The School Scramble

Pixel game screen element set on black

I have an idea for a new video game. But this one is different—this one will be designed specifically for homeschooling parents! It will be called The School Scramble and will go something like this:

Level One: Collect school-related items as they fall from the sky. New notebooks score you more joy, as do brand-new books. Collect extra pencils because they disappear randomly throughout the game. But be careful—catch too many “new curriculum” blocks and you’ll break your budget!

Level Two: Dive into a fun logic puzzle! You have to fit various appointments, lessons, and class times into one standard-sized week. But watch out! Just when you get your schedule to fit perfectly, it might explode, and you’ll have to rearrange everything!

Level Three: Get your adrenaline pumping! This fast-paced racing challenge has you maneuvering around flying obstacles like “Scheduling Conflicts” and “Co-op Drama” and “Child Hates Math.” Don’t forget to snatch up a few power-ups on your way through—more on those later.

Bonus Round! This hidden-objects level gives you more treasures and extras Look for math papers, workbooks, and pencils (you will never find all the pencils.) If you get stuck, you can use the “Hint Button,” but all it does is say in a child’s voice, “I don’t know where it is.”

Level Four: Shift gears from fast reflexes to steady persistence! Using rapid clicks (“spamming the button,” in GenZ terms), you move your children upward toward goals like “long division” and “writing five paragraphs.” It’s hard going, but as you reach each goal, you achieve extra rewards and joy.

Level Five: The final and hardest level is the “Whole Darn School Year” Maze. You’ll use all those skills you’ve honed throughout the previous levels. The extra challenge of this maze, though, is that you have to maintain a balance between “Child’s Interests” and “Necessary Academics.” I’ll be honest, this level is almost impossible to beat on your own. But don’t worry—that’s what power-ups are for!

Here are some of the power-ups you’ll collect:

Sense of Humor. This all-purpose power-up increases everyone’s joy and stamina as you navigate the levels.

Network and Support. Activate this power-up so other players can join you! They can help you with your scheduling puzzles, deal with drama, and give your kids a boost toward their goals. Very powerful; every player should have a solid bank of this power-up.

Outsourcing. This fantastic little power-up actually accomplishes part of a level for you. Having trouble getting your child up to a reading goal? Twelfth-grade math beyond your teaching capabilities? Need a biology lab? Use Outsource to meet these needs through your spouse, tutors, online classes, or co-ops.

God’s Grace. The most powerful boost of all! This one picks you back up when you fall and keeps the game from crashing entirely.

And every time you start a new level of The School Scramble, you get to use all the skills and power-ups you collected during the previous one. The only exception is the God’s Grace power-up. That one renews automatically every level and doesn’t have to be earned.

Obviously, this is all still in the development stage, but I’m pretty sure The School Scramble will be a huge hit in the homeschooling community. In fact, it’s so much fun that we play it every year already, right? Right. Ready player one—let’s go!

—Sara

Photo Credit: iStock

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