Games can be valuable in your homeschool. For: skills reinforcement, concept introduction, fact acquisition and memorization, thinking skills development not to mention physical dexterity, paying attention, learning to wait your turn, and fun! Games can break the monotony of learning (thanks to a Facebook friend for this terminology); provide a change of pace on a winter day; teach “whatever”; and provide hours of family together-time.
It may be obvious, but just for the record, we are not talking about video games. They almost fit into a separate category altogether. (And, personally, I’m not convinced that the digital variety offers the same benefits.) We’re talking about good, old-fashioned, 2-8 (or more) player games.
There are literally games for every subject. To whet your appetite, here is a quick listing – a very small selection – suggested by some Facebook friends.
- Language Arts – Scrabble®, Boggle®, Scattergories®, Rory’s Story Cubes®, Quibbler®, and Sequence Letters® (other types of Sequence® fall into other subject areas).
- Math/Logic/Strategy – Farkel®, Yahtzee®, Cribbage, Blokus®, SET®, Lost Cities®, Qwirkle®.
- Social Studies – Scrambled States of America®, 10 Days in…® (USA Europe, Asia, Africa), and Timelines®.
- Science – SomeBody®, Animal Tracks®, Professor Noggins® Card Games (Professor Noggins also has games for social studies).
- Family/Party – Man Bites Dog®, Apples to Apples®, Settlers of Catan®.
What if you don’t find a game to teach what you want to teach – or your budget is too tight to buy a game for every new concept? Try making your own. A few file folders, some cardstock, a Sharpie marker, game pieces and dice scrounged from other games and you’re good to go. All sorts of basic games can be adapted into a learning/reinforcing experience – bingo, go fish, rummy, match, and Jeopardy!®. If you’re short on ideas, check out Teaching With Games.
For the family, a game-filled homeschool is a beautiful thing. Families who play games, spend time together. It’s that simple. They laugh together; they groan together; they go outside their comfort zone together; they learn together. Olders can play with littles. Littles can be part of the whole family experience. Olders stay more involved in the family. Moms and Dads can relax and unwind…
So keep those games close. And enjoy!
— Janice Price