Skip to content

Homeschool Memoirs #12 is…

November 5, 2008

interested in playing games. So I’m ready to play. Here’s the instructions:

Please share what different games you use for learning in your homeschool. Outside games, board games, or card games, and for what purpose or subject you use them.

Miss Jocelyn in her post points out a key lightbulb moment of my own journey towards homeschooling. She writes, “I think the main thing that a lot of people miss is that life is learning, and you must use everything in your home for learning otherwise you won’t fully be prepared.” I was very definitely one of those people who had not considered the implications of how my children would and could learn.

It was a delightful spiritual mentor and friend, mom of 7 children that plainly, sweetly explained that every trip to the grocery store, every ride in the car, and every walk in the park was a God-given opportunity to declare the glories of the Lord to my children. To actually teach them.


As I’ve embraced the path of homeschooling, attempting to jumpstart my own learning curve, I have delighted in figuring out how the ordinary becomes the extraordinary in learning.

Monopoly is about economics and property development. The money itself is useful for showing concrete children how dollars add up. Those Community Chest cards even lead to discussions on paying taxes to the government and why.

A game called Five Crowns that we love requires memory skills, decision making, building sets and patterns. Phase 10 is similar. Each level of the ten phases requiring a different combination of cards. A player cannot go to the next level until he completes the present one.

Memory/concentration games are probably the first game that all my boys grew to love. Any set of cards was useful for this game. An inventive adaptation one time was when the boys took some little boxes and hid various objects underneath, testing each other to remember which “shell hid the pea.”

My oldest taught himself how to play chess around 8 years old while watching some older boys play. I still don’t know how to play this one. Checkers and Chinese checkers are also logic and strategy builders.The boys take the checkers and marbles to the next level by creating patterns, choosing sides and holding battles, actually assigning characters to the different colors.

All three of my sons love Scrabble, voluntarily pulling it out at all times. We allow them to keep a dictionary handy and encourage their use of it. Alphabetizing skills, spelling and root word basics all come into the picture with this game. We also have Boggle, but they prefer Scrabble. Go figure. Double points word score.

A new game I purchased for my oldest last year is called Set. This game teaches visual perception skills, being able to see matching sets within the puzzle group. Tangrams games also build visual perception skills. The manipulatives set of blocks that came with our Saxon Math program is also utilized in its own Jenga concept way.

I try to keep us well stocked with various games of all sorts as well as brain teaser books and logic puzzles. I love the fact that the boys of their own initiative have actually created their own games. One such creation involved drawing cards, maps and making up elaborate rules for conquering and dominion over inter-galatic systems. It was a loosely based Monopoly idea. The one with the most planetary systems rules.

Games are definitely part of our homeschooling day. Each game does contribute to their learning of basic skills. As well as being fun.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 5, 2008 9:49 pm

    Chinese Checkers! I have forgotten all about that! Thank you for sharing,

  2. November 5, 2008 10:29 pm

    What a beautiful post. I love this line: “I have delighted in figuring out how the ordinary becomes the extraordinary in learning.” Thanks for sharing!

  3. deldobuss permalink
    November 6, 2008 3:02 pm

    I used to loved doing Tangrams in junior high. I bought set for my oldest (8) but my younger daughter (3) enjoys them more. You can buy so many books for them that they are fun at any level!

  4. November 6, 2008 4:03 pm

    Brain teasers are great. My son is always very proud of himself when he gets the answer! This also plays into is riddle and joke stage!

  5. November 7, 2008 3:32 pm

    We like Apples to Apples – they play that in class at school too. Great for vocabulary/English.

    A “noun” card is laid down and then each player pairs it with the best adjective they have in their hand (they are holding 7 cards each).


  6. November 7, 2008 11:17 pm

    oops. I think I have that reversed. An “adjective” card is played and each player pairs it with their best “noun” card.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: