Learning Algebra with Video Games

As anyone who knows me knows, I’m not a fan of video games and my son has to face having me called ‘weird’ because of it – better than him being called ‘weird’ anyway! But when I read an article like this one, ‘It Only Takes About 42 Minutes To Learn Algebra With Video Games’ I feel like I want to make exceptions. However, I am VERY worried this would be the first step down a very slippery slope and before I know it, we’ll be a gaming household 🙂

But what really impressed me about Shapiro’s article were the answers he got from the video game, DragonBox’s developer, Jean-Baptiste Huynh, “Algebra is important for MY kids because I want them to be able to understand how the world works: physics, science etc. You need algebra to understand the math behind these disciplines. Also, I want my kids to make good decisions–economics, finance, statistics all require algebra.

And best of all, “We should create tools that children can use when they are ready and mature enough to use them. These tools should be available from a very early age. We are too much focused on teaching and not enough on learning. Teachers teach, learners learn. Two different perspectives, two different worlds.To teach people is to my mind not effective. On the other hand, inviting people to learn when they are ready and motivated is extremely effective. Motivation from learners should be key in school. And there is only one thing you can do there: listen to kids. It will create a much better society if we do that and kids will learn much much faster!” Yes! Listen to kids and concentrate on what each individual is  motivated by. 

Have you used DragonBox with your kids? What do you think of it?


About homeschoolingpenny

Hi and welcome! My name is Penny and I used to live in Bahrain but In November 2012 moved to Dubai and now we live in Granada, Spain! If you want to contact me my email is pjmontford@hotmail.com. I recommend you start my blog on 'Day 1' but please enjoy whatever you dip into. 23 February 2012 marked the first day of no more school FOREVER for my two kids. Edward, who is nearly 10 had attended a variety of schools since he was very little. Petra, who is now 6, has never gone to school. On this date we decided Edward was never going back to school and Petra never would go to school. We hope to successfully homeschool from this day forward, although we would consider an alternative school as an option- if there was some amazing Sudbury or other really alternative school. Actually, I prefer the term 'home learning' than 'homeschool' because I don't like to think of school coming into our home. In fact, I hope to go further and guide/learn alongside, rather than teach, my kids using the 'unschooling' philosophy to instill a lifelong love of learning in them. We lived in the Middle East and now Spain all of which are very challenging places to home educate. This is an exciting journey that I used to blog about regularly, at first it was on an almost daily basis. Please join me on our travels and I hope we might be able to help each other out along the way. I certainly hope I can be a source of support and comfort and, in time, knowledge to all potential/presently participating homeschoolers/home educators/unschoolers. Good luck to us all! If you want to read about why I started home educating, why I pulled my son out of a 'very good' private school mid-term, how I felt at the very start and how my philosophy has evolved, please start from 'Day 1' of the blog. Please do post comments at the end of any days that you read. Your opinion is valuable and it's great to start up debate amongst other people commenting too, however old the post. Thank you for visiting homeschoolingmiddleeast.
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3 Responses to Learning Algebra with Video Games

  1. Shaema says:

    We have Dragon Box on our tablet. It really is a clever game and introduces concepts, such as positive and negative integers, so gently, my 5 year old is on a higher level than my eight year old. I am also very wary of video games, especially those that claim to be educational. This one is definitely a good one. Commonsensemedia.org has a new section on good apps, something i have been meaning to read through.

  2. Hi Penny! I saved this ages ago and just noticed I didn’t comment. I downloaded the app when I read this – thanks. I have yet to share it with my kids but I got stuck a few levels in so I’m hoping they can point me in the right direction 😀 Thanks for sharing.

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