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The Complete Guide To Gameschooling

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Do you use gameschooling as a form of education? Whether you are an unschooler, interest-led homeschooler, or you fall somewhere in between, chances are that you have used board games in your homeschool in one way, shape, or form. You may not label yourself as an official gameschooler, but after learning more about how it can be incorporated into your homeschooling, you might begin to! Gameschooling is defined as using tabletop board games and card games as an intentional part of your schooling. This doesn’t mean you only use games to teach your child, but you do use them and you use them intentionally.

If you have a hands-on learner, then gameschooling is definitely the route for you. Not only will it break up your day, but your child will have the opportunity to spend time with family members, have fun, and learn at the same time! With so many online options vying for our child’s attention, the old-fashioned board game has more to offer than we might realize. Practically every board game that you can physically set up on the dining room table and play is available in app form, but so much value lies in the physical version. Here’s why. Board games allow your child to develop hand-eye coordination, work on their communication skills, learn about sportsmanship, practice following directions, learn how to be quick on their feet, and so much more. The competitive nature of the game allows them to realize the value of the people they are playing with. They are able to see the disappointment on their sister’s face when she loses, and compassion can be given. The life skills involved in these games are invaluable and cannot be captured the same way as signing on at the same time to play video games online with friends.  

Not to say online activities don’t have their place, they absolutely do, but they are unable to replace the value that board games hold!

Consider using the following games to help you in your homeschool. Maybe each month you can pick a handful of subjects that you want to incorporate games into. Here are some examples:

Pre-reading

Candyland: Give your pre-reader the opportunity to work on his colors (and counting) while having fun. This classic game introduces young children to so many different values and skills such as teamwork, honesty, concentration, and so much more.

Snail’s Pace Race: This sweet game helps to build your preschooler’s confidence. Each round is short, sweet, and to the point while reinforcing color recognition and teamwork.

Memory: Your child will be able to develop and use integral parts of his brain while concentrating on this game. Playing this game helps with memory skills, concentration, and patience.

I Spy: Incorporating this game into your day will help your child break up their routine without even realizing that they are still learning! Your child can play this with you or their siblings while working on their concentration skills.

Trouble: Practice counting with the youngest learner in your home with a game that the whole family can enjoy!

Math

Yahtzee: Your competitive child will be working so hard to win that she will not even realize that she is doing addition and multiplication in her head! Use this game as an opportunity to sharpen those skills in addition to your regular math curriculum.

Bingo: This fast-paced number game can help your child that is still learning her numbers!

War (the card game): Using a regular deck of cards or a child’s version, your child will work on sequencing numbers without realizing it!

Monopoly: Make it a family game night and don’t tell your child that math is involved. They’ll have so much fun they’ll ask to be the banker next time!

Rummikub: A game of numbers and fun, this is another game for the entire family.

Science

Terraforming Mars: This futuristic game will help your child think about the basic necessities that people need to survive in a complex and entertaining way.

Periodic: A Game of the Elements: Is your child struggling in chemistry? Lighten the load by adding this fun game into the mix!

Pandemic: Ibera: This strategy game calls for teamwork and cooperation. A game that preteens, teens, and adults enjoyed pre-2020 now carries an entirely new meaning.

Wingspan: The perfect addition to your bird-study unit!

Gizmos: Kids of all ages love this game especially those who enjoy tinkering, creating, and inventing!

Language Arts

Scrabble: Practice spelling, dictionary skills, and vocabulary skills with this classic board game.

Bananagrams: Is spelling a challenge in your homeschool? Try taking a break from the traditional methods and use this fun game instead.

Boggle: Whether you use the junior version or the classic game, kids of all ages enjoy seeing which words they can come up with while playing this fast-paced game.

Zingo: Created for young learners, this game builds confidence in beginning readers.

Apples to Apples: Be sure to get an age-appropriate version of this game, and your children will have hours of fun while learning about a variety of topics.

Social Studies

Ticket to Ride: Get your geography in with one of the many versions available of this popular game among homeschoolers.

Trekking the National Parks: You might not be able to get to a national park this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn about them with this fun and unique family game.

GeoBingo USA: Save this game for a rainy day and bring it out to surprise your kids. They will not only enjoy the change of pace but work on their geography skills.

History of the World: This game involves a catapult. Need I say more?

Constitution Games: We the People Fight: Teach and reinforce the values found in the constitution with this informative and practical game that the whole family can play!

Gameschooling is growing in the homeschooling community. Are you on board? Which games do you play with your children on a regular basis? Let us know in the comments below!

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
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