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Amy Knepper
Works at Seedling Academy
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Co-op Games to Play With Your Kids
If you're a parent who plays with your kids, what are some of your favorite co-op games to play? I'm always on the lookout for more. For the pre-teen set, the LEGO games and Minecraft are a lot of fun. We've spent plenty of time in Castle Crashers. We've also been playing some Dungeon Defenders on xbox 360. I've heard that Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is really fun.

Of course, when I'm playing with teens, it's almost always something Halo related. But most of them are too young for Borderlands. There has to be more out there. Any ideas?
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Mario Galaxy for the Wii is actually a game I play with my young'in and if he had better motor control (he's 3) he could control the star pointer while I control Mario or vice versa.  When we first got the game, my wife (who is not a gamer) actually played Mario Galaxy with me as the star (she loved that she could make Mario jump by clicking the star on him much to my chagrin).
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Welcome to My Kid is a Gamer! Thanks to everyone who has already joined. My hope with this community is that we can encourage and support parents who have kids who are into video games, whether the parents game or not. Feel free to post articles and discussion ideas. 

As a starter: what games are being played in your house right now, whether by you or by your kids?
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Kids and me: minecraft pocket edition, Super Mario Bros Wii U, Little Big Planet 2. We have tons of others, but those are popular now.

Me: Borderlands 2 (PC), Final Fantasy III (Android) 
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So Your Kid is a Gamer?
Not all parents are gamers, but there are a ton of kids gaming these days. This is a community to offer support, education, and encouragement for parents of gamers. I hope that those of you who are gaming enthusiasts, even if you're not parents, will join to help other adults understand the world of video games and the pros and cons that go with them.
My Kid is a Gamer
Helping parents navigate the video game worlds their kids live in.
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I fear the only way to keep up with games is to keep up with the gaming world, both the AAA scene and the indie scene.

Amy Knepper

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This was super funny. Remember your first Walkman? How about a Discman? Man, I thought they were so cool. Who knew our lives were so complex back then. 
 
Oh man, super cute. I loved the kid's comment who said "woah, something I can carry around and play music.. if I have a large pocket."
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I had the 90s walkman. So awesome. Then I bought a discman.
 
Lots of kids are playing Minecraft these days. Whenever I talk to people about kids being gamers, I'll inevitably get a parent or grandparent ask me, "What is Minecraft? Is it bad?" Here's an article that I think gives a great introduction to the game as well as the pros and cons of playing it. I especially like these 2 paragraphs:

"Playing Minecraft, it turns out, can teach kids creative thinking, geometry and even a bit of geology, and research shows they can learn experimentation, teamwork and problem solving skills, as well.

"In fact, the Journal of Adolescent Research published a study comparing kids that played video games to those that didn’t. “Video game players, regardless of gender, reported higher levels of family closeness, activity involvement, attachment to school and positive mental health,” authors Paul J. C. Adachi and Teena Willoughby concluded. “Video game players also had less risky friendship networks and a more favorable self-concept.”"

All 4 of us in our family love Minecraft, but none so much as my 10-yr old son. He reads the wiki extensively, watches YouTube videos, and has started to learn Java coding because of his love of this game. In fact, I can also attest to new knowledge in economics, resource scarcity, biomes and ecosystems, and physics. Kid tested, mother approved, I'd say.

Who here plays or has a kid who plays? And if you're on PC, what's your favorite mod?
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My son used to play prolifically but plays it less now (he is 16 and has played it since he was 8). He learned the principles of coding on there and how an electrical network works in practice, among other things. He plays it "vanilla" at the moment but used to love the experiences of different mods.
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This is a great article about what can cause aggression in a gamer. Hint: it's not always violence. Reading this article made me think of the times a game has REALLY got my blood boiling, and it usually comes down to mechanics and unsatisfying gameplay. 

Do you agree or disagree with the findings?
 
Based on this I would say you're worse off playing most social network games than a shooter.

It also explained why I reacted the way I did to the first LEGO Star Wars game. That thing was so buggy I just about snapped the disc in half.

What do you all think? Do you agree with the findings?
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2 comments
 
This is absolutely my experience. But, really, I don't think it's limited to games and sports. Watch how tense people get in traffic jams or when their offices switch desktop software. Anytime we lose control of a situation, people get frustrated and frustration almost always results in aggression.
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Lots of kids are playing Minecraft these days. Whenever I talk to people about kids being gamers, I'll inevitably get a parent or grandparent ask me, "What is Minecraft? Is it bad?" Here's an article that I think gives a great introduction to the game as well as the pros and cons of playing it. I especially like these 2 paragraphs:

"Playing Minecraft, it turns out, can teach kids creative thinking, geometry and even a bit of geology, and research shows they can learn experimentation, teamwork and problem solving skills, as well.

"In fact, the Journal of Adolescent Research published a study comparing kids that played video games to those that didn’t. “Video game players, regardless of gender, reported higher levels of family closeness, activity involvement, attachment to school and positive mental health,” authors Paul J. C. Adachi and Teena Willoughby concluded. “Video game players also had less risky friendship networks and a more favorable self-concept.”"

