What a better time to learn about gameschooling or to add some board games to your homeschool than during the 3rd week of November, National Game and Puzzle week!? Check out these 10 ways to use board games in your homeschool that your kids will love and be “on board” with. Get it?
I have to admit that when I first heard about gameschooling, I had my doubts. Gameschooling seemed a bit wishy-washy until I met a gameschooling family. This mom was pretty cool and helped me loosen up in how I viewed homeschooling.
My friend who implemented gameschooling in her homeschool had kids that were super smart and I think it was because they were learning in a way that they could relate to. I learned a few board game ideas that I put into practice in my own homeschool now.
When I first started homeschooling, I knew incorporating board games was an excellent opportunity for my family to learn and have fun doing while doing it. I knew we could have as many homeschool field trips as we wanted to schedule and we could homeschool four days a week instead of five. Homeschooling (although it came with its struggles) was working pretty well for us.
What I didn’t realize was that homeschooling could work even better for my kids — particularly with my son. I have a very high energy boy and I had to find different ways to teach him. We found our flow in homeschooling despite his hyperactivity and all was going smoothly. Although, we know things can always be better, right?
Things did get better, once I decided to incorporate some board games in our homeschool.
How it all started…
We had friends a few years back who were board game fanatics. By the way, I live on an island where getting “anything” is pretty tough. So when our friends went back to America, they left us all of their board games; we were so super grateful.
We continued our weekly game nights at home, even after they left, and the board games really helped my little family to intentionally do something fun together at home.
She was a full-blown gameschool mom and watching her teach her kids was quite interesting. Who said learning wasn’t fun? It totally can be – and her family was proof! They used games daily or at least a few times a week for learning purposes.
When I went back to the states to visit, I racked up on board games in order to implement some learning fun throughout the year. I knew my kids were excited about the idea and they were stoked to see which games I could bring back with me.
Board games never get old and kids like to try something different in during school time. My children looked forward to using board games for learning throughout our homeschool year.
Using board games and card games in an intentional and purposeful way for encouraging learning, made a huge change in our children’s motivation to learn, and I believe it will do the same for other kids. Although you don’t have to turn your entire homeschooling experience into a gameschool, it’s worth giving board games a try to help kids learn and have fun.
You may have never thought of it before, but there are many benefits to playing games in your homeschool.
Games help kids practice interpersonal skills with their siblings. With board games, kids learn to accept the idea of losing and to be gracious when winning. Kids can discuss ideas, learn to take turns, be patient, critically think, and so much more.
I really learned a lot from this FREE e-book from The Mulberry Journal, The Ultimate Guide to Gameschooling. You don’t have to completely convert to gameschooling, but you can use what will fit your family best and ultimately get your kids excited about learning.
There are also some specific soft skills that can be learned by playing board games. Here are just a few:
- Improve attention span
- Observation of details
- ADHD and anxiety coping skills
- Fine and large motor control
- Visual discrimination
- Hand/eye coordination
- Spatial reasoning
- Logic and decision making
- And more.
Check out these 10 ways to use board games in your homeschool:
1.) Putting math skills into action using counting and math board games.
Cooperative Counting Game for KidsHasbro Hi Ho! Cherry-O Board Game for 2 to 4 Proof! – The Fast Paced Game of Mental Math MagicMath Multiplication Games, Everyday Elementary Maths Games- Easy Addition+Subtraction TeachingSums in Space – an Addition & Subtraction Math Game for KidsPlace Value, Counting, Addition and Subtraction Dinosaur Game, Ages 6+ Math Addition Board GameMultiplication and Division math board gameThe Original Fraction Dominoes – Teach Equivalent, Adding and Subtracting Fractions
2.) Introducing new language arts subjects with grammar games.
Learning Resources Magnetic PunctuationJunior Learning 6 Grammar GameSentence Building Literacy Resource with 86 Cards for Language Arts For K-2Learning Resources Go to Press Grammar GameEducational Insights Super Sleuth Vocabulary GameLanguage Arts Game Grade 3-4 Carson Dellosa Language Arts File Folder Game (140311)Teach Reading with The Reading Game
3.) Making science fun with science board games.
The Magic School Bus: Science Explosion Board GameSubatomic: an Atom Building Game | A Strategy Board Game with Accurate ScienceTotally Gross: The Game of ScienceCytosis: A Cell Biology Game | A Strategy Board Game with Accurate Science
4.) Reviewing social studies/history/geography using games.
Explore the World – Test Your Knowledge and Learn Interesting Facts from Around the Globe – Ages 7+Scholastic Race Across the USA GameDays of Wonder Ticket to RideGeoBingo USA Educational Geography Board GameTrekking The National Parks: The Family Board Game (Second Edition)Learn Continents & Countries World Map, Educational Board Games for FamiliesWinning Moves Games Game of The States, Can You Sell The Most from Coast to Coast? Game Board GameProfessor Noggin’s Geography of the United States – A Educational Trivia Based Card Game For Kids
5.) For Nature Studies when the weather doesn’t permit you to go outdoors.
Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game, a cooperative board gameCamp Board GameNature Fluxx GameLucy Hammett Games Wildlife Bingo Board GameAsmodee SeasonsLucy Hammett Games Nature Bingo Board GameBrainBox for Kids – Nature Card GameMatch a Leaf: A Tree Memory GameHerbaceous
6.) Your own lesson ideas are perfect for a build your own board game.
Make Your Own Game Board Kit – Set Complete With Game Pieces Timer Blank Cards Markers Pawns Spinner and DiceCreativity for Kids Spark!Lab Smithsonian (Invent The Greatest Board Game)Blank Board Game and Pieces DIY Set – Make Your Own Board Game with Pawns, Cards, Spinner, Dice and Custom Storage BoxMake Your Own Game Board Kit by Playtime FeltsMake Your Own Opoly Board Game
7.) STEM/STEAM is difficult for some parents to get going in their homeschool . These games will help.
ThinkFun Rush Hour Traffic Jam Logic Game and STEM Toy for Boys and Girls Age 8 and Up – Tons of Fun With Over 20 Awards Won, International Bestseller for Over 20 YearsThinkFun Laser Maze (Class 1) Logic Game and STEM Toy for Boys and Girls Age 8 and Up – Award Winning Game for KidsStraw Constructor STEM Building Toys 300 pcs-Colorful Interlocking Plastic Enginnering Toys- Fun- Educational- Safe for Kids- Develops Motor Skills-Construction Blocks- Best Gift for Boys and Girls …ThinkFun Roller Coaster Challenge STEM Toy and Building Game for Boys and Girls Age 6 and Up – TOTY Game of the Year Finalist
8.) Incorporating spelling/reading with games.
9.) Building character, behavior, and good habits with character building games.
Watch Ya’ Mouth Bible Expansion #1 Card Game Pack, for All Mouth Guard GamesCactus Game Design Apples to Apples Bible EditionScripture Memory Christian 50-Count Game Cards (I’m Learning the Bible Flash Cards)Character in a Jar®What Would You Do? In a Jar®: Daily Dilemmas for Young Children
10.) Practicing impulse control using games.
Do you dread having to read instructions or/and maybe disagree with others about the rules of a board game? You are not alone. Get some help with that with this FREE access to board game tutorials you absolutely need.
For families on a budget, no worries. You will LOVE this amazing list of FREE printable board games in just about any subject you can think of.
Since you have the freedom to teach your children in ways that are most beneficial to them, why not try some board games to get them thinking, learning, working together, or exploring interpersonal skills with each other. Board games in homeschool will no doubt be a hit and a homeschool mom win.
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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