Kids spend hours mastering computer games instead of mastering homework. Is it possible to reverse this phenomenon so kids enjoy learning for it’s own sake as much as learning to “kill the boss monster”?

Build a Love of Learning

philisophy_for_educational_softwareRelevant to the Everyday — Kids want to learn about what matters to them. Who’s interested in something that will be useful in the distant, distant future? For kids, the future means never. Kids are interested in playing video games. Terrific. You as a parent know that in order to write a video game you need a creative story, nice graphics, and cool action. Don’t tell your kids, but that’s English for the story, Art for the graphics, and Math (especially Trig) for the action!

Results You Can See — Learning an abstract idea without knowing how to use it and see results is B-O-R-I-N-G! According to the epistemological theory of constructivism, learning can only take place when the student is actively engaged. Kids, like adults, need to visualize their progress in order to thrive.

A Creative Space — We are building a place where kids are inspired to create. Building on Montessori’s prepared environment, we imagine some bizarre mixture of a science museum, a tree house, and a mound of clay. A tree house is where you meet your friends and plan your next adventure. Museums showcase the fascinating world around us and inspire curiosity. A mound of clay? You dig your hands into it and see what your imagination creates.

Access Self-Motivation — When was the last time your child lost track of time doing homework? Practicing piano? Eating vegetables? Not lately I would guess. Stratolab seeks to use the Montessori concept of the flow zone or normalization where “Through continued concentrated work of their own choice, children grow in inner discipline and peace. ” The best way to encourage learning is to access an individual’s self-motivation.

Play and Games Help Learning — Children spend a lot of time with play and games. Sure, this is fun, but games and play also reinforce concepts and allow for experimentation with ideas.

Friends Make It More Fun — Teens and tweens want to spend time together. It is more fun to do something with your friends and other people. Group think works in the adult world, isn’t this true for kids too?

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