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Subject: Teaching Strategy rss

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Jason Meyers
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Interested to hear some philosophies on teaching your kids strategies in gaming. Maybe it varies by type of game? And certainly by age. I share some of my thoughts here.

Do you throw them in the water hoping they learn to swim before they drown? devil

Do you tell them so much that essentially you're playing their game for them? whistle

Do you "take it easy on them?"

Just remember, one day they'll be dancing on your cardboard grave!

And what's the middle ground? I point out things they should look for, rather than phrase things in a way that they should do a certain thing? Sometimes they'll get frustrated when I give too much advice - and that's actually good, I think. Shows they're more and more ready to fly solo.

I also don't go too easy on them, because my kids like to gang up on me! soblue
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Mystery McMysteryface
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My daughter--10 years old--won't let me teach her strategies. She likes to come up with her own. Sometimes they work, sometimes they fail. Most games we play have a dose of luck, to help mitigate her strategic failings.

But........she loves abstracts and was so psyched when she finally beat me at YINSH! She really enjoyed her win. I did give her tips in our first games and taught her how to look at the possibilities on the board.

She is more open to let her father teach her strategies though. Maybe I'm a poor teacher?
 
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Mystery McMysteryface
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EgorjLileli wrote:
My daughter--10 years old--won't let me teach her strategies. She likes to come up with her own. Sometimes they work, sometimes they fail. Most games we play have a dose of luck, to help mitigate her strategic failings.

But........she loves abstracts and was so psyched when she finally beat me at YINSH! She really enjoyed her win. I did give her tips in our first games and taught her how to look at the possibilities on the board.

She is more open to let her father teach her strategies though. Maybe I'm a poor teacher?


I guess what I mean to say, is that it depends on the child. I can see that there are probably children who will want you to guide them and others that won't.
 
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Jason Meyers
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EgorjLileli wrote:
Most games we play have a dose of luck, to help mitigate her strategic failings.


Yes, good point. Luck to temper the odds is always useful to help kids with their first strategy games, I believe. My kids are 8, 8, 9, and 10. They plan well, but need to work still on "seeing the big picture," rather than the task at hand.
 
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Sue Hemberger

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We play as "scheme-mates" (my daughter's term) -- basically, for 2p games, one parent and kid gang up on the other parent and conspire to make the best moves. Sometimes (e.g. chess), a parent and kid team up against the computer/AI.

When I've used games in kindergarten classrooms, I've paired the kids up so that they can talk through moves/strategies. That way, reaching consensus re what to do next requires some self-conscious discussion/decision about what move is the best and why.
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Mystery McMysteryface
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smithhemb wrote:
We play as "scheme-mates" (my daughter's term) -- basically, for 2p games, one parent and kid gang up on the other parent and conspire to make the best moves. Sometimes (e.g. chess), a parent and kid team up against the computer/AI.

When I've used games in kindergarten classrooms, I've paired the kids up so that they can talk through moves/strategies. That way, reaching consensus re what to do next requires some self-conscious discussion/decision about what move is the best and why.


My daughter doesn't like this. She wants to play on her own.
 
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Sue Hemberger

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With mine, it really depends on the game or the situation. If it's an AP game for her (which can be a phase), she likes to talk it out. And if it's a 2p game she likes but she wants both parents -- or daddy in the mix as well as grandma, she also requests it. 3 person Roma (daddy and daughter vs. grandma) has become a tradition in our house.
 
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Mystery McMysteryface
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smithhemb wrote:
With mine, it really depends on the game or the situation. If it's an AP game for her (which can be a phase), she likes to talk it out. And if it's a 2p game she likes but she wants both parents -- or daddy in the mix as well as grandma, she also requests it. 3 person Roma (daddy and daughter vs. grandma) has become a tradition in our house.


Oh.......I have got to crack open that game!!
 
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Robert Zaleski
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If I need to take it easy, to me that's a sign we need to go for an easier game. Some games like Agricola family style, they are fine doing their own thing, so I mainly help them realize how they can achieve their goals (usually a stone house, more kids, or more animals). Some games like Cloud 9 or Gulo Gulo the strategy is simple, so I don't have to point out a lot. Others like Hiss and Candy Land there is no strategy. Having a few kids also helps since I can just watch them play Connect 4

For "Cloud 9" and "Gulo Gulo" I think it's good for 8 and younger because it's repititive and the feedback loop is so small they can see the tactics over and over, I'd try to stay on that side. As they move up, I'd still let them try what they want, there's nothing wrong with them experimenting with the rules so long as they aren't discouraged. For me most of the fun is trying different things and the mental fighting. Hence I'll never take it easy, just change the game if they feel like it's not easy. We also do dexterity and memory games a lot because they can hold their own there.

I haven't tried to teach them chess or anything like that, so maybe I'm just avoiding strategy. I hope my 7 year old will know China well enough soon to play with us adults.
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Mark F.
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Indiana
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I'll also follow the tag-team strategy with my kids, where I'll team up with the youngest while playing an older sibling. But we'll also have a think-through game or two before playing for real, where I'll talk out loud about our strategy and tell them what I hope to accomplish with it.

Best game I played for teaching strategy with the kids was Cathedral. You can start off with the simplified "first to use all of their pieces wins" version... so the game is essentially a puzzle. The full rules are then a nice transition to Atari-Go and eventually the full game of Go.
 
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