Transform your homeschooling with Gameschooling
Incorporating board games and cards into children’s education helps sharpen their thinking
As parents, you already know the power of games: they teach patience, reinforce how to take turns, help kids practice winning and losing with grace, and strengthen family bonds.
Many homeschoolers have tapped into the power of playing games during school. And guess what? Gameschooling – using games as a learning tool – is one of the best ways to motivate children to learn and help them retain more of what they learn, for longer periods of time.
What is Gameschooling?
Simply put, gameschooling is the regular incorporation of board and card games into your lesson plans.
Games are the essential complement to teach many different subjects. For example, play the science-themed game, Ecosystem, and learn how to create unique ecosystems for animals to thrive in. Or, gain geographic know-how with the game Ticket to Ride, in which players work to build railroad lines to connect major cities across North America.
Gameschooling can revolutionize your homeschool. It strengthens the basics, reinforces the weaknesses and is a perfect way to introduce new concepts. Not only that, but it also transforms attitudes. I know this may sound a bit like a gaffe, but the proof is in the results. Indifferent and uninspired children become fascinated and full of energy children who want to learn, are passionate about school and succeed as a result.
Board and card games are also great brain training for your children. Games are energizing, stimulating and stimulate the areas of their brain where memory is formed and stored. Additionally, strategic games such as Chess, Stratego, and Backgammon teach problem-solving and prediction skills, improve concentration and sharpen concentration, help develop strong critical thinking skills, and more.
Games tickle your fun bones, so laugh it off; laughter greatly benefits your mind and body. We know it reduces stress and anxiety, but you might not realize that laughter also boosts your immune system, burns calories, relieves pain, and strengthens your cardiovascular system.
What games to play
Introduce games into your homeschooling by playing cooperative board or card games. Everyone works together to achieve the goal of the game. We like to play the card game Mille Borne (French for “one thousand milestones”), a car racing game. We play in teams and mix them up every time, sometimes playing boys against girls, children against parents, or father and daughter against mother and son. We even play each runner for himself and, believe me, we get rowdy, competitive and laugh a lot.
Some other cooperative board games are Wildcraft, Castle Panic, and Spirit Island. In Wildcraft, players work together to harvest and gather plants and herbs and trek to Grandma’s house before dark. Castle Panic players team up against monsters who want to attack their castle. Spirit Island is magical; players, acting as various spirits on the island, use their different powers to protect their home from settlers wanting to take over their land.
You can eventually move on to what board game enthusiasts call “gateway games,” or games that are easy in general but have that “wow” factor that makes your kids want to play again and again. One such game, Masterpiece, is a high-stakes art game in which players collect famous paintings to create the most expensive private gallery. Settlers of Catan is another popular game where settlers work to build colonies, armies, cities, and roads using available resources.
If you’re going to playschool, be sure to bring your A-game to the table with these tried-and-true homeschool favorites: Apples to Apples, Upwords, The Scrambled States of America, Election Night, Rummicube , The Farming Game, and Dragonwood, to name a few.
Different ways of Gameschool
There are different ways to approach gameschooling in your homeschool.
Some homeschoolers have a game day once a week, while others play one game a day. Still others really dive into gameschooling with enthusiasm and use games as their primary learning tool.
Or make it a family affair: Play fun and educational games in the evening after dinner. When your kids come to you bored and looking for something to do, suggest a game that reinforces basic skills. There are tons of games, including classics like Monopoly and Yahtzee, that build basic math skills like counting, counting money and giving change, shape recognition, multi-step problem solving, etc
For more information
My Little Poppies Course: Academic Gameschooling: How to Homeschool with Amazing Games
The Mulberry Journal: The Ultimate Guide to Gameschooling eBook Free Download