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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.
When we do what we are really meant to do, money comes to us,
doors open for us, we feel useful, and the work we do feels like play to us."

Julia Cameron

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
together, playing games.

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
valuable social skills.

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
without realising I was learning! Playing with a group of friends never went without some kind of conflict: sorting out personal conflicts when playing games is a major part of the socialisation process. Learning how to get
along with others begins with playing games together.

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
deal of fun!

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.
It was a time of closeness, when we really got to know each other, of happy times.

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
while doing what children do best - play!

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:

  • Mathematics, Estimation
  • English
  • Music
  • History
  • Geography, Tracking, Navigation
  • German, French and Latin
  • Citizenship
  • Handcraft, Knotting
  • Cooking
  • First Aid
  • Art
  • Themed Games
  • Camping
  • Science and Environment

They are available for $3.25 each from Always Learning Books

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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.

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 supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.

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"Thank you for all your many,many reassuring words
over many, many years. You probably don't know exactly how
valuable you are to the Australian Home Education community.
I've been reading your stuff for maybe 8 years or more now.
And I'm very grateful."

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Welcome to the World of Home Education
and Learning without School!

We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since 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. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine

The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.

The Educating Parent acknowledges the Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Owners, the Custodians of Australia, and pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people viewing this website.

To see the full range of Beverley Paine's books on homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning visit Always Learning Books

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Home education is a legal alternative
to school education in Australia.
State and Territory governments are responsible
for regulating home education and have different
requirements, however home educating families
are able to develop curriculum and learning programs
to suit the individual needs of their children.

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