What is Gameschooling and How Can You Use Learning Games in Your Homeschool?
When some of us think of school, we don’t necessarily think of “fun” first. We also may not equate games with learning activities. However, some homeschoolers—called gameschoolers—really do focus on fun and learning with games. If this is a technique you think you and your child may enjoy, either part time or full time, stay tuned!
|Pros and Cons of Homeschool Gameschooling|
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What is Gameschooling?
Gameschooling, as you may suspect, is a homeschool method based on the use of educational games. A gameschooler may or may not use a curriculum but does incorporate different types of games to learn material in one or more subject areas. Some families use gameschooling to supplement other forms of learning while others keep gameschooling in their back pockets for when homeschool burnout is lurking in the shadows. Still others use gameschooling to fill in gaps of time like car rides or moments waiting for a bus or doctor appointment. Gameschooling is often a part-time homeschooling technique that is used sometime every day or becomes the focus one day a week, but some homeschoolers are full-time gameschoolers. How you use gameschooling is up to you, but having it as one of the tools in your educational toolbox may be just what your homeschool needs!
Prepare for Homeschool with Gameschooling | Homeschool.com
Read this brief overview of gameschooling to get started thinking about incorporating gameschooling in your homeschool.
Quash Homeschool Burnout with Gameschooling | Time4Learning
Discover what gameschooling is and the benefits of gameschooling. Find out about types of homeschool games and how to use them to revive a stale routine.
What is Gameschooling? | Picture of a Homeschool
Check out this homeschooler’s description of gameschooling and how even games that don’t target particular subject areas can build reading, math, and social skills.
Pros and Cons of Homeschool Gameschooling
Gameschooling may sound perfect to some ears—especially the young ears of your child. You may see the prospect of learning through games as a welcome relief to more traditional styles of learning. What better way for your child to learn than without even realizing that learning is happening! Gameschooling can keep your child engaged in a subject that would not ordinarily be as interesting or for a longer period. Games can help to build skills through fun repetition, and children learn important social interactions through game play. As a family, you can use gameschooling to create fond memories where you laugh and talk and play together—all while learning.
On the other hand, gameschooling requires a step away from a more structured curriculum—to whatever extent you want to include learning games. You will need to spend time researching, finding, and planning games—particularly if you are using games to replace curriculum for one or more subject areas. If you use a lot of board games, you may find that both cost and space can be challenging, or you may be concerned with screen time if you prefer more online games. In some cases, too, a child exposed to gameschooling may be—at least temporarily—reluctant to learn in other ways. Your child needs to understand that maybe not all learning can be a game, but when it can be…. Why not?
Here are some places to read what other homeschoolers say about the benefits of learning games:
5 Benefits of Gameschooling | Homeschool.com
“Game schooling simply acknowledges the learning benefits that children can acquire through playing games. After all, we tend to learn more when we are having fun and enjoying ourselves! “
Gameschooling Benefits for the New Homeschooler | Homeschool.com
“Did you know that gameschooling is a great way to learn? Find out more about how game-based learning can be an integral part of your homeschooling.”
Why Your Kids Should Use Educational Games | Homeschool.com
“Kids will play a video game 50 times to incrementally improve, to get a fraction of a level further. Wouldn’t it be great if they took that same approach when it came to homework problems? With educational games, that can happen!”
Tips for Using Learning Games in Your Homeschool
The gameschooling community is large and active, so there is a lot you can learn from fellow gameschoolers and homeschool organizations. Explore the resources below to discover how to incorporate gameschooling most effectively in your homeschool:
Meg Grooms is the content creator of Homeschool Gameschool and shares information and resources for all things gameschooling. Explore ways to network through Facebook and a Gameschoolers Club, a giant list of games, gameschooling information by subject area, and a Gameschool Academy store.
Gameschooling: A Master List of Games | Marry Hanna Wilson
Check out this master list of “games that teach” history and geography, science concepts, math concepts, and word play, as well as “just for fun” lists of card games and board games.
Keeping Your Kids Engaged with Gameschooling | Homeschool.com
“Wondering how to motivate and engage your homeschoolers? Games! Gameschooling is a great way to keep learning and have loads of fun.”
Making Gameschooling Part of Your Homeschool Plan | Homeschool.com
“If you haven’t heard of gameschooling, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Gameschooling is homeschooling with games as the main resource! Here’s how and why!”
