Education is a Life

Education With Games, by Holly

Who doesn’t love a good game that helps you learn something? There are a plethora of games meant for education that can be fun, but there’s only so many times my kid can annihilate me in Constellation Station before I slide it under the coffee table.

How do you incorporate games that are fun for the whole family into schooling without it looking and feeling like a cop out?

We have a passion for the dark and dreary in this house. One of our favorite games is Gloom. How does this fit into homeschooling? Part of the fun of the game is to tell a story about the unfortunate circumstances your family members fall into. It works best if it’s a cumulative story and plays off of other families. Creative writing, without the writing.

Another great creative mind stretcher is Dixit. This one you can use to reinforce themes or concepts of a book by giving a card clue of the title.

The Timeline games encourage curiosity of the time surrounding the points of interest. When you see that the corkscrew was invented a hundred years after the cork, you might want to find out how they dislodged the plug before. I use this game with our history lessons by taking the cards from the time period we are currently studying and creating a separate deck. I have multiple Timeline games, but it works fine with just one smaller deck. Once a month we look at the cards from the years we’ve previously covered before playing a round with our specialized deck. By the end of the year, we’re pretty well acquainted with time span.

Honorable mentions for being fun to play and having some historical relevance are Guillotine and Sid Meier’s Civilization, the latter being useful for illustrating how military, economic, social, and scientific powers affect civilization outcomes. Ticket to Ride is good for a rudimentary geography lesson, but…

…Duluth seems to have gone south for the winter.

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