Friday, December 18, 2015

Homeschooling with Games

If you are not homeschooling with games, what are you waiting for?  I know I talk about games a lot, but that's because they are more than just passive entertainment.  Games can be a fabulous educational tool, and depending on how you utilize them in your homeschool, it can really make your child's educational experience more individualized and unique.

homeschooling with games

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Why is Homeschooling with Games Important?

Games are valuable for many reasons.  For young children, they get practice with basic skills like taking turns, patience, following rules, how to win or lose gracefully, and completing a task - you know, not wandering off before the game is finished!  Games encourage cooperation skills, communication, and fair play, which are also important social skills.  All those small pieces help with hand-eye coordination, visual discrimination, and fine motor skills as well.

As children get older and games get more challenging and complex, they go beyond basic math and literacy skills and games require logic, critical thinking and strategic planning.  Academically speaking, there are games for just about every subject imaginable!  From math, to literacy, to geography, to science, to coding.  If you want, you can probably find it!

Ideas for Homeschooling with Games

For the preschool ages, just about any game has been a hit in this house.  We practice counting with Hi Ho Cherry O or Hungry, Hungry Hippo.  We love Memory, and you can get this in the traditional version or with favorite characters on the cards.  There are many different types of matching/memory games out there too.  My daughter is getting Pengoloo for Christmas, which looks absolutely adorable!

homeschooling with games

Elementary School
There are endless games out there, I can't name them all . . . but a few we love!

Math Dice Jr - helps practice basic operations

Yahtzee - Math is definitely used, but strategic planning is important for this game.  Elliott loves it, and he really has to think about how he should play his current rolls and score his game.

Battleship - This game taught coordinates in our house before it was ever covered in a curriculum!

Monopoly - A bit of a time investment, but it's a classic for a reason.  Grab a version that will appeal to your family.

Wonky - similar to Jenga, except you're stacking blocks instead of removing them, and the blocks aren't uniform in size!  It requires thinking ahead and manual dexterity.

homeschooling with games

Tapple - A fast-paced vocabulary game, my oldest really enjoys it, and often does better than us at it!

{Wonky and Tapple review}

Expanders -  This is a great game to help elementary students with addition and number bonds, and the game board has many configurations, so your playing options can change regularly. {Expanders from SimplyFun review}

Strength Stack 52 - So this is a actually a physical fitness program that can be game-like if you wish!  It's a deck of cards, and their website has a variety of game instructions to make it more interesting.  Older children would probably enjoy the competitiveness, but my kids just like using the cards as brain breaks.  {Strength Stack 52 review}

Chess House - We reviewed the first instructional DVD, which is appropriate for all ages.  It's easy for children to understand, without talking down to adults.  It was a great intro to chess for us!
Chess House review

Teaching with Games from IEW - Okay, so not really a traditional game.  This is actually a fabulous resource for parents or teachers who want to make learning games with very specific content to help study/review what their kiddos are learning.  If my kids are offered a game or a worksheet for review, guess what they're going to pick?

Codemaster Logic - So we haven't actually played this one yet . . . my son is getting it for Christmas, shh!  He's the logical, sequential thinker and I think he will do well with coding and programming, and thus enjoy this game.

homeschooling with games

Here is a Schoolhouse Review Crew blog cruise about Homeschooling with Games, that show you just how other families use games for a fun educational alternative.  Sometimes it really helps spark new ideas, or maybe I just add more games to my wishlist, when I see how others incorporate games as part of their curriculum, for Fun Friday, for Game Night, or as a special treat.

Do you use games in your homeschool?  What are your favorite elementary level games?

G is for Games
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  1. I posted my G topic about games, too! Some of my favorite learning games are geography games - Name that State and Geografacts. We got ours from the Goodwill store, but they are available on Amazon.

  2. What a great collection of games. We love playing games around here, and my daughter actually talked me into declaring the last few days of school before Christmas break to be learning game days. We played Expanders one day last week and have had a few family games nights too.