Yes, I Know It’s a Game. It’s Still School.
When teaching and learning are just part of your life like eating and breathing it is easy to incorporate little lessons in creative ways. We have a running joke in our family that goes something like this “hey wait a minute today isn’t a school day. STOP. We can’t learn. STOP this school. “ followed by lots of laughter and more joking and teasing.
Today for the 5 Days of Teaching Creatively we’re talking about Toys, Games, and Puzzles. I don’t want to talk about the games or toys or even puzzles that are designed and intended to be used as part of school. You know the ones: Alphabet Bingo, Math Fact Concentration etc. I want to talk about learning while playing games intended for entertainment. Okay, some of the intended for entertainment games were purchased at home school conventions but they’re played for fun.
My family loves games. We are very much a board game family. We have certain days of the year that are just GAME DAY and we play games all day (eat junk food, hang out, and enjoy each other).
Ever had one of those days, usually in mid-winter, where you just don’t want to teach and the students just don’t want to learn and just don’t want to do anything? If you’re a home schooler of course you have! I won’t share how many or how frequently I have those days.
Or maybe the grandparents are coming out for a visit but you have to log days attended and you just cannot take that many days off. What do you do? How do you have fun, enjoy a vacation day, and get quality family time?
Play a game! Really! I used to dream of having a regular “game day” once a week for school but I could never really make it work, but we did have an occasional day where we would play games and I would log it as a school day.
Here’s a short sample list of ideas to get you started:
Geography: RISK, 10 Days in Africa, 10 Days in Asia, 10 Days in Europe, TransAmerica, TransEuropa
History: Professor Noggin has lots of trivia card games related to history! Griddly Games has Civilize This!
Language Arts: In A Pickle, Apples to Apples
Logic/Critical Thinking/Strategy: Clue, RISK, Mandala, Sequence, SET, any of the 10 Day or Trans games and of course things like Chess and Checkers.
Trivial Pursuit can also be a great educational game covering history, geography, science and cultural awareness!
So go grab a game, have some fun and yes it is still school!