Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gamer Geeks in the Making

ABCs of Homeschooling


G: Gamer Geeks


Many Friday nights find the family gathered with friends while the adults game upstairs and the kids downstairs. The kids enjoy a game of Fudge, a role playing game that requires the use of their imagination and encourages story telling. We may not call this "school" but they're learning story structure and plot, they're learning to think quickly and often outside of the box, as they must decide how the story proceeds and make decisions for their character.

Gaming sparks the imagination, teaches critical thinking skills, develops strategy, and even encourages cooperation. It can introduce a topic or allow us to delve deep into a subject. Our gaming does not always happen during "school time" but I count it all as an important part of our education.


We'll be studying the Middle Ages in the fall and I've recently purchased a game called Shadows Over Camelot. This is a cooperative game with a twist, as someone may just be a traitor. We played this on Monday and introduced the characters of Galahad, Gawain, King Arthur and more. When I share with them the story of Camelot, this game will bring it to life and cement it in their memory.

I believe games are a great educational tool that are often overlooked or dismissed as play. But play is a wonderful way to learn naturally and gaming teaches many skills. When I shared a few of our favorite board games, I mentioned that playing RISK with my uncle was my introduction to geography. I've shared this with my own children and it's become a family favorite.

There are many ways you can use gaming in your homeschool but for us, it's simply a part of life. We call ourselves gamers (board, video, and computer) and are unashamed of this, as we recognize the value of gaming in our lives. It not only stretches your brain but your heart, as it usually involves other people and relationships are built and solidified through a mutual love of the game. Gamers are known for their love and acceptance of those outside the "norm". This is another trait I love seeing my children develop and I think it goes hand in hand with both homeschooling and Christianity. There's a lot we can learn from Geek Culture.

I'm doing my best to raise home schooled gaming geeks. We're proud to claim those two words for our "G" of homeschooling!

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