5 Benefits of Game SchoolingAugust 6, 2019
There are numerous versions of homeschooling growing in popularity among the non-traditional teaching community. We are aware of homeschooling in general, which involves a lesson plan, curriculum, and usually a certain amount of exams. However, there is also an off-shoot from homeschooling known as unschooling, which many of us, I’m sure, have heard about by now. Unschooling is all about encouraging natural learning through daily activities rather than structured lesson plans. Year-round schooling is another popular choice for homeschoolers, which involves a great deal of flexibility thanks to short but numerous breaks throughout the year. Finally, we come to game schooling. Game schooling may be a relatively new concept, but it has great advantages.
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! It’s highly possible that the skills learned through board games for kids may be retained for longer than other instructional methods. Specifically, game schooling does not rely on games alone, but encourages looking for opportunities to teach skills through games when possible. Games are used as part of the homeschooling curriculum!
5 Important Benefits of Game Schooling
Not only do some of the best family board games allow for learning through fun, but they are also a safe space for learning. No longer will students find themselves stressed over grades, red marks, or critique. The freedom to fail without judgment also provides the freedom to keep trying until they figure it out!
The helpful aspects of game schooling are nearly unlimited. Educational games can help with communication, sharing, listening, cooperating, focusing, following directions, strategic thinking, creative skills, and learning to handle losing well. There are plenty of advantages to incorporating game-based learning, but here are five of our favorites!
- Encourages Memory Capacity. Games tend to revolve around memorization, even with small facts such as how to play the game, or the meaning of certain cards, numbers, or sequences during play. Other games require even greater memorization for solving the game, which can be a positive challenge for kids.
- Works on Hand-Eye Coordination. Fast-paced games can help develop hand-eye coordination, especially online learning games. When kids have to follow the screen while controlling the online board games with a mouse and/or keyboard, it can be a great opportunity for training their coordination, and a helpful option for maintaining their skills.
- Hones Problem-Solving Skills. Games often require on-the-spot decisions and actions. Even in slower games, children must use the options afforded to them and decide the best play dependent on the current scenario. This cycle of decisions, actions, and evaluating the situation for best results is great for working on problem-solving skills.
- Utilizes Critical Thinking. Almost every game encourages cognitive growth through critical thinking. Kids must recall the rules, remember hazards and sequence, and use strategic thinking for deciding on the best play. Through games, children need to learn to think quickly, play without hesitation, and also start planning their moves — which requires both logic and creativity. This foundation of critical thinking will become skills for later in life.
- Helps with Skill-Building. Many games help kids build certain skill sets beyond logic, strategy, or creativity. Games can encourage spatial awareness, fine motor skills, social skills, physical coordination, and teamwork skills! Even free games for fun can oftentimes help build these skills!
Great Educational Games for 5 Different Subjects
There is an incredible number of educational games on the market. It’s hard to even narrow it down to five subject suggestions for top board games, but we also realize that it can take a lot of time and money to build your game closet. Starting with these five categories will be a great way to introduce yourselves to the world of game schooling and some of the most popular board games!
- Language Arts
Courtney Newman is a homeschooled graduate with a love for writing. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Health Science at University of the People. Other than writing, her hobbies include reading, yoga, visiting the beach, and meditating. She lives with her husband and pets in coastal Virginia.