This year has been full of surprises and beyond hectic. I’m 34 weeks pregnant with a baby that was a wonderful, lovely surprise. We found out at 24 weeks that it’s high risk and that turned our life upside down. We’ve been running to doctor appointment after doctor appointment. My son has been doing school while running around and my toddler just wants to know what’s happening since things have changed.
The house has been a mess, the laundry put on the back burner and my sanity is basically non existent. I keep hearing about how strong we are, how awesome, we’re holding it all together. All the while I shed tears of frustration before putting a smile on my face. To make matters worse, my husband tore a ligament in his ankle and is on light work duty while starting PT tomorrow. The same week someone rear ended him in his work van and we’re having to deal with that. It seems like one thing after another and we can’t catch a break!
I cannot begin to tell you how many times I wanted to say let’s not do school today. Let’s just lie on the couch and sleep. My son, however loves doing school, loves learning and I feel like I would be punishing him to take that away. I power through, all the while exhausted, scared, frustrated and staring at my house that needs some love. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not a call social services’ situation here, but it does need some work! My toddler wanting the attention she so deserves, I give it to her, but sometimes it takes it all out of me!
I’m not writing this post so you’ll feel sorry for me! I’m writing it to let you know you’re not alone if you’re behind on homeschooling, housework, errands, or even giving a little bit of extra attention to your family. You’re not a failure or a bad parent! You’re in a season and one that will hopefully pass soon! I want you to know that we’ve all been right here in this moment of drowning and being overwhelmed and that it’s okay! I want you to know I understand because I’m right there with you! Struggling, fighting and slowly winning!
As a side note we have our induction date and will be meeting our little one in a little over two weeks! I’ve got this, you’ve got this and we will get better!
Dungeons and Dragons will be refered a DND throughout the post
If you not into roleplaying games this is probably not the post for you. My family and I are super nerds! We love video games, comic books, action figures, superhero movies, and DND. My son has taken a recent liking to DND and wanted to learn really badly. I was all for it as it can be a great family bonding activity. I also started wondering how this could be a possible learning tool.
We are using DND as a learning activity in many ways. 1. Math this game is very, very math centric. Players have to roll different dice to make just about any more. From making a move in battle to charm their way out of a bad situation and more! The way this is done is with a set of dice, but these aren’t your normal everyday dice. You have d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20. Each dice has a purpose in the game.
We are also using DND to teach our son about writing. How? You may ask, well by character building. Most of the building is by rolling those dice again and determining how strong, smart, and charming you are. There is a major part of character building is coming up with a backstory. The player comes up with a history or backstory for their character. They have to come up with character is from, what they do, what motivates them act. They record all this on a character sheet.
Another way is teaching our son geography. You play in an imaginary land. Players either use a map or their imagination to visualize the land in which they explore. There are different terrain, buildings and people. Players have to learn the layout and history of this land. We use this to teach my son about real places by using them as a setting. It’s fun and he doesn’t always realize he is learning. Here is what a typical dungeon in DND looks like.
DND is also a very social game! You can get together with many other people run a campaign. Friends are made and relationships cultivated. The DND community for the most part is an open, welcome, friendly community to belong to. My son is looking for a group right now of kids his age to play with. Look in the right places and you can find homeschool DND groups. Many people don’t see the value of DND but I promise you there are so many ways to use it to teach and get your kid around people with similar interest. Many times they do way more together then play the game. They actually become really great friends!
If you and your family like games DND may be one that you will all enjoy and as this post shows you it can be educational as well!
This year one of my son’s assignments is to participate in Preptober and NanoWrimo. For those of you who may not know what that is NanoWrimo is something writers do in November. They write a novel of 50,000 words in a month. It is a fun, creative exercise to help them flex their writing muscles. Preptober is where we all prepare for Nano the month before. Many writers use the month to come up with an idea, research and outline.
I have used Nano to write two novels one has been published and one is almost ready to be published. My son has shown a great interest in writing a book and I really want to encourage in in doing that. Nano offers a young writers program and I thought participating this year would be a great, fun way to get his feet wet. He can do it alongside me while I help him. He is excited and has been asking me to get him outline templates to start working on his story.
The good news is that the young writers do not have to write 50,000 words unless they choose to. They can pick what they want their word count to be on the website specifically made for them by the Nano team. You can check that out here: https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/
I will be getting my son the middle school one, but as you can see they have one for all grade levels. This can easily count toward school and who knows if your child is serious about writing could help lead them down the path of being an author.
Do you have a student that wants to be a writer? Or maybe you want to be a writer. I would suggest doing Nano this year as a way to get started in that direction! Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever participated, had a child who has or if you or your child wants to