Gameschooling: Play More in the New Year

I’ve mentioned before that we rely heavily on game-based learning in our homeschool.

Earlier this year, my daughter was struggling with coin identification and value. We had been using a mix of Khan Academy and Singapore for math, both of which she enjoyed… until it came to coins.

The coins left her in tears.

Kickstarter Alert: SwapBots Augmented Reality

Image source: Pixabay
Image source: Pixabay

I want my children to have positive experiences with mathematics and so I set all workbooks aside for a bit. I decided to turn to play. One day, I suggested we play dress up. We went to the playroom and created an imaginary store and restaurant. I let her play with coins from my purse.

It helped a little bit, but she still struggled.

And then one day I pulled out the game Money Bags, a game my oldest son adores. Together, we sat down and played Money Bags.

We chatted as we played… and we had fun. There were no tears. She didn’t even know she was learning.

That’s what I love about games: they are safe. They don’t cast judgment. They don’t leave red marks. They don’t criticize. If you do poorly, you can play again.

My daughter lived and breathed Money Bags that week… and she was making change by the time the weekend rolled around.

A couple months ago, my youngest wanted to learn how to tell time. We read a great book and then played eeBoo’s Telling Time and Perfect Timing.

Guess what? After a couple weeks, he was reading clocks with ease!

Image source: Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley
Image source: Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley

Gameschooling: Play More in the New Year

We are a family of gameschoolers. We consider high-quality educational games to be a part of our homeschool curriculum. I have witnessed incredible learning happen when I sit down to play an educational game with my children. So much learning happens when you play with your children. In addition, you are building a family culture around fun and play, making memories, and building connections.

Image source: Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley
Image source: Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley

Gameschooling as a winter survival strategy

A couple years ago, we had a miserable winter here in New Hampshire. As a survival strategy, I decided to create a board game challenge. We decided to play one game per day until the end of February.

We had such a blast!

Isn’t it funny how some traditions are born of desperation? Our winter board game challenge has become a much-anticipated annual event in our family, and this year I’m inviting others to join us.

A [Gameschooling] New Year’s resolution that is easy to keep

When we first started homeschooling, we attempted to recreate a version of school at home. It did not go well.

Nowadays, our homeschool routine centers around high-quality read-alouds and educational games. I have seen amazing growth in my children since adding more games to our homeschool routine.

And that is why I’ve resolved to play more in 2017.  That’s right: My new year resolution is to play more with my kids. I am committing to a 31-Day #GameschoolChallenge.

It’s a resolution I think I can stick to.

Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: How do you survive long winters? Does your family love to play games? What is your current favorite? Share here!

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Cait is a school psychologist, mom to three amazing children, and an unexpected homeschooler. She loves nature, good books, board games, strong coffee, and dancing in her kitchen. You can read about all of these things and more at My Little Poppies. Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast. She is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and G+.