Never Board Learning | My Little Poppies
“Are you looking for gameschool resources? I’ve got you covered! I’m sharing the best games on the market today, organized by academic subject and category. Plus, everything you need to get started. From where to begin, to building your game closet, to organization, to growing little gameschoolers, to sibling squabbles and board flipping, and so much more!” Join the community, get a free gameschool log, try the 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart, request a free Never Board Learning eBook, and see a list of gameschooling resources by subject.
The Ultimate Guide to Gameschooling | The Mulberry Journal
In this huge overview, discover reasons to gameschool, how to gameschool, how to choose games, a list of recommended games, what to do with age recommendations, the difference between gamification and game-based learning, and common questions. Provide your email for a free eBook download of Mulberry’s The Ultimate Guide to Gameschooling.
The Ultimate Guide to Games for Every Subject in Your Homeschool | The Waldock Way
“There is power in learning through play in your homeschools. If you are looking to add a little more fun and creativity to your learning, this guide to games for every subject in your homeschool has everything you need.” Sign up for a free Guide to Gameschooling to find lists for math, language arts, science, geography and history, and art and music.
Support for Families Creating a Gameschool
Gameschooling can be a powerful way to increase engagement in your homeschool, but you will need advice and resource suggestions. Check with your own network and local support groups or connect with other gameschoolers through these online groups:
Gameschool Community | Homeschooling with Games
“Gameschool Community is here for families who enjoy learning with games! Board games, card games, dice, games, etc. We feel that some of the very best learning happens when we are relaxed, building relationships, and playing! Planning to gameschool or want to learn more about gameschooling? You are absolutely welcome as well!
Gameschool Co-Op Community
“A group for those using board games in the classroom (be it homeschool, public school, or tutoring). We talk about all types of board games and welcome not only teachers but lovers of family board games. Feel free to ask questions or even post what you have been playing lately.”
Gameschoolers Buy, Sell and Trade Board Games
“Buy, sell, and trade board games here!”
“Hi. Welcome to Gameschooling! My name is Tiffany. I am a homeschool mom of 3 (14, 5, 2). I have been homeschooling for about 10 years. I am an eclectic homeschool mama. I am a firm believer in interest-led learning! We use a lot of unschooling methods in our homeschool. Hello games! I am so happy you joined me!”
“A place to discuss board games and how to use them in your homeschooling day.”
“A group for families who want to discuss board games for learning and for entertainment, hopefully at the same time!”
“Share your gameschooling journey and ask for game recommendations.”
Gameschooling with Gameschool Academy
“Gaming to entertain, educate, and encourage empathy.”
Secular, Inclusive Gameschooling
“A safe and inclusive group to talk about games, homeschooling, and the overlap between the two!”
Secular Video & Online Gameschoolers
“This is a secular gameschooling group focused mainly on video-, online- and “screen-“based games!”
“The Sustainable Gameschooling group is a place to discuss how we can use games to further our educational goals while walking lightly on the earth and being mindful of our wallets! If you want to chat about using games in your homeschool and are looking for ways to use what you have rather than buying more – you’ve come to the right place!”
Multi-Subject Learning Games and Resources
One of the biggest questions for new gameschoolers, or even for veteran gameschoolers looking to refresh and reinvigorate their gameschools, is which games to include. Here is a list of some multi-subject learning games and resources to get started. Then check out our grade- and subject-specific pages to find even more games and resources!
“Arcademics combines the excitement of video games with educational content to produce a high rate of learning through exciting, focused repetition that enables automaticity and fluency to be achieved quickly.” Find online games to practice math, language arts, typing, and geography.
Cranium | Hasbro Gaming $
“Everyone shines. Players can show off their talents; move around the board completing activities in 4 fun categories; featuring word play, sketching, sleuthing, acting, and more; play in teams; includes 600 cards, 4 movers, Cranium Clay, timer, die, 1 notepad, and instructions.”
Explore this collection of games using Disney characters and National Geographic themes to practice matching, mazes, and patterns or learn about music, space, words, and more!
Easy Memory – The Memory Game
“Do you like free internet games? Looking for free kids’ online games or free games to download to your PC? Need educational games for your school? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Play online or download Easy MEMOry for pure memory game fun!”
Folding Blank Game Board with Blue Pebble Cover $
“Create your own game with your original artwork! Features a white, glossy finish and a blue pebble cover. Use with crayons, markers, pencils and other art materials. Each game board unfolds to 18″ x 18.”
