Mum of three speaks out about decision to homeschool her children using video games

A mum has chosen to homeschool her three children using computer games to educate them, with the reasoning that schools are ‘far too focused on testing and exams’.

Katie Pybus, a mum of three, has spoken out about her decision to use computer games such as MineCraft, The Sims and Pokemon Go to teach her children in place of traditional methods.

As mum and teacher to Sapphire, 12, Etienne, 10, and Orin, seven, Katie says that her children will never have to take an exam unless they feel they want to.

Instead, she uses play-based methods to teach her brood, with daughter Sapphire learning to read at aged four using Ladybird books, and Etienne and Orin playing with Lego and wooden toys as education.

Speaking to The Mirror, Katie said, ‘Games are the bedrock of what we do in our home education. Schools are far too focused on testing and exams and I prefer my children to learn through play.’

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The 44 year old shares her three children with her husband Roger, also 44, and the couple decided to homeschool their children since the start of their family 12 years ago.

Katie claims her children will look back at their childhood with happy memories because of the freedom she has allowed.

‘My children will look back and realise they’ve had a lovely, free childhood.

‘I’m led by what they want to do and I don’t restrict screen time. I haven’t formally taught them English and Maths but they’ve learned lots about spelling and number manipulation through games.’

While some believe that homeschooling holds children back in certain areas of their development including social skills or learning from a set curriculum, Katie’s children appear happy with their mum’s decision and feel it’s right for them.

Sapphire, who would be entering her second year of secondary school, commented on her mother’s choice to use video games as education. Giving positive feedback, the 12 year old noted that video games can be helpful for learning and in her opinion have taught her a lot.

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‘Loads of people think being home educated means you have special needs, you can’t cope with school or that you don’t learn very well.

‘That’s not actually true. I’ve learned a lot through video games.’

Although unusual, this method of teaching is technically legitimate as only state-funded schools have to follow the national curriculum, leaving homeschooling parents to use methods that they see fit.

Katie says that whenever officials who visit annually check her approach, they always come away satisfied.

However, it seems this family’s teaching tactics haven’t been so well received online, with comments on both The Sun and The Mirror focusing on issues such as ‘activities’ and ‘socialisation’.

One user commented on the story saying, ‘So you keep them in your little bubble, no mention of outdoor activities, no socialisation activities, no mention of interaction with other children in the real world not cyber.’

Another agreed, commenting, ‘They need fresh air, real friends to play and interact with from various backgrounds. You can have Facebook and go to school! How are these children supposed to get into college or even university with no qualifications.’

Would you homeschool your children? Let us know in the comment box below!