Using Games to Motivate…

home school gamesI know… schooling isn’t always the most exciting part of our kiddos’ day. ¬†Well, I may think so, but I know that they have a different opinion. I have learned though, if I make school ALL hardcore learning then it WILL be the worst part of their day every day. I have had to make myself think ahead to include fun things into our daily routine. If I can include games and other types of fun learning exercises through out the day, MORE learning actually takes place. Over the years, my thinking has evolved. I have to admit I was the hard nosed “teacher” homeschooler. ¬†However, today and six children later… I am more the “let’s make this as fun as we can” homeschooler.

Here are a few of my favorite choices to make learning as fun as possible.

1. For History I like to use the Time Traveler’s Series. It includes fun games and projects that we make every lesson. My kids love history because of this! Also, trivial pursuit is a great board game to play and try to integrate a little history.

2. For Science, we use the Apologia Series. We make scrap books of our science learning, and do all types of experiments. This year we studied Botany, and we did alot of our lessons outside with real live specimens from our backyard!

3. For English, I love to use online teaching writing games along with grammar games and worksheets. For spelling I enjoy using spelling games as well as vocabulary matching. Scrabble, boggle, and other such word games are great for reinforcing what you are teaching!

4. For math, we use manipulatives (beans, pencils, clown counters, base ten blocks, etc.) as well as games like multiplication bingo, match ups, and anything else that I can think of!

What are your favorite games to get your children interested and LEARNING?

Keeping Kids Passionate about Learning

The beginning of each school year typically finds my children completely “Gung Ho” about learning. They are usually begging me to start school, and I absolutely love those days when they want everything I teach tem.

Yet, we are all human and honestly tire quickly of anything that involves hard work. Why should our children be any different? But, this is where strengths learning or passion driven schooling and creative scheduling can save the day.

Research (and personal experience) show that children respond better and are more motivated to work when they are studying somthing in which they have high interest. Also, arranging your schedule to include break times or time of phyisical activity can increase their time of mental acuity.

I have found that by arranging your lesson plans with a different style of presentation can turn a drab study into something interesting. Don’t be stuck on one style of learning. Use varying techniques such as speaking, online learning programs, workbooks with fill in the blank, and even games. For example, don’t just study about leaves, go out side and find leaves. Use a magnifying glass to see amazing characteristics and motivate your kids to learn even more!