Online Games for Homeschoolers to Play
This post contributed by Ashley Lynn Priore a competitive chess player, author, and poet.
Right now, millions of Americans are homeschooling their children because of school closures due to COVID-19. Creating new, exciting, and innovative activities for your kids can be challenging – especially since outside engagement is limited. Gameschooling is the perfect activity to excite students and teach them valuable material. Over the years I’ve found several sites for online gameschooling that make great resources for families.
My Favorite Online Games for Homeschoolers
While PBS is most famous for its educational programming ranging from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood to Daniel Tiger, they also have a comprehensive website full of problem-solving games and activities for children. The activities range from emotional awareness games to teamwork building exercises. PPS also includes a list of topics for families to choose from to match what their child is learning in school. For example, if a student is learning about nature, there are adventures with Nature Cat in the forest or discovering fossils with dinosaurs. PBS Kids is a great site for kids to explore their interests and find engaging, relevant, and mentally stimulating material.
If you want a site run by teachers that provide activities specifically for your child’s interests and needs, Education.com is the right place for you. Games are best suited for early learners up to 5th grade. You can search by subject, topic, or standard core curriculum. From counting numbers to learning how to read, Education.com is a safe and interactive website run and founded by teachers.
There is no way I could do this list without including a chess site for kids! ChessKid.com is the best place to learn chess online. It is safe and provides activity reports to see progress. Students can learn the very basics of the game, complete puzzles and tactics, or simply play against the computer. Another interesting element of this site is playing against your friends. ChessKid.com allows students to play against their friends or with other students across the globe. Parent emails are required to play against other students. With interactive curriculum and engaging content, ChessKid is perfect for beginners and advanced chess players. Classrooms and after-school programs use ChessKid, so make sure to check with your child to see if they already know how to access the site.
Common Sense Media builds a digital world where all students can learn and thrive. They conduct research for best practices online, provide support for K-12 schools, and advocate for programs that enhance digital media literacy. Common Sense Media created a guide to online and free games for families and students to use. The list includes independent games for specific companies like Lego or Spongebob. The list doesn’t include sites like PBS Kids that have their own games. Common Sense Media is an excellent tool to find a game for your child because the sites are safe and trusted by teachers and families. The games have been approved by educators for enhancing the curriculum taught in school. If you have any questions about online tools for kids, CSM is a great place to contact!
Sheppard Software makes learning fun! The site includes a vast variety of games for students of all ages (including high school and college!). The site includes specific categories for each subject in school (for example, geography or social studies) and also divides up games by age. Sheppard Software is perfect for students and families who want a wide array of gaming opportunities that support brain activity.
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More About Ashley Lynn Priore
Ashley Lynn Priore is a Pittsburgh native and a current undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in English and Philosophy & Politics with a minor in Economics. An award-winning and nationally ranked player under the United States Chess Federation, Ashley is a competitive chess player, politics enthusiast, writer and poet, social entrepreneur, and public service scholar. Ashley is also the founder and President and CEO of The Queen’s Gambit Chess Institute. In 2019, Ashley entered politics and was a candidate for the Pittsburgh Board of Education, District 4. A catalyst for change who started her own business at the early age of 14 years old, Ashley seeks to empower all to use their passions for good.