Do you have a gamer at home right now living his or her best life? My son is managing to avoid all daylight hours. Gaming and binge-watching NetFlix shows are his entertainment of choice. I was glad to see that Minecraft is back in the mix of games. If he is awake during normal waking hours, he can play Minecraft with his friends. One of them has a server so they can all plugin together remotely.
I was out on a walk in the neighborhood with my dog — the only outings that I seem to get these days — and I ran into a neighbor who was bemoaning the lack of educational content in his house. Our public schools are still setting up remote learning so every day now is a “snow day.”
I rounded up the posts that I created for my gaming son for him for an “at-home curriculum for gamers.” I do think this period of quarantine and social distancing has a silver lining. Why not let our kids find their passion. An interest in gaming can be used for other ways to learn.
When my son was little, I told him that he can game as long as he creates a video game by the time he was 12. I wanted him to have the experience of selling an app on the Apple store. He never ended up doing that — he’s 15 now — but he and his friends did love learning to create their own video games in Scratch.
Minecraft with Java Class
After Scratch, my son moved to Java which is perfect for creating your own mods in Minecraft!
He moved on to Java after Scratch for Minecraft. My son went to an ID Tech computer summer camp for that, but he also tried this Minecraft with Java Online Class.
Here’s a summer curriculum that I put together for him with a gaming theme. My idea was to use what my son likes — gaming — and apply it to other areas. Looking back now, five years later, some parts worked really well.
My son really loved drawing his art centered around superheroes from a video game. His art really progressed from his interest.
You can see the pencil stick figures in the post. He, at age 11, then moved to Crayola markers to draw Naruto from DragonballZ:
By age 14, his technical skills really improved from constantly drawing:
We didn’t have as much luck with the computer programming books or the Minecraft themed novels, but my son really loved graphic novels and Rick Riordan so that is what we focused his reading around.
Incorporating Naruto, my son’s favorite character from the manga show Dragonballz, really worked for us to get my son motivated to learn in order areas.
My son’s guitar teacher would let him pick out theme songs from video games or manga cartoon shows. He would find the music online or transpose it himself.
We buy the graphic novels of his favorite shows or superheroes. Graphic novels are a great way to develop reading comprehension skills.
This was a great STEM toy that he enjoyed building. We got the version that did not require soldering.
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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.