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I love having people guest post on my blog. Today I want to thank Tyler for visiting with us. I hope you enjoy Tyler’s post.
One of our goals in homeschooling since the start has been to find a way to make it fun. My wife and I both went to public school and we knew we didn’t want homeschooling to be ‘public school at home’. However, we weren’t sure what we DID want it to look like. Starting out we were planning fun activities each day. The kids loved it and we could see they were having fun while learning, but we quickly realized we would be burnt out on creating this fun learning environment long before they learned everything they needed to know. So we started looking for something fun (and easy!) to supplement our homeschooling activities. Enter gameschooling.
What is GameSchooling?
Put simply, gameschooling is homeschooling using games to teach. For us, gameschooling is primarily board games, but also includes some outdoors games. Adding board games to our homeschool routine has been an amazing change for our house. For the kids, board games have kept learning fun and engaging. As parents, gameschooling has taken a lot of the stress out of homeschool planning, because we know board games are there to help us teach or reinforce our homeschooling efforts.
How to Add (or Increase) Games to Your Homeschool Routine?
Fitting board games into an already full day of homeschooling can be a challenge. Here are our top five ways to fit games into our homeschool schedule:
1. Pick a Subject and Find a Board Game A great way to get started using board games in your homeschool activities is to simply pick a subject you are working on and find a board game to reinforce it. Looking for some inspiration? Check out this article on 100 things kids learn from board games, with game recommendations for each!
2. Add a Daily Game Time
Another option to consider if you’re looking to add some gameschooling to your days is to set aside a certain time each day for board games. A lot of modern board games can be played in fifteen to forty five minutes. This makes them a perfect activity when the kids need a break. We love to play board games right before lunch when the kid’s focus starts to be more concerned with what is in the fridge then the topic at hand.
3. Start a Family Game Night
Rather than cram board games into your school day, try out a family board game night. One of my favorite memories growing up was playing board games as a family. Board game night was the one time all the hecticness of work, school, and other activities seemed to fall away and we were able to enjoy family time playing board games. Little did I know I was learning at the same time! If you have a family with a large age range, check out this list of the 10 best games that preschoolers through adults will all love.
4. Use board Games to Wind Down for Bed
I know I can’t be the only one who has kids who seem to get more and more awake the closer bedtime gets. Board games are a great tool to burn some of that excess brain energy off and help your kids wind down for bed. We try to avoid silly games, or active games right before bed, and instead target something like sleeping queens or robot turtles. These games hit the right balance of challenging without being too complex for them to focus on right before bed in our house.
5. Travel with Board Games
Traveling is a great time to try out gameschooling. Regular homeschool activities are difficult when your away from home. The combination of not having your regular homeschool tools at your disposal and kids being excited about traveling is not ideal. If you pick the right board games, they’re easy to play in a car, on a plane, or where ever you might be traveling and they won’t take up much space in your luggage! To get you started, here’s a list of our favorite kids board games to travel with.
Start your Gameschooling Journey!
I hope these tips can help you start (or expand) your gameschooling and see what a powerful homeschool tool it can be. I’d love to hear from you in the comments! If you already gameschool, what is your favorite way to fit board games in your day? If you haven’t started yet, which of these tips will you try?
Tyler blogs at kidsloveboardgames.com. Kids Love Board Games focuses on the benefits of playing family board games, gameschooling, as well as board game recommendations and reviews. Sign up for Kids Love Board Games newsletter and follow Kids Love Board Games on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.