Today, I want to talk to you about why you should join a gameschool challenge and shake up your current homeschool routine. Why? Because homeschooling has its seasons and some seasons are more challenging than others. We have all just muddled through the most challenging year I can ever remember.
If you’re looking to shake things up in your homeschool and add more fun to your homeschool routine, I have an idea for you. I’m sharing five reasons why you need to join a gameschool challenge right now.
But, before I talk about why you should join a gameschool challenge, I’m going to share a bit about our unexpected homeschool journey and how we ended up gameschooling. I think it will help illustrate why traditional homeschool paths don’t work well for some kids and that it’s 100% okay to get creative and think outside of that homeschool box!
And, after you’ve finished reading, I have the perfect challenge for you! It’s called the [free] 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart and it’s super accessible. If you don’t feel like reading this entire article, check out this video for more info:
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been gaming since 1982 or if you just learned about gameschooling today. The 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart going to be a blast and all you need is a deck of cards!
Let’s dive in, shall we?
5 Reasons Why You Need to Join a Gameschool Challenge Right Now
Homeschooling does not need to look anything like the public school of your past.
We are unexpected homeschoolers. As a product of public education and a school psychologist, homeschooling was never on my radar. My husband and I just assumed our kids would attend public school, just as we had.
And then life threw us a curveball.
That curveball came in the form of our sweet, hilarious, and brilliant older son. He left for kindergarten with a bounce in his step and the third book of Harry Potter tucked under his tiny little arm. He was the poster child for asynchronous development. He just didn’t fit in that proverbial box. He would come home each day and climb into my car with his shoulders slumped and he would dissolve into a mushy mess of a boy.
And so we found ourselves suddenly, unexpectedly, homeschooling. We were scared to death and flying by the seat of our pants, but we knew our son needed something different.
We now refer to our sudden, unexpected, homeschool journey as the best curveball ever. After we found our footing, we added two more homeschoolers to the fold. Our homeschool journey has not been perfect, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Traditional homeschool methods don’t always work for outside-the-box kiddos.
And do you know what? Homeschooling doesn’t need to look anything like the public school of our past. It’s okay to veer off the traditional path and make a new one, one that works for your unique family.
It can be challenging to shake that public school mindset and embrace alternative educational paths like gameschooling.
Often, when people find themselves homeschooling, they attempt to recreate public school at home. This method works for some, but it backfires for many.
As homeschool parents, we must learn to separate education from school. Our homeschool routine does not need to look anything like the public school of our past.
It can be extremely challenging to shake that public school mindset.
But this is easier said than done. We must constantly remind ourselves, again and again, that education and learning are completely separate from school.
You have to look at that kiddo in front of us and create an educational environment that honors his unique strengths and weaknesses.
You have to trust your gut and know that you know this kiddo better than anyone else on this planet. And you must remind yourself that you were this kiddo’s very first teacher. You taught him how to use a fork, how to get dressed, how to use the restroom, how to say please and thank you, how to tie his shoes.
You’ve always been the teacher. What’s more, there isn’t a teacher on this earth- even the world’s greatest teacher- who is more invested in this kiddo’s wellbeing and educational journey than you are.
As a homeschool parent, you are in charge. You get to decide what does and does not count as education.
Play is essential for child development.
As a school psychologist, lifelong gamer, and unexpected homeschool mom, I rely heavily on play-based learning and gameschooling in our homeschool.
Because I’ve witnessed- again and again- the power of play when it comes to learning. I have used games as a babysitter, a nanny, a tutor, an assistant teacher, a school psychologist, and now as a homeschool mom.
And you don’t need to take my word for it. Research has shown that play is essential for child development. Play benefits the whole child. It has a positive impact on a child’s physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development.
But how do we add play to an already busy homeschool day?
We all know that play is important. And we all know that interest-based learning is fantastic.
We live in a go-go-go, do all the things, ace all the exams culture.
Leaving space for play can feel like a waste of time. Counting play as part of the homeschool day can feel like we are cheating the system.
And that’s where gameschooling comes in.
Gameschooling is the intersection of play and homeschooling. It allows us to make space for play and also “count” the play for year-end homeschool assessments.
My Little Poppies has been running gameschool challenges since 2014.
As a lifelong gamer and educator, I have played games with my children from the get-go, but when we found ourselves suddenly, unexpectedly, homeschooling back in 2014, I began to use games more intentionally. That’s when we became gameschoolers!
Now, we are in our 7th year of homeschooling. That little guy who threw us the curveball is about to turn thirteen. My daughter is eleven and my youngest son is nine and a half. (Where is that pause button, you guys?!)
I’m here to tell you that creating a gameschool habit in your homeschool is worth it.
Gameschooling doesn’t develop overnight just because you want it to. I had to grow these gameschoolers, slowly over time with lots of love and heaps of patience. Our early gameschooling was riddled with challenges. Sibling squabbles. Tantrums. Cheating. Tears. Board flipping.
But slowly, with time and practice and patience, my kiddos became gamers. Just as we need to be patient with our children’s reading development, so too do we need to be patient with their gaming development.
