Ava, my 5-year-old daughter is really interested in playing Wizard101. She likes it a lot in fact. She is interested in fighting monsters. Going through Wizard city was very easy for her, because she only had to fight one monster at a time (generally – bosses are a bit different). When she arrived in the second world, she found out that she would have to fight two monsters by herself. She was frustrated by dying and wanted to know how to fight.
She is learning how to problem solve so that she can stay alive and enjoy the game – without the frequent calls for help.
The first rules in teaching a five-year old to problem solve.
- Keep it simple. Don’t over burden them with information that can be learned later. Just go over the basics so that they don’t get frustrated.
- Let them know that dying is a part of learning. Warn them that they will die – and that’s good because dying is how we learn. We must redirect the “worldly” thinking on this issue. We learn from our mistakes, and mistakes are okay. The best of wizards and warlords die. It happens.
In order to be an independent wizard and solo 90-95% of Wizard 101, you must employ one or both of the following…
- Do a lot of side quests. Side quests will level you up which will give you higher life, higher resistance and higher spells (among other things). So, someone who does side quests would be (on average) 5 levels higher than someone who didn’t – in the same world. The more side quests you do, the more advantage you have.
- Work really hard to make your deck of spells as best as it can be before each and every fight.
Since Ava didn’t want to do a lot of side quests, we focused on our deck construction (simply).
How does one construct a deck (note, she is only level 10 so our deck is pretty small and simple)?
1. We look at the monsters we are going to fight (don’t just jump into the fight willy-nilly).
2. We ask ourselves – what school are they? To find out, we look on the top of their head and what do you see? A fire. These are fire monsters.
3. Now we look at our deck.
4. Talk about the function of the cards.
- Healing – you need to heal yourself during the fight. I recommended 2 heals, but she put in 3.
- Blades. We cast these on ourselves. These make our spells stronger (aka do more damage). Maximize blades – which she did.
- Spells – we need to fight (they put damage on the monster). Without spells we would lose. Always use the spells that are highest and next highest. Don’t use your lowest spells (generally but not always true).
- Shields. We need to shield against their damage to us. Since they are fire monsters, we want to put in fire shields – which she has done (fire, ice and storm shields). I recommended that she also use the myth, death life shield combo – because in the lower worlds, they cast spells out of their school – but she opted not to include them (she will learn).
- Weakness. These spells make their spells weak. She put in the max number because she likes making the monsters weak. In my deck, I put in 1 or 2 max (for my balance wizards).
5. Go at it and see what happens.
I sat with her a few times and asked her the same questions. With this small lesson, she was able to easily solo the monsters and feel confident about her wizarding abilities!
There are a lot of things I didn’t cover, but all things in due time. Right now, she is successful – so that’s all that matters.
I realize that this method of learning is not for everybody. However, I feel that if they are having fun and the drive to learn is there – then the learning and growing comes effortlessly.
Have you taught your kids lessons using online games/tools? I would love to hear what you used. If you think I’m a radical nut – I would love to hear that as well.