Totally hacked my son’s education today

Sho ’nuff did.  So, I have not been able to get my act together–especially to facilitate Socratic/thinking discussion.

But I was inspired by my son’s willingness to write when the writing was about the fictitious land he created and made a map for.  Then I saw a TEDx talk on hackschooling.   Suddenly, I remembered the whole reason we’re homeschooling is to allow our kids the experience of learning by way of the things they love–that drive them to learn.

So today, I spent a few minutes talking to BigGuy about what he wants to do when he gets older and of course, the answer was “to be a world class Minecraft player”.  I said to him “Okay, but how does someone make money doing that?  Because you have to be able to pay for food and a place to live.”  He thought about it for a minute.

“Some people pay to play on different servers…?”

Ohhhhh, mama… it only continued on from there with the ideas (mostly his) and then we talked about what he’d have to learn to accommodate each of them.  Even history made it into the lineup because after all–he could make adventure maps and program mods to create different tools to help kids learn history.  Because parents would pay for that!  We’ve seen that idea where it wasn’t executed well.

Ultimately he needs to learn:

  • math – for programming mods
  • programming
  • networking and systems architecture
  • writing/language arts – so he can write instructions for people that they will easily understand; and he can script training videos so that he gets his point across well
  • history – because geography and history are useful in terms of creating adventure maps and other quests/assignments

He actually enjoys science and music, but I put in an extra plug for their usefulness in terms of creating neural pathways that would make him more creative.

And really, that covers everything.  The lovely state of Illinois says I have to cover: language arts (check!); mathematics (check!); biological and physical sciences (check!); social sciences (check!); fine arts (mostly music–check!); and physical development and health.  We cover health to no end and I will impose physical education on him just because I’m concerned about his overall health and he is an incredibly UNDERactive kid.

That whole Socratic discussion type of thing he was looking for?  Well, as we tackle each topic, we’re going to have a strong conversation about the usefulness of what we learned.  In fact, I foresee a lot of Know-Want to know-Learned (KWL) charts in our future.

Such a sigh of relief.  But of course, let’s see how it all pans out.  Because mama’s been down this road before and been fired up, right?



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