If you haven’t heard of gameschooling, don’t worry. There are so many buzzwords in the homeschooling community, it can be hard to keep track of them all!
But gameschooling is definitely worth digging into. It’s an excellent practice to introduce into your homeschooling routine, whether you’re teaching kindergarten, high school, or anywhere in between!
What is gameschooling?
Tabletop games (i.e. board or card games) are fun for a little friendly competition in the evening. But the gameschooling theory says that board games and card games can also form an essential part of a child’s learning process.
And that’s true for any game you like — gameschooling games don’t have to be directly educational. Most children’s board and card games are intrinsically geared to teach skills like logic or reasoning, anyway.
What are the benefits of gameschooling?
First of all, let’s state the obvious: games are fun. It’s so much easier to get your child to sit down and play a game than it is to slog through an exercise book.
It’s also a lot more fun for you as their educator; you get to spend an hour or two a day playing games with your kids!
Aside from the fun element, though, there are plenty of educational benefits to introducing gameschooling as a learning practice:
Gameschooling helps teach particular subjects
If you follow a formal curriculum as a homeschooler, you can supplement your classes with games that relate directly to what you’re teaching. For example, there are board games that specifically teach fractions, or rhyming words, or U.S. states.
Gameschooling builds new skills
In addition to supplementing your student’s curriculum, board and card games can be valuable tools for teaching skills that don’t often come from regular school activities.
Strategy games require critical thinking, team games can help build collaboration skills and, for younger learners, many games are excellent for practicing fine motor skills and honing visual comprehension.
Gameschooling supports family bonding
Setting aside time each week — or every day — to play family board games is a ritual you should consider whether you’re gameschooling or not!
It’ll bring you together, and is much more mentally stimulating than sitting around watching a film.
Fun is the best way to learn
While homeschooling isn’t always going to be fun and games, it’s important to include some wherever you can!
Research shows that joyful education is way more successful for memory and retention. And it makes sense: when your kid gets stressed, their retention levels drop way down. But when kids are having fun while learning, the lesson’s going to stick.
What games to use for gameschooling
There are thousands of games suitable for gameschooling — it’s all about finding what works for your family. Have a look on Amazon, or in your local shop, for games that suit your child’s ability. Show your kids a shortlist and ask them to help you choose a couple to buy.
If you want to use games for specific subjects, we’ve got some suggestions.
Gameschooling for math
- Cribbage: Popular since the 17th century, Cribbage is played with a regular deck of cards, and players must use math to gain points and reach 121. It’s traditionally played with a board to track your score, but it’s also easy to just do it with a pen and paper.
- Proof: Award-winning cerebral math game Proof is a fun way to practice simple mathematical skills and train your brain. It’s one of those games you can play for hours without getting bored, and it’s challenging for kids and adults alike!
- Prime Club: This one’s for middle- and high-schoolers who have a passion for math. Prime Club will introduce them to STEM subjects and requires players to use multiplication, division, factorization, and prime number concepts. It really gets you thinking!
Gameschooling for English
- Bananagrams: This is kind of like Scrabble’s cool cousin. Each player gets a set of letter tiles and has to be the first to arrange them all into inter-connecting words. Bananagrams is fast-paced, requires creativity, and helps hone spelling and vocabulary skills while working under pressure!
- Mad Libs: Everyone’s played some iteration of Mad Libs at some point. Each player is given a sentence with words missing and must fill in the blanks. It’s a great game for teaching word types, like verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. You can play with the official card game, or find free templates online.
- Taboo: In this game, players must describe a word or phrase without saying the “taboo” words. It’ll help strengthen vocabulary and critical thinking skills in your children. You can get the board game online or just come up with your own list of words.
Gameschooling for science
- Pandemic: This board game about a worldwide infection has been popular for a decade, but now might serve an even deeper purpose in teaching your children about the knock-on effects. The team-based game sees you work together to protect the world from outbreaks, and teaches the importance of teamwork, education, and hygiene.
- Science Ninjas: Chemistry is a fascinating science subject, but it can be a little confusing. This colorful game lays the foundations of the periodic table, chemical reactions, and molecule formation. It incorporates a little math, too.
- Robo Turtles: If you’ve got a young child who’s already showing an affinity for science or computers, this board game is an excellent way to feed that fire. It introduces preschoolers and kindergartners to the idea of coding and STEM subjects in a fun and approachable way.
Things to keep in mind before gameschooling
Buying tabletop games can be expensive, so it’s good to be sure about a game before investing in it.
There are some great blogs and Facebook groups where other homeschool parents share their experiences with gameschooling and what’s worked best for them. You could also check out YouTube for tabletop game reviews and playthrough videos.
But most importantly: have fun!
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Gameschooling – Why You Should Consider It In Your Homeschool Practice: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 24, 2020