The Educational Value of Using Games in the Homeschool
© Beverley Paine
"What we really want to do is what we are really
meant to do.
Children learn better when they use their whole bodies and all of their senses. Learning from books can be tedious for many students and can easily become a daily chore that is met with reluctance.
I consider that my school based education was enhanced
by the countless hours my parents played board and card
games with me and my siblings. The television was turned
off usually at least once a week and we spent the evening
Card games, chess, board and dice games taught me problem solving skills, how to think logically to create and apply different strategies, how to play cooperatively, how to play competitively without becoming a sore loser or a gloating winner, how to calculate, hone my mental arithmetic skills, and the function and necessity of rules.
Playing games with my parents also gave me the
the benefit of additional conversation. While we played we
talked, often about different subjects that interested each
of us. As a result my vocabulary improved and I learned
Other games played a very important role in my
education. Physical games provided the opportunity to
develop confidence in my body, so essential to feeling
okay about oneself. Games that involved moving helped
to keep me fit and agile - fitness lessons without the
tedium! These games usually involved singing or chanting
rhymes - extending my language and music skills, all
Through playing solitaire games I learned the value of perserverence and persistence. Plus I learned to enjoy and appreciate my own company. When playing alone there is no pressure to perform to please or satisfy others and I could keep playing until I had mastered a skill or a task to my own satisfaction.
Through Brownies and Girl Guides I learned that almost
any activity can be presented as a game. As home
educating students my children enjoyed being part of a
homeschooling group that met regularly, often spending
all day engrossed in playing games. The children tutored
each other, sorted out disputes over 'cheating', invented
new rules, worked out different game strategies, played
competitively and cooperatively, but most of, had a great
Whenever my children seemed lack-lustre about learning
I would pull out a game or two to play, or remember
one from my own childhood. We'd play together, because
I remember the fun I had when playing with my parents.
Bring back the challenge and excitement to learning by supplementing study periods in each subject area with one of the seven new Practical Homeschooling Booklets published by Always Learning Books.
Written by home educator and mother, Kathi Wyldeck,
these educational and life skill games will provide a
natural and enjoyable way for your children to learn
Each booklet offers easy to play games that are active and fun, and are designed to consolidate academic learning across all curriculum subjects. Although aimed at primary to junior secondary level, most games can be played at levels suitable for the individual player's age group and ability.
Parents can easily modify the activities to incorporate additional learning to suit each child. Use the games to launch unit studies or spark interest in particular topics, or to reinforce interest, increase knowledge or consolidate previous learning.
Subjects covered in the booklets include:
They are available for $3.25 each from Always Learning Books
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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Welcome to the
We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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