Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dragon Box Elements, Geometry Game - And My Second Favorite Homeschooling Tip

My second favorite homeschooling tip of all time (you can see my number one, favorite tip -  here) is to spend some time each summer sorting through all your books and supplies BEFORE you buy any new books or curriculum for the fall.

It's amazing how much you forget you have.  And, often times what didn't work before, might work later on.

Don't forget too, that "supplies" include apps, games, and videos you might have downloaded, or stored somewhere in cyberspace.

Sorting through our Kindle apps is how I happened to remember that we had a perfectly good geometry game sitting practically unplayed in our library.  And, wouldn't you know it, three of the teens are going to be working through geometry in the fall.

The last time (about two years ago) we checked out Dragon Box Elements, one of the children had just finished working through a geometry unit, and I had all those postulates and theorems fresh in my head, and found the use of them without any explanation of them in the game, to be frustrating - so I didn't worry too much when the children found it frustrating, and we set it aside.

When I set up a new player, to check it back out, this time though, it had been quite a while since anyone in the house had picked up a geometry text, and the theorems and postulates were fuzzier in my memory.  This time, instead of thinking of geometry, I thought of logic problems - logic problems filled with cute little characters...

...and more information than I needed to solve each problem...

...and trying to work from what I given, to what I knew, to what I needed to know - and it dawned on me, that's exactly the leap that most students struggle to make when they first encounter geometry. And here it was being presented in an entertaining format, that even my 10 year old (playing on easy mode) could grasp.

Naturally, I made everyone play it.  Okay, not made, it's summer after all, and we are almost unschoolers, but encouraged...meaning anyone who wanted to go to see Finding Dory with me while it was still playing at our local theater, needed to hustle their way through to the end of the seventh level (you can't really blame me for not telling them I was already planning on taking them all as a family outing, anyway) - why spoil the fun? And, I think they all did have fun, too.  C and E (ages 10 and 11) played on the easy setting, D and A (ages 13 and 15) on normal, and G (age 17) on hard - I tried all three, and found them all quite enjoyable, and even a little more than challenging, in a few spots.

T (age 18) got a free ticket to the movie, because well, I was just so happy he was still willing to be a good sport, and tag along with the rest of us, when I'm sure he would have much rather been seeing some crazy, sci-fi/action flick or other...and, of course, he finished high school geometry, old-school style, some time ago.


Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Thanks for the recommendation, and I like your "encouragement model" :D

Ticia said...

You're the second person I've heard this week reference that app. I need to look into it more now.

claireshomeeducation said...

Bribery and corruption...I LOVE it!!! (I mean, what's not to love, it's kind of win-win, isn't it?!)