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I was going to wait a few more days to announce this, but I had so many conversations today about how January and February homeschool feels.
(It seems that many of us are suffering from a case of The Februaries. Hey, it happens!)
The truth is, homeschooling has its seasons and some are harder than others.
To me, February has always felt like the LONGEST shortest month ever. And THAT is how our original Gameschool Challenge started.
It started waaaay before I even had a blog. Before we were homeschooling. (Because February was hard even way back then!)
Our Gameschool Challenge was a survival strategy during those cold, gray, lots-of-littles-who-can't-yet-put-on-snow-gear days.
And so on this chilly January afternoon when homeschooling feels tricky, I'd like to present to you a little glimmer of hope: The My Little Poppies 2019 Gameschool Challenge.
Psst! Want this image in PDF form to hang in your kitchen for ease-of-use? Click here!
Q. Do I have to be a gameschooler to participate?
A. Nope! All you need is a deck of cards and the desire to play with your kids!
Q. What if I don’t have a lot of games?
A. Not to worry! All you need, truly, is a deck of cards and maybe some dice. That said, if you’d like to grow your game shelf a little bit, now is the best time to go gameschool thrift shopping. Why? Because of the Marie Kondo Craze. You can read more about gameschooling on a budget here.
Q. I would like to add a few games to our shelf for this challenge, but I don’t want to break the bank. Can you help?
A. Absolutely! You can read our recommendations for the best games for $15 and under here. We also have a list of best games for under $25 here. Plus, we have an entire budget gameschooling resource page.
Q. Do you have a list of the best games by academic subject?
A. Yes! Check it out here.
Q. Do you have an Amazon page with gameschool recommendations?
A. Yes! You can check it out here.
Q. What if I don’t have an Instagram account? Can we still participate?
A. Of course! That’s why I made this PDF for you. The most important thing is that you play with your kids. It doesn’t matter if you share that play on the internet!
Q. Will you be sharing the challenge on Facebook?
A. I will be most active on Instagram because it is my favorite internet place to share daily posts and stories. That said, I will share also daily posts on the Gameschooling with My Little Poppies Facebook page and you can bet there will be a lot of fun and discussion happening in the Gameschool Community Facebook group.
Q. I am worried about those homeschool “must-dos”. How can I make the Gameschool Challenge work for us but still homeschool?
A. Great question! Sometimes, it can be great to shake up your homeschool now and again and play can change the entire atmosphere of your homeschool. Read more here.
Q. Is there any way to “count” this Gameschool Challenge as school for my year-end portfolio?
A. Yes, you can absolutely make this work! Read more here.
Q. What if my kids are reluctant to play with me?
A. This is a common question. I’ve got a secret strategy for you here.
Q. My kids are little. Can we still join?
A. Of course! Check out our tips for growing gameschoolers and the best games for little ones here.
Q. Help! I love to play, but I have a toddler and the toddler wreaks havoc on our play.
Q. I have a large family. Do you have any gameschooling tips for us?
A. Yes! You can read more about gameschooling with a large family here.
Q. I have a kiddo who doesn’t love competition. Help!
A. Some children do not like competition. I have a kid like this, too! Cooperative games can help your child to build confidence while gameschooling!
Q. I have a super-competitive kid and her intensity puts a damper on our play. Help!
A. You are not alone. I have one of those kiddos, too. Do you know what helped? Cooperative games! They are great for competitive *and* non-competitive kids!
Q. Cait, my kids fight all the time. What do I do?
A. Keep your eye on the prize, my friend. They are learning even when you gameschooling isn’t quite as you imagined. You might also want to try adding a cooperative game or two.
Q. Do I have to be a homeschooler to join the challenge?
A. Absolutely not! If you love to play with your kids, you are welcome. I don't care if you homeschool, afterschool, private school, hybrid school, public school- whatever! The more, the merrier!
Q. I don’t see my question listed here!
If you have a deck of cards and internet, you can download the free Bicycle How to Play app and find a gazillion games to play.
Here are some other ideas for budget gameschooling:
How to Build Your Game Closet
Tips and tricks for building that homeschool game collection without spending a ton!
The Best Games for Under $15
The best games for $15 or less, organized by academic subject. Add more play to your homeschool today!
The Best Games for Under $25
The best games for $25 or less, organized by academic subject. Add more play to your homeschool today!
I have been answering oodles of gameschooling questions on Instagram. Please head over to check out our Q and A, or send me an email with your question. I'm happy to help get you started.
Here is where you can find them:
Gameschooling: Learning Through Play
Cait is a game-master, Kara wants to be, but things keep getting in the way… like directions. So in today’s episode, Cait shares amazing ideas for adding more games to your days, for both learning and fun. The sisters talk favorite games old and new, games for certain subjects like science and math, why it’s OK to NOT love a game even if everyone else does, and the many, many lessons kids can learn from growing up playing.
Join us as we roll the dice, spin the wheel, and share easy tips for incorporating more games into your homeschool- such a fun way to learn together!
Gameschooling by Subject
In this episode, the sisters dive into gameschooling by subject. This is Cait's forte, so Kara does the interviewing, while Cait fills us in on favorite games for each subject.
The sisters also chat about a few popular games, and how games can make all the difference during the holidays. (Games are so hygge!)
See all of our best recommendations for games, books, and many other creative educational resources!