Thursday, August 21, 2008

favorite games

This is the first of a few favorites post. I have been thinking about our school curriculum as we start a new school year. Amazingly this is our 4th year of homeschooling (man, time does fly). There are some things that we have used for school that I would use again, and a few that I wouldn't spend money on for a second time. I think one of the biggest challenges for schooling is to find out what kind of a learner your child is. Whether you homeschool or not, it is a great way to help your child learn the most information and in the easiest way possible. So far I think my kids are hands on and visual. And that has helped us determine what programs and curriculum that we use.

Regardless of the learning style, I am all about having fun while you are learning. I have a pretty good collection of games and hands on learning that we use a lot. I have invested in some of these to use for school, fun and tutoring (I also tutor each week). These are some of my favorites.

These small and very affordable games are one of my TOP favorites. Sherlock and Monkey Memory are memory games. Catch the Match is a observation game and Number Chase is a math game. All need some skill (rather than just luck) and are enjoyable for all ages (maybe 6 to adult). I have ordered them from Timberdoodle (link is HERE) and also found them at a local teacher supply store. You wont find them at TRU or Target. I also like that they are small enough to travel with. We have played them while waiting for a table at a restaurant or in an airport.

This is my collection of Hot Dots. These are boxes of cards that are in different categories. We have some phonics ones, math, states and capitols, money, telling time...They require a special Hot Dot pen to choose the right answer on the card and it lights up and makes noise depending on if your answer is right. I also use these for school, tutoring and time filler for the car or other times like that (you can make the pen silent for quiet places like church).
My only disappointment with these is sometimes the pen thinks the answer is wrong if you have it on an angle rather than perpendicular. You get used to it and quickly adjust how you push the pen down. I also got these at a local teacher supply store and I have ordered them from Rainbow Resource (link HERE). I only bought one pen and I make the kids share.

One more new favorite is Wrap Ups. I got these for math (flash cards are not as hands on but the same idea). The idea is that you wrap the string around the plastic card to answer the math facts and check the back to see if your answer is right. I have looked at these for years and finally bought some recently. It was a huge conformation of how "hands on" my kids are. I have also used them for tutoring and they were a huge hit. The kids don't really realise that I am sneaking learning into their fun games.
Again, you can get these are your local teacher supply store and Rainbow also sells them (link is HERE). I look forward to adding some more of these into our collection.

I will share some other schooling favorites in some following posts. I have a few blogging friends that are new to homeschooling this year and I hope that you find encouragement and inspiration as you take off on this adventure.


Rachel said...

Wow! Thanks so much for sharing...praying by the next couple years this would be an option for us =(

Lee & Bev said...

Thanks for being such a fun loving, creative teacher and mom. Your girls have no idea how fortunate they are!

Anonymous said...

One of our favorite math games is from Muggins Math. It is called "Knockout". It is a game of skill, logic, and definately reinforces math facts. We bought the combination game, which has the "Muggins" game on the back of the board. We are holding of on playing Muggins until JD is fluent at his multiplication and division facts. But for keeping his addition facts fresh, nothing beats "Knockout". You can only purchase it direct from the supplier, which you can find on the web by searching for Muggins Math. You should take a look. Additionally, I have seen the games on eBay.

Ginny said...

I have wondered about hot dots. I may have to try them. I also love hearing about new card games.

Julie said...

We like the wrap ups too and I also was going to mention Muggins and Knockout, the big kids just got them out again this week to play when I am working with Jake. We also have another multiplication game called Roll 'n Multiply. Yahtzee is also a good math game. We have various history trivia type games too. We are a game family.

Smith Schoolhouse said...

the only one of these that I have ever heard of is the wrap-ups. The other ones look like a lot of fun. I love unique games, we'll have to try to find some of those.

Susan said...

It is great to see the girl's homeschooling room. They are doing great and you are a great teacher, very patient.