“Looking for the ultimate game and activity resource? Here you will find a list of our fun game categories and event activities. This is a great place to start.”
Find online learning games across grade levels and subject areas. Play some Math Baseball or use the Human Body app. Win at Grammar Gorillas or one of the many other games!
Gameschooling by Subject! | Homeschool.com
“Gameschooling is a popular choice for many homeschoolers for the simple reason that it encourages learning through play. Many of us recognize the benefit of learning games and educational fun, such as improved memory, increased engagement, and a more positive experience overall. It’s been shown that kids learn more efficiently when lessons are more enjoyable.” Find resources by subject area here!
History of Board Games +21 Unknown Fun Facts | Amazing Game Room
“What do you think of when you imagine playing board games? You probably picture evenings spent around a kitchen table, chairs packed with friends and family. You may even imagine groups of children playing. But what if we were to tell you that board games have been an integral part of cultures all over the world for thousands of years? You’d be surprised that the roots of even the humblest board games can be traced back to ancient civilizations.”
Find educational games that are easy to access by grade (preschool to grade 6), subject (word, reading, spelling, science, math, animals), and age (toddler to age 12), plus arcade games that are just for fun. An index of game titles helps you go back to your favorites with one click.
Learning Games for Kids
“Want educational games that make learning fun for preschoolers up to middle school kids? You’ve come to the right place! We’ve got educational games for kids in the following categories: Math Facts, Math Games, Language Arts, Science Songs, Animal and Nature Games, Word Games, Art and Music Games, Logic Games, Memory Games, Hand-Eye Coordination Games, Preschool Games, Keyboarding Games, and Geography Games. We’ll be adding new educational games often so make sure to come back and check us out frequently.”
Live-Action Roleplaying | LARP
For older kids… Find live-action roleplaying games based in the United States, Sweden, and other countries.
Mindfulness Game $
“150 CARDS, 3 GAMES IN 1 BOX: GUESS GAME: Personal questions put your knowledge to the test on how well you know each other. CONNECT GAME: Develop a deeper connection between adults and adolescents through self-reflection. Learn mindfulness rituals, fun facts, understand emotions and social skills. Could be used daily before bed or in a therapy or classroom setting. EXPERIMENT GAME: Play with or compete against players by applying mindfulness to body awareness through yoga, meditation, observation and experiments.”
Mr. Nussbaum Learning + Fun
Try games related to fractions, language arts, Middle School math, science, social studies, geography, sports, and others!
PBS Kids Games
Choose from online single-player and play-together games related to summer, feelings, nature, friends and neighbors, music, animals, adventure, storytelling, reading, science, dress up, shapes, dinosaurs, space, arts, rhyming, engineering, math, Spanish, social studies, the ABCs, measurement, vocabulary, food, routines, matching, and more!
Check out over 1,000 games with new games added weekly! Find games focused on action, adventure, cooking, doctor, dress up, music, physics, racing, and sports. Try arcade games, board games, card games, and classic games, and games that require matching, simulation, skill, and strategy.
“RANDOM.ORG offers true random numbers to anyone on the Internet. […] People use RANDOM.ORG for holding drawings, lotteries and sweepstakes, to drive online games, for scientific applications and for art and music.” Use it in your gameschool as a dice roller, playing card shuffler, coin flipper, and more
Check out this library of online games on everything from geography and animals to language arts, health, science, math, and more!
The Time4Learning Playground | Time4Learning $
“The Time4Learning Playground is a carefully selected suite of games, learning games, learning activities, educational games, and fun. The Time4Learning Playground offers safe, online learning games for kids. Give your kids a safe, fun, motivating environment that is good for them. Time4Learning’s educational games for kids reinforce concepts through age-appropriate lessons and fun learning. The animated characters, interesting content, and playful, game show-like format heightens interest and concentration in children in preschool, elementary school, and middle school.”
Trivial Pursuit Family Edition | Hasbro Games $
Try this twist on a familiar game to involve all members of your family in learning about topics across subject areas. “Trivial Pursuit Family Edition game has questions for kids and for adults; 1,200 questions; quicker pace; play individually or in teams.”
Search this collection of puzzles and games for elementary math, reading, art, and music.
Check out these A2ZHomeschooling pages for even more resources:
Coming soon! Watch for these upcoming pages: Gameschooling ELA, Gameschooling Math, Gameschooling Science, and Gameschooling Social Studies!
Do you like to have fun while learning? Please share your gameschooling tips and resources in the comments below….