Gameschooling: How to add more games to your homeschool routine

Gameschooling How to add more games to your homeschool routine Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, Simple Homeschool

Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies

Do you want to know one of my favorite homeschool perks?

Come closer and I’ll let you in on my little secret.

(This homeschool perk isn’t something I tell just anybody.)

Are you ready?

I get to read books and play games all day.

That’s right. We are gameschoolers.

I’ve written about the importance of gameschooling in a previous post here on Simple Homeschool, and I’ve also chatted about favorite games and strategies on The Homeschool Sisters Podcast.

Folks often write to me and say that they know play is important, but that they have trouble squeezing games into an already busy day.

Today, I’d like to talk about how to incorporate more gameschooling into your homeschool routine.
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Cook your way through Little House (with a free printable plan)

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Written by Jamie of Simple Homeschool

Ya’ll, I can’t seem to escape Little House. Is this some kind of disorder or syndrome?!

After our year of Little House in 2013/2014, I honestly thought we were done with it.

We’d read the series twice start to finish (once when the kids were 6-8; once when they were 8-10), and even voyaged in crazy road trip fashion to see with our own eyes where the Ingalls lived and worked.

But then Christmas happened–and I read this book aloud. One of the kids, who tends to be my more reluctant reader, got all into it: giggling at the funny parts, engaging with thoughtful questions. This same child? Loves to cook.

So in my “inspire, not require” brain, a plan began to brew:

There’s a lot of good food in Little House. A lot of good life lessons, too. Why not cook our way through Little House in the Big Woods?

So we did. I’m here to invite you to do the same, and make it really easy for you, too!
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What we did for math week

Written by Kara Fleck.

Remember how I told you part of our summer learning was going to include a mini-math intensive?

Well, I did it, friends: Math Week!

And we all lived to tell the tale. Well, okay, as I write this we have one more day to go, but the week has been a good one and I’m assuming will end well.

  • Who: my four kids, ages 5 to 15
  • What: a week focused on math
  • Where: our living room, kitchen, backyard, and the grocery store
  • Why: because I felt we could all use a week of concentrating on our math skills without having to divide our focus with any other subjects
  • How: casually, with no pressure, for an hour every day plus extras

So, how did it go? There might have been a few sighs and “Professor Snape” comments at the beginning of the first day.

But, it didn’t take long before we were all having a good time. Yes, really!

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The way to make sure schoolwork gets done

Get School Done - The Surefire Way - Simple HomeschoolWritten by Purva Brown of The Classical Unschooler

Our family falls off the homeschooling wagon sometimes. I know that might come as a shock to you.

Homeschooling moms have an innate ability to assume that everyone else is more disciplined than their own family. So let me disabuse you of that notion immediately.

Everyone falls off the wagon sometimes. (There. I feel better already.)

It happens for different reasons, of course. Sometimes family outings intervene. At other times, it is just someone being sick. These are things we cannot control.

But sometimes, school does not get done for reasons we can control. That’s what I’m here to talk about.

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On how I finally stopped hating workbooks

Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

When we first began homeschooling, workbooks represented two things I desperately wanted to avoid: an impersonalized learning system and the idea of fitting all children into the same box/grade level.

We had a few workbooks on our shelf, but I only used them at a child’s request–not very often.

However, as my kids became older, I slowly began to see two benefits that workbooks also have to offer:

1. They leave a paper trail. This comes in handy when you need proof of all the learning, both informal and formal, that happens under your roof.

2. They can calm a mama’s or papa’s homeschool jitters.

Sometimes when you’re homeschooling, you feel completely out of your element. Making a habit of even one workbook page a day can take the edge off those insecurities.

When my kids were littles, my main goal was for them to fall in love with learning. It still is! But I think having the tiniest amount of book work might have settled my own worries just a tad while giving them 95+% interest-led learning freedom.

If this is something you’d like to try, look for a way to encourage your kids to agree to the idea, too, so that even this small minimum will not become a battleground.

Tip: I often tape a $5 bill in the back of a workbook and find that to be quite the compelling incentive! We also use our positivity bean jar to encourage this type of work.

Over the years we have found a few workbooks that worked well for us. So when the opportunity came to partner with Workman Publishing, creators of the colorful Big Fat Notebooks and our favorite Star Wars workbooks, I eagerly agreed to take a peek at their new line of summer workbooks.

Here’s an official overview:
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