Little Divine has found her thing. Or at least one of them. She wants to learn how to make her own video game. This is a skill we are happy to encourage! Mr. Divine works with computers and makes video games in his spare time so this is something that we know a lot about.
We have had a hard time with Little Divine and STUFF for a long time. Her room looks a lot like an Amazon storage warehouse…. As that’s her space, we encouraged her to clean it up and organize it, also suggesting she get rid of stuff she doesn’t need/use/want/play with. We felt it should be up to her to do so though, and didn’t force her one way or another. For some reason she just didn’t want to let go of any of her stuff until recently. We FINALLY found a motivator that works for her – for every 2 toys she brings down from her room for us to sell or give away, she gets 1 hour of video game time.
Success!! Hoards of toys have made their way down from her room without hesitation! Little Divine is now able to see the importance of priorities and what matters most to her. She’s been quite surprised herself how she no longer wants to keep things she never uses and how easily she’s able to get rid of stuff. I did a lot of online searching and found that this is actually a very common experience for kids. The age varies widely when kids hit that, “Aha!” moment and start to purge their stuff, as well as the reasons for them doing it. Many times there is no real cause, they just wake up and decide to get organized. Parents are too busy being thankful for it to ask too many questions!
I absolutely understand that childhood should not revolve around screen time. However, we know exactly what games Little Divine plays as she has to ask permission to add any, and we have parental controls set on her laptop as well. Just because she brings down 20 toys does NOT mean she gets 10 hours of game time that day! She still has to do her priorities first and have good behavior to get game time. It’s not an every day thing either. However, this is something that clearly matters to her and is worth getting rid of tons of toys for! That is an important consideration, especially since there it is a learning experience as well. These are skills she can use through adulthood and even turn into a career.
Learning what Little Divine loves has been an important factor in our homeschooling experience. I’m trying to find the best homeschooling path for us so Little Divine truly gets an amazing education that she LOVES. I don’t want her to hate learning. This is why we do a lot of interest led learning. Kids learn best when they are learning about things they love and enjoy! ❤
Little Divine talks about making video games a lot and that process begins with coding. I’ve spent a lot of time looking for coding programs and apps for kids for that teach it in a fun and engaging way. Kids like things presented in a creative and exciting way that will hold their attention and keep them focused on it. Too dry and they don’t want to do it.
Code.org is an amazing site! Not only is it free, but it offers a large selection of coding programs for kids. As I type, Little Divine is working on their Minecraft Hour of Code. Minecraft is one of the games Little Divine enjoys A LOT and will play both with us and by herself. She’s spent hours in creative mode doing whatever her heart desires. With Minecraft Hour of Code, she’s getting to learn how to code with one of her favorite games! ❤
Code.org is a non-profit founded in 2013 with the goal to expand the access of computer science and help participation grow, especially among women and students of different nationalities. The site offers classes for all ages, including adults. There are not enough women in the computer science and technology fields according to the stats I’ve read so I’m very happy to see there are sites, including Code.org, that are trying to change that! As Little Divine is female, I want her to see that she can go into the field of her choice and her gender has nothing to do with it. I also want her to be able to find role models and friends who share the same interests!
What caught my eye on Code.org the most was the variety of classes and programs for kids. Kids are sponges so the earlier you can start teaching them something, the better it will stick. Little Divine will sit at her laptop and work on these coding programs non stop without complaint for hours. This is when you know that your child is loving learning!
For me, it is a really big deal to see a website or organization that has put education first. By offering free programs and classes, Code.org is doing just that. While there are great coding programs for kids out there that have a high price tag, I prefer to focus on the ones that put education above profit.
When you take something a child loves and you nurture that love, you create a positive experience and memory for your child. Encourage and support the interests of your child because they will gain so much more from it with you by their side, helping them get the most out of it! The whole goal of homeschool is to give your child a fulfilling education that is based solely on them. It’s meant to be tailored to them and guided by them. When we keep that in focus, our kids get amazing experiences while getting an a great education!