Learning to Problem Solve Independently

Learning to solve problems playing wizard101

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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…

  1. 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.
  2. 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).

Picture 2014-01-17 07-53-40 (2)

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.
Deck construction
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.
5 year old playing Wizard101

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.

About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile


  1. HI I homeschool my 7 yr old girl and we have been playing wizard for about a year. For some reason she she did ok alone for only a little bit. When it got up to fighting higher bosses, she panics. I started a character and we played side by side. But when we got to Marelybone…she didnt like it anymore (no safe sidewalks scared her) So we will be putting it aside for now and trying some other things like Jumpstart until she gets more confident.
    We also started Minecraft, but those monsters really scared her, luckily there is creative and peaceful modes so she can just use it to be creative and explore a world with no threats.

    • Yes, Marley is tough and sort of stressful. Those rats will pull you in randomly. My mother would play with us and she couldn’t do it. I had to play her character to get her through . She was ALWAYS getting caught. It takes practice. I think it’s a great idea to take a break. Perhaps some time will help.

      For me, what scares me about Wizard is the PVP. Those wizards are crazy. It makes me so nervous, I can’t do it. Haha!

      We haven’t done a lot of minecraft. I downloaded it to my ipod, but I didn’t see any monsters. Just building. I was thinking about getting a subscription on the computer and seeing how he likes it. I do like the building aspect, but we are so committed to wiz, I’m afraid of starting something else right now. I’m kind of selfish, cause I really love playing wiz.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Michelle!
      Lisa recently posted…Demystifying Martin Luther King Jr – Simply for Young ChildrenMy Profile

    • I had the same problem but now I’m a level 63 balance wizard it is tough but if you use the panther or walk on foot in marleybone or (mb) it gets easier if you need help i’m Shelby Pixieblossom.

      See You In The Spiral

  2. I LOVE this! My 4 year old son plays as well. He’s a level 9 fire wizard.

  3. Thank you so much for writing this article. We have shared it with our Wizard101 community and everyone hopes to see more installments of this educational journey through the Spiral!

  4. wow…very interesting and clever…going to save this…and pin it for when Dino is older.
    karen recently posted…Weekend FunMy Profile

  5. This event will take place at Jenna’s Ice House, where we will be hosting games, contests and maybe a few PvP matches at my Acropolis! There will be prizes for many of you, Wizard101 including Hoard Packs, hairstyles and random codes. Here are the categories in which you can win prizes:

  6. Jeremy Firehunter says:

    Ill Help her if she friends me because friends are important in w101 and real life im lvl 32 so if she gets stuck a valuable skill is asking someone for help.

    • Jeremy Firehunter says:

      Typo Ill is really I’ll or I will

    • Jeremy, you are absolutely right! You brought up an invaluable point – that I forgot in my post. Thank you! Asking for help is essential. Of course, asking for help for every single thing – not good.

      Sorry it took me a whole 2 days to get back to you. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep up.

      If you comment back to me, perhaps we can arrange a time when you will both be on. Perhaps you guys could meet in realm Wu in the Wizard city commons. We are pretty flexible with time. I am sure she would love to have a wizard friend who is willing to help her out.

      Right now, she is in the palace of fire getting ready to fight the four bosses to go into the Throne Room of Fire.
      Lisa recently posted…The Socratic Method of Learning as an option for your HomeschoolMy Profile

  7. Wizard101 Player says:

    It is true that dying is a part of learning, because one time in Azteca, I tried to solo Wanadi Black Sky, to get Furnace, failed on the first try, tried better on the second try, defeated Wanadi Black Sky. (and got Furnace). Defeated Wanadi Black Sky with Efreet, and I am fire school. Anyways, I like Wizard101, ask the 5 year old that she needs to train Elemental Blade from Niles, the Balance Tree, and Feint (to do 70% more damage). When your child is in Azteca (which she will be 6 or 7 years old in Azteca), ask her to train Sharpened Blade, it does +10% more damage to 1 blade spell. If you don’t get what I mean, it means like if you are balance school, you have Balanceblade, which is 25%, you combine Sharpened Blade with Balanceblade, and you get 35% Balanceblade. Also, I got Furnace yesterday. It’s good, it does more damage. You get Unbalance from Colossus Boulevard (She doesn’t have Unbalance in her deck setup, but might have on the deck). By the way, if anybody’s mouse gets frozen, and you don’t want to restart, try this (before it happens, if you mess around with your mouse a lot): 1. Press the down and up arrow key on your keyboard, and move Mouse 3 (the one used for scrolling up and down pages) up and down. If you tried everything that you know how to do, and those don’t work, get a new mouse.

    • WOW, what excellent tips! All those tips are very very good.

      And yes, the mouse does get stuck.

      congratulations on getting Furnace. It’s so wonderful you stuck with it and kept trying. I think that’s a very good quality to have. Keep at it young wizard!
      Lisa recently posted…Mommy Monday Blog Hop Week 36My Profile

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