How video gaming can boost your child’s education

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Rep. Wendy Horman is running for election in Legislative District 30 Seat B in the Idaho House of Representatives. During her three terms, she has focused on education policy and financing. To learn more, go to wendyhorman.com.

If you want to boost your children’s education in a way that enables them to get the most from life, you may think making them spend hours reading textbooks and preparing for tests is the only answer.

The subjects taught in school have their place in any child’s education, but children can learn a lot from an unlikely source. New research suggests that playing video and computer games can improve intelligence and boost problem-solving skills. Gaming offers a range of other great benefits that you won’t want to ignore if you want your children to get the most from their developmental years.

Problem-solving skills

No matter the path your children take in life, problem-solving skills are vital and will improve their effectiveness in more ways than you might think. Depending on their age, your children likely play “Minecraft,” an online game that allows players to cook, build houses, raise animals and more.

Children playing the game must keep their characters alive by ensuring they get enough food and have shelter during the night. They must learn and remember recipes to make meals and materials, and the game requires them to plan for future events. These gameplay elements stimulate the part of the brain responsible for solving problems and predicting the outcome of their decisions.

Programming skills

As the world of technology expands at an exponential rate, the demand for information technology professionals is also on the rise. Companies in nearly all industries from around the world need programmers to keep their websites running and to ensure that all software is free from errors. Minecraft has inspired many children to create their own modifications and plug-ins that alter and enhance their experience of the digital worlds they create. “Second Life” is another example of a game that allows players to create custom programs that change the way they interact with each other in the virtual environment.

Social and leadership skills

No matter the industry, social skills are a vital part of the process and play a major role in each person’s odds of long-term success. Online games allow players to meet and form connections with people from all corners of the globe. Many games require players to work together as a team to achieve a common goal. Children who play these games on a regular basis not only improve their social skills, but they also work on and develop their leadership skills.

Final thoughts

Math, science and other traditional classes will always have their place, but remember that people learn best when they are having fun. Some people are quick to dismiss the games children play as a waste of time, but that is not always the case. Problem-solving, leadership, programming and social skills are just a few of the things your children can enhance when they play games.

Like anything else, gaming requires a balanced approach if you want your children to enjoy the best results possible. As we learn more about this amazing fact, we hope that educators see the advantages and find ways to integrate games into the school system. Doing so can help children learn faster than ever, and everyone will enjoy the rewards.

Source: Scientific American