​Introduction to Gameschooling

​Introduction to Gameschooling

Posted by Andrea Elliott on May 12th 2021

Why Gameschooling?
Games naturally provide some form of structure, making them a natural fit for homeschooling. Though many homeschooling families don’t necessarily depend on structure, the well thought out rules and overall learning-through-play aspects of board gaming brings so many benefits to at-home learning.

Gameschooling vs Game-based Learning

Gameschooling is homeschooling using games as a large part of the learning curriculum. The term Game-based learning refers to using games to learn something (for example, using HABA’s Dragon's Breath game to teach probability).

Benefits of Board Game Play

There have been numerous studies showing that children who are particularly excellent at certain board games grow up to be highly strategic thinkers, problem solvers, and possess high intelligence quotients. Here are 5 specific benefits of board games:

1. Enhance Cognitive Development

2. Enhance Psychomotor Skills

3. Help Establish Strong Sense of Inquisitiveness and Creativity

4. Enhance Social Skills and Teach about the Value of Obeying Rules and Taking Turns

5. Boosts Self-Confidence, Self-Esteem, and Emotional Wellbeing

Who Can Gameschool?

Gameschooling isn’t just for families who homeschool. Families with children that attend a traditional school setting outside of the home can still benefit from gameschooling too. How ever your family utilizes board games; whether it’s through a formal curriculum or it is just for reinforcing skills learned in school, we can all agree that it’s a wonderful way to bond, all while making learning fun and engaging!

Benefits of Learning Through Play

Children naturally learn best through play. In play, children build a foundation of skills, traits and abilities that will help them to successfully function in society. Maria Montessori, founder of the Montessori Method of education coined the phrase "Play is the work of the child." She noticed that children’s “work” has all the key characteristics of play. After all, even though "play" is fun for them, it is absolutely critical for proper development.

Maria Montessori believed that there are FIVE essential dimensions of play. And if you think about them in terms of boardgames, they make total sense!

-Voluntary, enjoyable, purposeful and spontaneous

-Creativity expanded using problem-solving skills, social skills, language skills and physical skills

-Helps expand on new ideas

-Helps the child to adapt socially

-Helps to thwart emotional problems

HABA Game Suggestions for Gameschooling:

Orchard (My Very First Games version | Regular version) - Teaches the basics: Basic set-up, following rules, taking turns, color recognition and logic. It is co-operative so it also introduces little ones to the concept of working together to accomplish a common goal.

Dragon's Breath - This game is guaranteed to make learning the concept of probability fun and engaging. Which color do you think is more likely to fall out of the "ice"? Helps practice fine motor, observation and beginner stem skills.

Rabbit Rally - Hone important #STEM skills with this racing game for ages 4+ that tests and improves spacial awareness, and encourages children to take chances (or not!) in order to win the race!

Monza - At first glance, our classic Monza game for ages 5+ looks like a simple roll & move dice game. But it's soooo much more than that! It’s a great balance of luck and strategy, deciding how you’ll use the colors you roll. Having so many dice and colors means that token movement is only limited by the player’s planning, which gives young ones motivation to think before they move.

King of the Dice - Think of this as “Adventure Yahtzee” - it teaches math, subitizing (the process of seeing a quantity without having to count by ones.), probability and even how to balance strategy with pure luck.