DECEMBER 11, 2020

4 Ways Game Based Learning Supports Homeschooling


Sponsored by Sumdog.

Are video games a valuable learning tool? Research says yes.  

Game-based learning, which refers to the borrowing of gaming principles and applying them to real-life settings, has several education-specific benefits. According to the Smithsonian Science Education Center, game-based learning aids in cognitive development in adolescents and increases students’ level of engagement.

Game-based learning is also proven to help students develop foundational skills, hone strategic thinking, and problem-solving abilities, and can even increase a child’s memory capacity.  

Here’s how “gameschooling” supports learners and helps reinforce foundational skills, like math and spelling.

Build foundational skills

Practice greatly increases the likelihood that students will permanently remember new information. A 2016 study found that the length of time spent playing math games through Sumdog had a highly significant impact on students’ mathematics improvement. In order to improve results and accelerate progress, we must ensure children have a firm foundation of understanding

Boost confidence  

Did you know that low confidence is one of the critical issues that diminish students’ ability to learn? Game-based learning is one way to help students build confidence and improve performance in math and spelling. Playing a game feels less intimidating than many traditional assignments, and is an easy way to get children excited about what they’re learning.

Engage and motivate learners

Game-based learning encourages self-reliance and self-determination. Games that encourage students to overcome obstacles, work with peers and provide immediate rewards are especially helpful for engaging and motivating learners and help them grow by having fun.

Reward systems are not a new idea in education and are an important part of game-based learning. Games that reward students for accuracy encourage students to take their time and focus on answering correctly, rather than rushing through. Rewards in game-based learning shouldn’t be given through random luck, but rather through hard work and engagement. 

Most education games also provide real-time feedback, which can help students overcome challenges quickly. Positive feedback can boost overall attainment by encouraging engagement, building confidence and improving knowledge retention.

Encourage growth

Game-based learning helps homeschool parents meet children where they are. You may have heard of differentiated instruction, which means instruction and/or assignments adapt to students’ individual skill levels. Game-based learning and differentiation go hand-in-hand. When games are differentiated, students can build math, spelling or reading skills alongside their peers – regardless of skill level.

Education systems across the globe have struggled to close the achievement gap.  Supplemental resources are a critical part of bridging the gap. Enhancing the academic experience through personalized support and differentiation ensures students are able to work at their own pace and focus on specific growth areas.

Education is changing, and game-based learning is here to stay.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to new changes in education, including a rise in homeschooling, virtual and hybrid instruction.  

During this time of increased stress, it’s important to take a step back and ensure learners are supported socially, emotionally and academically. At Sumdog, our goal is to help every student increase their confidence – a goal that we’re achieving through game-based learning. 

Including game-based learning in your homeschool routine is an effective way to keep children engaged and motivated, and help them have fun doing it.