I have to admit that I didn’t know a lot of anything about homeschooling when I first started. I just knew I wanted to homeschool and my children would be better for it. I definitely didn’t know what gameschooling was until a little while ago. Although it sounds like a whole lot of fun and a whole lot of not learning, education by incorporating games has proven to be very effective – and kids love it.
One of the joys of homeschooling is being able to teach children in ways that are contrary to what the norm is. Not all children learn the same; some are cognitive learners, some visual, some hands-on learners, etc. Not one way of teaching can capture all the ways they take information in. Therefore, creating an environment where a variety of learning practices can be integrated is most beneficial for children.
One way of absorbing information that most kids quickly adapt to is with playing games. Many families choose to enhance their children’s learning by providing games as a large part of their educational curriculum. Others use the games to help children with subjects they are having difficulty with or some sprinkle in games throughout their week to break up the monotony of lessons.
Whichever avenue you choose to use games in your homeschool, the fact remains that games will always be a hit with the kids and games will always be a good tool for enhancing your learning environment.
Explore these 5 ways to incorporate games into your homeschool
1. Use games as a conversation or lesson starter.
For example, for young learners, you can play a game of hopscotch to encouraging counting, addition or subtraction even. Getting your kids active with playing games can help motivate them to learn.
2. Play content-rich games.
Find games that deliver content that fits in with a subject you are teaching. Students can gain knowledge of Caribbean history for example, by playing the games about Pirates. There are board games which are topic specific like learning about the 50 states. You can use these games to teach your children content in a lesson for each of the 50 states.
3. Use game design as a research assignment.
This is geared towards older students. Your children can research and develop their own game about a particular subject. History and geography would be great subjects for them to explore making games for. They can think of things to work as a game such as putting the presidents in order, timeline games for world events, etc.
4. Use games as an intervention for when your child is struggling with a subject or topic.
If your child does not seem to demonstrate understanding for a lesson you are teaching, then you can develop a reward system for getting answers correct or for finding the answer. This should help the student gain a better understanding of difficult material. For instance, if your child is having difficulty with fractions, a comparison math game will help him/her to visually see how the fractions work.
Use games to teach cooperation and communication among your children.
My children can really use help in working together and being patient with each other. Playing games where they have to take turns and work together can be really helpful for them to grow closer and have fun with one another. Hand clapping games have been known to encourage cooperation and communication building in kids. They also develop hand-eye coordination.
On top of practicing new skills or practicing skills alongside your lessons, games provide a means for kids to think critically and develop logic skills. Games teach important life skills like observing others as opponents, developing strategy, and determining what your next move will be. What I like best about playing games is that not everyone can be a winner. Kids learn how to lose gracefully and take losing with a grain of salt. These are all skills that carry over well into adulthood.
Playing games in your homeschool, whether you do it often or strategically, will make learning fun, incentivize learning, and help build character in your kids.
HedBanz GamePBS KIDS GamesEducational Board Games for Families and Kids – A Fun, Interactive Geography Card Game for The Whole Family – Learn as You Race Around The World – Continent Race from Byrons Games – 7 and UpLearning Resources Money Bags Coin Value Game
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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