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11/12/2009 4:23:00 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru the Early Years Newsletter

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru the Early Years Newsletter
November 2009--Homeschool Fun and Games
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Dear Friends,

As the days get chillier, your children may spend more time indoors.
You can make the most of all this togetherness with some fun and games
designed to build family relationships while reinforcing skills. Games
promote family bonding while building math, language, and thinking
skills. Game play reinforces both character and curriculum by
encouraging children to take turns, follow directions, think
strategically, and recall information learned or skills developed.


Play a variety of games
Encourage children to play a variety of games,
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7187 both cooperative and
competitive. Cooperative games give the students a common goal, while
competitive games are opportunities to learn good sportsmanship. While
skills-based games stretch a child academically or logically,
chance-based games level the playing field when children of varying
ages or ability levels are playing together. Some traditional
children's games are geared to the younger set
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7188 or may be adapted for play by
older siblings with their preschool
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7189 or primary siblings. While
online http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7190 or computer games can
spark interest or review concepts, this month we'll focus on concrete,
"in-house" games.


Make games part of the lesson plan
Even the most reluctant or distracted learner can usually be motivated
by games. Carol Barnier, in The Big WHAT NOW Book of Learning Styles,
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7191 shares this insight: "Time
Spent Doing Math: Typical Child--20 minutes; My Child Usually--3
hours; My Child with a Game--30 minutes." Her book is chock-full of
creative, game-style ideas that are helpful for all types of children,
but especially the non-traditional learner.

File folder games http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7192 and other
educational games http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7193 can be
integrated into the learning day; if you use workboxes,
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7194 these activities can go
straight into their boxes. Or you can block out time for games in
their lesson plan books. You could have a math games
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7195 day one day a week, or
incorporate some vocabulary-based games for language arts. Your kids
may have so much fun learning, you'll make games part of their
everyday routine!


Don't limit yourself to only "educational" games
Board games http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7196 such as Yahtzee,
True Math, Set, 24, and Number Jumbler are some obvious math choices,
but any game that incorporates money or points can reinforce math
skills. Language games--including Scrabble, Guggenheim, Taboo,
Balderdash, Scattergories, and Password--reinforce vocabulary as well
as thinking skills.

Brainteaser games such as Set and Mindtrap encourage logic and
strategy. Puzzle books, hidden pictures, and I Spy encourage critical
thinking and observation.

Jigsaw puzzles aid in visual discrimination for beginning readers; for
example, a child who can discern the slight variances in puzzle shapes
will be more likely to recognize the differences between a b and a d
or a p and a q. Puzzles can also encourage patience, cooperation,
problem solving, and art appreciation. My girls spent hours together
constructing a 3D puzzle of the U.S. Capitol building
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7197 .

Trivia games can be useful for reviewing facts such as dates, titles,
biographical info, Bible information, and more. When choosing trivia
games, be sure to consider the ages and abilities of the players. If
they are likely to become a bit too competitive or unevenly matched,
team play can be an option.

Scavenger hunts http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7198 or treasure
hunts are fun for the older children to design for their younger
siblings. Clues can be riddles to solve or codes to decipher, or
simply directions to follow.

Guess Who?, Battleship, Clue, and Risk encourage critical thinking and
strategy, while more active games like Twister, Pictionary, Cranium,
Charades, and Guesstures can get the muscles and imaginations going
(as well as the laughter!).

Pencil-and-paper games such as hangman, word searches,
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7199 crossword puzzles,
complete-the-square, tic-tac-toe, Guggenheim, and Mad Libs can occupy
hands and minds on errand days and holiday trips. Cards for Uno, Old
Maid, Go Fish, and War http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7200 also
travel well.


Family fun night
There are games designed specifically for family interaction:
Imaginiff and the Ungame encourage sharing of opinions, thoughts, and
laughter. Jeff Myers developed The Story Game from a card deck he
wrote for his own family gatherings. Several years ago, Todd Wilson
created To Bethlehem http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7201 for his
own family, to allow him to interact with his kids, laugh and act
goofy, and help them focus on the real meaning of Christmas.

So plan to bake a homemade pizza
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7202 or other family favorite, maybe
pop some popcorn, and gather around the table for a game night
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7203 that the whole family will
anticipate all week.

Blessings to you and your family,
Vicki

Vicki Bentley
HSLDA Early Years coordinator
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7204

"There are many kinds of success in life worth having. It is
exceedingly interesting and attractive to be a successful business
man, or railroad man, or farmer, or a President, or a ranchman, or the
colonel of a fighting regiment, or to kill grizzly bears and lions.
But for unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if
things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success
and achievement lose their importance by comparison."
--Theodore Roosevelt, http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7205
Autobiography, 1913 http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7206


More ideas, if you are "game":

Have a family game night* http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7207 in
place of your regular monthly homeschool meeting.

Start a weekly or monthly game club in your area, using chess or other
board games.

Design your own http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7208 board games or
card packs.

* The Story Game is not currently available for retail sale but may be
found in the used market.

Vicki's Upcoming Speaking Engagements

January 2010
21 Annandale homeschoolers (Capital Baptist co-op)
29-30 Leadership Symposium and Mid-Year Conference- AFHE, Phoenix
AZ http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7209

March
26-27 Nevada regional homeschool conferences (Carson City, Las
Vegas)

April

9 HSLDA High School Symposium
15-17 Minnesota Assoc. of Christian Home Educators
convention http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7210

23-24 MassHOPE (Massachusetts) state convention
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7226

26 Leesburg area homeschoolers

May
27-29 North Carolina Home Educators state convention
(www.NCHE.com)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7211


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Note: Web links are provided as a sampling of resources available.
Although we screen links for suitability, we cannot guarantee the
accuracy of all information on external sites. Inclusion or exclusion
should not necessarily be construed to be an HSLDA endorsement or
censorship of any resource or site. Parents are encouraged to use
discernment in selecting websites and materials appropriate for their
families.

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-> How long are you in for?

Some families are facing what seems like a lifelong commitment to
homeschooling, with children at both ends of the spectrum -- some
graduating and some just reaching school age. If you're going to
be "in" for a while, consider a lifetime membership with HSLDA.
It's a good deal for families with more than 10 years of
homeschooling ahead.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1936

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