  I am really excited for him.  It is so true that kids all learn at different ages and if your child isn't ready just wait for a while and try again.

If you have used a successful spelling method with your kids that doesn't bore you to tears, I would love for you to leave a comment.  I have always struggled with spelling and I want to make my boys confident spellers.

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  1. Will have to look up that game..maybe the 7 y.o. grandson would like it. Glad your little one is progressing. True on the different ages for things. I kept reassuring my daughter that is the case with little ones when people want to compare milestones. Thanks for sharing and enjoy a peek into your lives. :)

  2. ABSOLUTELY! That was my first computer game. Played it on a Tandy. (Wow, that's dating myself...) I'll have to add it to my iPad app list. Thanks for a little Throwback Thursday fun!

  3. Yes I remember Zork! I spent hours working through and drawing maps. It's great that he enjoys it now. It really lets the imagination free to "see" the adventure himself.

  4. It's may be more school-y than you usually prefer, but All About Spelling is an amazing program. It's not about spelling lists and tests, as traditional programs, but rather teaches using a multisensory approach focusing on rules and patterns that actually hold true.

    It's as fun as Zork ;), but it's just 10 to 15 minutes each time, it's designed to review just what the individual student needs to review, and it really works. I have one kid that has used the whole program (books 1-7), one that's on book 4, and one that on book 2.

  5. My brother bought his first computer, an IBM, back in the mid-80's, and we played Zork all the time! I was only about 11 or 12 or so. He also had some crazy game called Eliza (?) who was supposed a psychologist and would answer your questions.

  6. By the way, I found a free app called Frotz that allows you to play Zork. I did a search at the App store before clicking on the link you gave.


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