All 4 of us in our family love Minecraft, but none so much as my 10-yr old son. He reads the wiki extensively, watches YouTube videos, and has started to learn Java coding because of his love of this game. In fact, I can also attest to new knowledge in economics, resource scarcity, biomes and ecosystems, and physics. Kid tested, mother approved, I'd say.

Who here plays or has a kid who plays? And if you're on PC, what's your favorite mod?
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3 comments
 
I was at a panel this weekend on gaming in education and one of the things they talked about was how different people would approach the same game completely differently yet each approach would be perfectly valid. I left being even more convinced we need games in classrooms the I'd gone in being, but now thinking it is so that teachers can learn from watching kids. :)
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I forgot to tell you public people that I have another writing prompt up. There are 5 stories there so far, and still 5 days to go in the competition. Come on over, be inspired, write a story or poem, and see what others are writing. See you there. 

#writingprompt   #flashfiction   #poetrymonth  
 
Weekly Writing Exercise -- April 13-20
I hope you've been enjoying the resurrection of the weekly writing prompts. I loved seeing everyone's stories last week. Here's a new prompt for this week.

Since it is National Poetry Month, I welcome you to post poems in response to the prompts, as long as they also follow all other rules posted.

Please read the following rules before you post. Submissions or comments that don't follow the rules will be removed, no matter how awesome. Sorry.

1) All submissions must be added as a COMMENT to this post, not as new posts in this section (or anywhere else). 

2) All submissions must be less than 600 words. In the case of a questionable word count, I will use Google Drive to verify count.

3) Only include the title and text of your submission in your comment. Please don't add any questions, links, commentary, requests for feedback, etc. Stories only! If you have questions, tag me in a private message or find me on another conversation.

4) Your submission must be inspired by the attached photo. How you do that is up to you. Feel free to be creative with it.

5) ANYONE CAN VOTE, whether you write a story or not. Not only that, anyone can +1 as many entries as they like! You don't have to pick just one.

6) Anyone can add their submission at any time in the contest period. However, the voting will be counted and a winner chosen on April 20, 2014 at 2pm US Pacific Time. (But feel free to keep plussing anyway!)

7) Winners are chosen by +1 count. Just that simple. (Ties will be broken by sudden death cage match, or by a call for votes, whichever costs less money at the time.)

8) If you +1 your own submission, please also +1 at least one other submission.

What you win:
-Admiration and envy from your fellow writers
-A chance to practice, practice, practice
-Your submission re-posted at the conclusion of the contest and added to Featured Posts.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly by tagging me into a private post. 

tl;dr: 600 words or less, story or poetry, 5 of the images, no commentary allowed, VOTE.

Have fun! Be creative!

This week's photo is by +Dave Knepper.
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Amy Knepper

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These look lovely. I'm always on the look out for natural dyes, since my son is highly sensitive to food coloring. Besides... pretty! Right?
 
New from Kitchen Vignettes: Naturally-dye your deviled eggs for Easter hors d'oeuvres (via PBS Food).
For an Easter appetizer, make this naturally dyed Greek yogurt deviled eggs recipe from Kitchen Vignettes. Get the recipe from PBS Food.
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Amy Knepper

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After watching Episode 5 of Cosmos today, the boy and I had to get out the prism to do some experiments with light. This is the next science project we'll be doing -- building a spectroscope so we can see the "codes" written in light. Science is awesome. 
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+K M Idamari we've done those. Very fun.
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Have her in circles
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  • Seedling Academy
    Teacher, 2008 - present
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hobbyist dream interpreter
Introduction
I write stuff. I teach my kids stuff. I make stuff out of paper and felt and random things I pick up off the ground. I research stuff because I'm insatiably curious - right now I'm curious about education, writing, and earth science. I play video games because I like them.

Circles you might put me in:
Writers
NaNoWriMo
Geeks
Gamers
Foodies
Gluten-Free
Homeschoolers
Creatives
INTJ

I'm one of the Moderators for the Writers Discussion Group, which is a fantastic community of writers here on Google+. There's something for everybody, from beginners to well-established authors.

I homeschool my kids. They are in 2nd and 4th grade right now. I piece together my own curriculum, but use the 4-yr history cycle outlined in The Well-Trained Mind. I'm writing a book about my planning process. When I'm not on the plusses, I'm probably performing some science experiment or another and trying not to burn down the house.

I've been gluten-free for 4 years. I could talk your ear off about how much this changed my life. I don't always post about it, but I sometimes post my favorite recipes.

I am an avid reader, and will grab pretty much everything that is recommended to me. I also read to and with my children. I like YA and children's books, and I'm a fan of sci-fi. My favorite book series is the manga Fruits Basket. My favorite authors include Oliver Sacks, Mo Willems, Rae Carson, Madeleine L'Engel, and Margaret Atwood.

I love video games! My husband had to buy a 2nd Xbox after we started gaming together. I love RPGs like the Mass Effect series and Oblivion and Skyrim. I'm currently playing Borderlands 2 and Bastion.

I'm addicted to Korean dramas. Some of my favorites are Personal Taste, Queen In Hyun's Man, Secret Garden, and Heartstrings. I'm always open to recommendations!
Bragging rights
Put 300 hours into Skyrim (chasing butterflies, mostly). Watched an excessive number of Korean dramas. Made an entire kitchen's worth of felt food for my daughter.
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Female
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