My son has always had his obsessions:
- Age 3: Dinosaurs and Angry Birds
- Age 4 and 5: Pokémon
- Age 6: Bakugan, Ninjago
- Age 7: Magic Cards, Minecraft, Mario Brothers Video Games
- Age 9, 10: Minecraft, Dragonballz, Injustice Video Game
- Age 1o and 11: Dragonballz, Naruto
My son’s guitar teacher has channeled his interests into guitar songs. He will ask my son what he wants to learn to play and find the music or transpose it when it’s a video game. He knows that my son will be motivated to learn a hard song if it’s the theme song to a video game.
Hence we have them playing a Naruto theme song duet. My son is learning three Naruto songs right now!
I’ve learned to accept my son’s video obsession and find ways to channel it into other avenues. Gaming set him up for Scratch programming. Minecraft had a natural segue into Java programming. He even did an entire summer of learning based around gaming which included learning Bible stories through a Minecraft graphic novel.
I honestly have nothing against manga or Naruto but I find the powers they wield to be confusing no matter how many times my son explains it to me. It was time for me to learn more:
Naruto (ナルト?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition and dreams to become the Hokage, the ninja in his village who is acknowledged as the leader and the strongest of all. From Wikipedia
I didn’t realize that Naruto has a connection to ninjas. My son has always been fascinated by ninjas and martial arts so perhaps that is the connection!
Most recently, my son has been drawing cartoons like crazy. It started with superheroes pitted against each other just like the Injustice game and now he’s moved onto his favorite manga characters.
I love how he is drawing like crazy, filling up sketchbooks and spiral notebooks. He’s definitely improving as an artist.
Naruto Manga Books
My son hasn’t asked for manga books yet, but I pulled a few out just to get familiar with what is out there. I’m content with reading chapter books with him; his 5th grade book list has included a few graphic novels but mostly we are working our way through Artemis Fowl with pit stops for funny books and Newbery picks that I think he will like.
Naruto as a creative outlet. Who would have thunk? It seems to be working though! What unlikely source of creativity is inspiring your kids? Please share!
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.
8 thoughts on “Naruto Inspired Learning for my 5th Grade Son”
Omg….finally another mom with a Naruto crazy child! My son is absolutely obsessed by it. All his books are filled with caricatures of the same. It does keep him engrossed….but I di wish he’d draw something….normal-looking?! Your son has done lovely sketches. All the best to both of you 🙂
That’s so funny! So glad to meet you too!! The burly chests of the characters are hilarious, aren’t they? 🙂
Your son, my Kiddo. Luckily, there weren’t many video games when she was young, but she was always obsessed with something – the Power Rangers, Jackie Chan, Superman, Sailor Moon. and others. I still have some of her drawings and some of her fan fiction she wrote in elementary school. She ultimately did outgrow her obsessions, right around the time she was allowed to go to school alone, in this case high school, and found other outlets with new friends. I’ve often wondered why kids need to hold on to these characters so tightly, though. Do they represent the freedom of movement they don’t have? Interesting to think about.
I think my son just likes that creativity within a structured environment. He likes that there is a lot to learn about (not necessarily educational to apply at school) and then he can play within these “rules” and make up things like battles in particular. I think you daughter and my son have a rich imagination that I’m sure will come forth in what they end up doing in the future. My husband I think our son will investigate creating gaming apps and will be happiest if he can create the characters, the type of game, and the coding himself. That will be a fun way for him to earn a living. Minecraft sold for $2 billion to Microsoft! An imagined world can be very lucrative! 🙂
Wow, what a great guitar teacher, to take what he likes and adapt so he wants to learn music. He’s a keeper.
He’s pretty awesome! We just watched him perform and he’s amazingly talented as well! I think he helps that he’s young — early 30’s — so he can relate to young boys and how to motivate them.
Oh my god that’s awesome 😀
I grew up with anime shows and manga comics so I can totally relate.
I even created an anime webshop because the fandom was so real :’)
Thanks so much JaiOtaku! Naturo and Dragonballz seems to be driving my son’s learning in all kinds of ways. :).