Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Try Holiday Gameschooling ~
Written by Cait Curley of My Little Poppies
As 2021 comes to a close, many of us are seeking a calm, connected end to the year. We want to slow down and savor the holiday season with our children and teens.
We want to capture these moments in our memories forevermore because childhood goes by in a blink:
If you’re looking to slow down and savor the season with your kiddos, but you also want to sneak in a little stealth learning, I highly recommend holiday gameschooling.
It’s the Perfect Time to Try Holiday Gameschooling
Many families play board games at holiday gatherings. Board games are a wonderful way to connect with family members and make memories to last a lifetime.
Growing up, my family had a holiday board game tradition. We would play my favorite game, Scrabble, with my aunt and cousins. My aunt loved Scrabble as much – if not more- than I did. We created such wonderful memories around that table. Those are memories that I cherish today, and the time spent with family around that Scrabble board still influences my family life and homeschool today.
And while games are an excellent way to connect with family members and make memories, board games also pack a powerful learning punch! Gameschooling is the intersection of play-based learning and homeschooling. Gameschooling allows you to add more play to your homeschool routine and make it “count” for those year-end homeschool powers that be.
If you’ve ever thought about dabbling in gameschooling, the holiday season is the perfect time to get your feet wet!
Holiday Homeschooling Is A Chance To Try New Things
The holiday season brings lots of joy and excitement. When you have little ones, the energy can be VERY high. It can be a challenge to get kiddos to sit down and pay attention for any length of time.
What I’m trying to say is, it can be incredibly challenging to maintain your normal day-to-day homeschool rhythm. So, why not channel that excitement into non-traditional learning activities such as gameschooling.
Who knows? You just might discover your family’s new favorite homeschool thing!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- I truly believe that homeschooling can be almost all fun and games. Adding more play to your homeschool day can completely change the learning atmosphere!
Holiday Gameschooling Is Still Homeschooling
We all know that play-based learning is important for children and teens. Play benefits the whole child. It has a positive impact on a child’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. Plus, play allows a child to discover unique interests, likes and dislikes. These are discoveries that no one else can make for you.
Gameschooling is a measurable form of play-based learning. Children and teens are doing so much more than simply having fun when they are engaged in play.
Playing educational board games has a host of benefits for your homeschool, plus you build relationships and make memories in the process. I am constantly amazed by the amount of learning that happens when I sit down to play games with my kiddos.
Here are just a few skills that your children and teens use while playing board games:
- Verbal communication
- Attention and focus
- Following directions
- Social skills
- Learning to handle wins and losses
- Cognitive skills such as counting, color/shape/pattern recognition, strategy, problem-solving, early literacy, etc.
I have witnessed the power of play and gameschooling time and time again. I could tell you about how games taught all three of my kiddos how to tell time, how to make change, how to conquer addition and subtraction, how to multiply and divide, how to negotiate and problem-solve.
Most recently, games have helped my youngest, who is a reluctant writer, fall in love with character development and writing stories.
Why do games work so well? It’s simple! Playing games offers children a chance to practice and build skills in a no-pressure, non-judgmental way. If the game doesn’t go the way you wanted it to, you can start over and try again.
Gameschooling Through The Holidays
Among the biggest homeschooling perks in my world is the fact that our family can play games frequently. Board games are an integral part of our homeschool routine. We don’t have to try to squeeze in a family game night on an already jam-packed weekend, but rather we can play daily and sometimes multiple times daily if we desire.
With the holiday season upon us, now is the perfect time to dabble in gameschooling without the pressure of your daily homeschool to-do list weighing on your mind. You can kick back, relax, and make memories with your children and teens.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Play a game first thing in the morning or at the end of the day (depending on what works best for your unique family). Games are a wonderful way to help with transitions during the day.
- Play a game over lunch. Our family loves to pull out Boggle or a Professor Noggin Trivia game (afflinks) and have some fun while we eat.
- Pick one day a week to be a game day. Get your feet wet with academic gameschooling… but don’t tell your kids that games are educational because that will ruin the fun. Try Yahtzee for stealth math, Story Cubes for literacy, or The Scrambled States of America for geography.
When it comes to gameschooling, the sky is the limit!
Holiday Gameschooling Resources To Get You Started
Homeschooling shouldn’t feel super hard or complicated. You can cultivate a family culture of curiosity and joyful, lifelong learning… and it doesn’t need to look anything like the public school of your past!
As a school psychologist and homeschool mom, I am passionate about play-based learning and gameschooling. I would love to help your family on your gameschooling journey.
Here are three resources I’ve created to support families:
1. Free 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart
When you join the 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart, you’ll receive the following:
2. Gameschooling 101: How to Add More Play to Your Homeschool Day
This self-paced digital course includes the following:
- Over 25 self-paced video lessons
- Actionable, downloadable PDF resources
- Play-based bonus content
- Access to an incredible resource library
3. And, finally, my FAVORITE resource: Never Board Learning!
Never Board Learning is a private online community for creative parents and educators who enjoy play-based learning and gameschooling. Never Board Learning features a private (non-Facebook) community forum, guest speakers, Q and As, day in the life family spotlights, and a growing resource library filled with challenges, documentation resources, and print-and-play activities.
At Never Board Learning, we believe homeschooling can be *almost* all fun and games. Join today and have more fun tomorrow! Read more about Never Board Learning here!
Whether you’re brand-new to gaming or whether you’re a second-generation gameschooler, I wish your family a happy, healthy holiday season and a wonderful 2022!
Tell us: Does your family homeschool through the holiday season? What does it look like in your world? Share in the comments!
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