It won’t be easy at first. Gameschooling doesn’t magically appear overnight just because you’d like it to. You need to be patient, coach your children and teens through obstacles, and keep your eye on the prize.
Homeschooling (and gameschooling) is a long game. The days are long but the years are short. One day, you’ll look back on those days of endless Candyland and sibling squabbles with a smile. I promise it’s worth it.
Reason #1: You should join a gameschool challenge because you just muddled through a heckuva year and you deserve to have more fun in 2021.
Let’s be honest here. Last year was crudalicious. No one had an easy time of it and those challenges didn’t magically disappear when the clock hit midnight on January 1st.
The end of the school year feels so far away, doesn’t it?
Gameschooling can help. And it can help a lot. Everyone needs more fun in 2021. What’s more, play can help you to de-stress. It can distract you from your worries. Gameschooling can provide a temporary escape from troubles. And it can make you laugh so hard.
A super simple gameschool challenge, like our free 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart, can help you to start a gameschool habit. Who knows? It might be just the beginning of your family’s gameschool journey!
Reason #2: You should join a gameschool challenge because can have a positive impact on the entire atmosphere of your homeschool and family life.
My husband is a physician working directly with COVID and while we are so proud of him, it does make for worried kiddos. And less time spent with Dad. It’s been complicated. But it helped to chuck squishy burritos at each other. It made us cry-laugh and that is exactly what we needed to take our mind off of all the 2020-things. We connected, made memories, and laughed off some of the stress.
There is far more to life than academic achievement. Gameschooling can help your family focus on hearts. Our family mantra for 2020 (and beyond) has been: Hearts over heads always, but *especially* right now.
Reason #3: You should join a gameschool challenge because playing board games with children can help to develop social skills that they will use for the rest of their life.
We often talk about the academic benefits of gameschooling, but gameschooling also works on soft skills. These are just as important – if not more so- than academic skills.
Soft skills are the skills that we all need to interact well with others. Things like your ability to communicate, be kind, negotiate, be polite, work well with others.
Do you know how people often ask about socialization when you tell them you are homeschooling?
Well, guess what?
Gameschooling allows children and teens to practice social skills in a way that workbooks and other programs cannot.
Every single time you sit down to play with your kids, you are practicing social skills. You’re conversing, negotiating, collaborating, and competing. You are following instructions and taking turns. And you’re learning to win, and to lose, with grace.
When you join our free 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart challenge, you’ll be able to witness this firsthand!
Reason #4: You should join a gameschool challenge because playing card and board games with children can help them academically in your homeschool.
When parents play alongside their children, they have the opportunity to work on a host of skills… while having fun and making memories!
Gameschooling is the intersection of play and homeschooling. With gameschooling, children and teens can work on academic (and non-academic) skills in a fun way. Playing educational board games is a way to grow skills in a stealth way while boosting family connection and making memories to last a lifetime.
By adding gameschooling to your homeschool routine, you’ll be able to practice several skills including:
Children learn how to navigate their world through play. Board games can help children develop the following skills:
- Verbal communication
- Listening comprehension
- Reading comprehension
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Strategy and planning
…and much more!
Join our free 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart Challenge and witness the power of play in your homeschool.
Reason #5: You should join a gameschool challenge because you are cultivating a family atmosphere of playfulness and joyful curiosity.
Play can transform your homeschool atmosphere and family life. Gameschooling allows us to connect with our kiddos. And do you know what? Connected kiddos tend to be more content and cooperative when it comes to all the homeschool-y things.
Creating a gameschool routine in your homeschool can help you to create positive memories that will last a lifetime! You’ll be building a home they’ll want to come home to.
Try our 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart. It costs nothing. You only need a deck of cards. What have you got to lose?
It just might be the beginning of something beautiful for your family!
Join the FREE 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart Challenge and add more play to your homeschool day.
Homeschooling shouldn’t feel super hard or complicated. You can cultivate a family culture of curiosity and joyful, lifelong learning… and it doesn’t need to look anything like the public school of your past!
Here’s a video message just for you!
Just so you know, I don’t love video. Clearly, I have strong feelings about gameschooling! Join the fun here!
Join the 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart and start a new habit in your homeschool!
When you join the 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart, you’ll receive the following:
- 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart Board Game PDF: This document is to be used as a tracking page.
- Daily prompts: These daily prompts will help you to add more play to your homeschool day without the overwhelm. You don’t need an overflowing game collection to get started, promise!
- 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart Cheat Sheet: A PDF document filled with quick links, play tips, and a challenge cheat sheet
- Daily prompt-related article and video: Each day’s prompt will have a related article and video to help you develop strong play habits.
- Community: 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart members will have access to the most playful and supportive community on the internet!
I’d love for you to join our 7-day gameschool challenge. It doesn’t cost a dime! All you need is a deck of cards. What have you got to lose?
I hope to see you there! You can sign up here.
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: Have you ever joined one of our gameschool challenges before? Do you have any questions? Share here!