“But They Only Want to Play Games!”

But They Only Want to Play Games, yellowreadis.com | Picture: Minecraft character in black and red on wooden platform looking directly at camera

It’s the perennial question – are they really learning? This can be particularly acute when your kids seem to spend all day playing computer games (or horror – watching other people on YouTube play games).

This is our reality at the moment. Of course, I have been knocked around with a lovely infection, so there has been a tad less guidance than usual ( and thank goodness for antibiotics!)

But despite this, there are a number of things that we have done to actually aide, encourage and help our kids learn the things we think they need to learn while immersed in their ‘everything is a game‘ world.

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Passing On Frugal Thinking

We as a family have just finished watching the BBC documentary ‘The Men Who Made Us Spend‘. If you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth having a look at, as it documents many of the PR tricks of the trade that encourage or trick people into buying and spending.

This is something we have been aware of for a long time through reading consumer advocacy magazines like CHOICE or watching comedy shows like ‘The Checkout‘. For us, they were a great ways to raise our awareness of the psychological enticements and tricks used by almost all businesses.

And that got me to thinking about the ways I have trained my brain to try and reduce the influence of these techniques. This is something that was taught to me by my mum, and it is knowledge that I try as much as possible to pass on to my children.
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Campervanning Across New Zealand on the 2e Bandwagon: Strewing Education

One of the greatest experiences about visiting NZ was a chance for all of us get some hands-on learning that would not be available in Australia. Knowing my kids and their preferences and attention spans, I had to carefully select what we visited – so good-bye long guided tours, talking heads or demonstrations. We would need something a little more hands on. And being science people, there was naturally a focus on science education. And boy was it fun. Here are some of the great places we visited – in roughly the order we visited them.
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Educational Tricks for Keeping Up With a Natural Learner

What are the tools and tricks I use regularly to help with educating my kids?

It’s a mix, really, but there are a few things that have helped make the journey a little easier.

C learns best when he is the one creating his own learning journey. And it is a privilege to watch how his mind works through problems. But it does occasionally leave me with a conundrum. How do I spontaneously have all the resources on hand that he needs, when he needs it?
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Physics Experiments

We’ve been doing a few experiments lately in “C’s Science Workshop”. Most of these have been inspired by minute physics videos, and Mythbusters. But a fair chunk of that inspiration and experimentation has come from this awesome physics simulator.

This has inspired C to try some classic potential and kinetic energy experiments. Some of the questions he has had to ponder when designing, setting up and implementing his experiments include:
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Modern Maths to Do With Your Primary Schoolers: Fractals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I talked about previously, I don’t feel that modern maths really enters into the classroom, or general maths curriculum very often. But that doesn’t mean it can’t! In fact, some of this maths is so easy, you can start learning and playing and thinking about it with your preschooler or primary-school aged children.

Here’s some cool maths ideas we’ve done at home.
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