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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Alternative Learning: Board Games

When you think about Monopoly, what do you think of? Aside from thinking the name Bill Gates (hahaha) I first I think of weekends playing with my family as a kid. Sometimes games would go on for days and there was rarely ever a time limit on games growing up in my house. A game starting on Friday night, could easily go off and on throughout the weekend, usually with my dad finally winning. He would drag it out though and make us kids believe we had a chance. I didn't think of then as the game as learning.

Now as a homeschooling parent I encourage days of board games in lieu of reading, writing, and math. There are days where we will just sit on the floor as a family interacting with each other, building family bonds, using math skills as the banker, deductive skills in which property to buy, and just having fun with monopoly.

At the age of 5 we taught Tristan to play chess, and my reasoning was if he can play complex video games the boy should be able to play chess. I shouldn't have to state what the learning properties of chess are - as they are obvious.... but the simple fact is, just because you homeschool doesn't mean you or your kids need to have a book or computer to learn.

Here are some ideas for boardgames and age groups that can help compliment your homeschooling efforts.

Younger Kids: (under 10)

Good Night Moon Game - ages 2-6 Great game for language and matching.

Buy It Right! - 7- 10 Counting, money, and budgeting

Guess Who
- 4-12 - Guessing, deductive reasoning

You're Bugging Me! - 3-6 - Colors and Matching

Dino Dominoes - 4+ - Matching DINOSAURS :)

Blockus - 5+ (they have other variations of the game for older kids too) shapes, reasoning - like tetris but for multiple players.

Great States - 7-9 - States, geography, landmarks

Older Kids: (10 and older)

Carcasonne - 10+ Building, strategy

Balderdash - 10+ Creativity, imagination, vocabulary, and quick thinking

Risk- 11+ - Strategy

Scattergories- 9+ spelling, vocab, and creativity

Obscurity - 9+ - Words, spelling, and seek and find - like Boggle (kind of)

Cash Flow - 10+ Money in a more realistic sense than monopoly

Bananagrams - 7-14 - Word game (so spelling) that is quick, easy, and educational

Complete Family Friendly: (all ages 5+)

Monopoly - 5+ - Money, problem solving, budgeting

ANTI Monopoly :) - Free Market Concepts, Economics, and WAY FUN!

Scrabble - (Or the JR. version for the younger kids) Spelling and vocabulary

- Spelling

Lewis and Clark - History

Majong Dominoes
- Matching and reasoning

You can also look at reviews for other games done by homeschooling families here.

1 comment:

SusanH said...

Thanks for the list of games that "teach"! Over the past few days I have been rethinking our homeschool approach (this is just our first year) and realizing that games would be a wonderful way to learn and practice all sorts of concepts. And all of us love games, anyway. So now I have a place to start, thanks to your timely list. :)