How do you feel about video games for your kids? Before I had children, I swore that none of my children would ever play video games. My oh my, how times have changed! What was I worried about? I thought they were too addictive, too violent, and too anti-social. But now, I have a whole different theory. Why do I let me homeschooled son play video games? How does homeschooling and video games fit together?
Video games are social.
One of the things I was most worried about with video games before I had kids was that it would cause my children to be anti-social. I pictured children hanging out in the basement for hours and hours, not talking to anyone and not going outside. Interestingly, that’s often one of the fears that people also have about homeschooling! Neither concern is valid in my family. Homeschoolers are some of the most social people I’ve ever met. And kids who play video games can be at risk for being isolated, but they can video games can also bring them a wider social circle.
But today’s video games bring people together, especially among teenagers. Multiplayer games allow my son and his friends to explore virtual worlds together, complete missions, and generally, hang out. While, of course, there needs to be oversight into who they are chatting with, and what about, video games do provide a social outlet. Homeschooling and video games is a great combination for kids and teenagers to get some social time, both virtually, and in real life.
Technology is a necessary skill.
We all know that the tech industry cannot be ignored in today’s job market. Skills in the technology field are in high demand. While we definitely need to be aware of what our children are doing online, we also need to let them explore new technology, and familiarize themselves with what’s new. As parents, when we are scared of technology and avoid all the “newest gadgets,” we aren’t doing our kids any favors. While I don’t recommend social media for any young people, I do share all of my Instagram business with my children.
Helping my kids understand that I use Instagram as a business is helping them prepare for their possible side hustles. I show them how my contracts work, how I handle disputes, how I edit photos, and how I engage with my audience. They help me decide if a certain amount of money is worth my time, and which picture to include in a certain post. Being an influencer is a strange world, and including my children in my business is preparing them for the challenges and dangers that they will face when they use social media on their own.
There’s an appropriate game for each age.
There’s obviously a big difference in what I would let my teenage son play versus what I would let me 8 year old play. Some games have more violence than others, and as parents, it’s our jobs to watch out for this. You know what your child can handle! Check out the games that your kids are playing. Maybe even try playing them together once in a while! And most importantly, know your child. Find a game that fits him or her well.
There are games that include trivia, that test reflexes, and even games that can get your child to be more active! We are living in an age of immense possibilities, and learning to harness the power of technology in your home is the real secret to success. We have a tendency, as homeschoolers, to be afraid of things we don’t understand. But learning as a family is also something that homeschoolers are great at! Start exploring all of the possibilities together and find games that work for your family.
You might actually enjoy it.
I love playing Mario Kart! No, this post isn’t sponsored by Nintendo (but I kinda wish it was!). I’m really good at racing, and love trying to beat my teenage son. The whole family can have fun together while challenging each other in tournaments. From my 6 year old to my 14 year old, we can all hold our own, with Mom coming in first quite often! While I can’t even begin to pretend to know what’s going on with Fortnite, I can get Princess Peach to the finish line before most others! I bet there’s a game that you might enjoy playing too! If your kids don’t already know about, teach them and then show off your skills. Video games aren’t the enemy. You can harness their power for good in your home. Have fun!