Friday, December 16, 2011

Bananagrams & other games we use for UNschooling

(Our game this morning)

One of the Yahoo groups I subscribe to is for homeschooling. I enjoy reading about the different ways that parents are choosing to teach their kids. I definitely enjoy the extremely creative ways that are shared, especially when it comes to boring subjects. This is an area that we've had to embrace because our youngest son (who just turned 16), has a language delay. We started homeschooling/unschooling late (he was a freshman in high school), which is another post because I haven't been ready to talk about it, but it's been one of the best decisions EVER!! It's also been one of the hardest!

This morning, in the daily group email, was a woman talking about her struggle with homeschooling her young son. She missed the free time she had with her husband playing XBOX and she didn't like dealing with a whiny kid. She was asking for opinions on sending her son back to public school so she could be "normal". I have to be honest, this irritated me. It sounded like she didn't want to deal with her kid, but rather have play time with her husband. I responded to the email, being as polite as I could even though I wanted to say more, much more, with suggestions for unschooling. I've noticed that a lot of parents think homeschool has to be public school at home. But if public school wasn't working at school, why would it work at home? If you don't change the way the learning is done, what are you changing? I'm getting off my soap box, because this too is another post waiting in the wings!

One of the games we LOVE is Bananagrams! It's like Words with Friends or Scrabble, but theres not board, no point squares, just building upon the words. If it's a new word for our son, we talk about what it means and then move on to the next turn. We don't follow the directions for the game because it calls for each player to build their own words, we have more fun building off each other. We also have tried picking a subject, like food or animals, and making words.

We use UNO Attack for math. It never fails, every single time the cards get spit out, our son busts out laughing. How awesome to see him laugh and smile and HAVE FUN while we're learning math!! We have him either add, subtract or multiply the number that is on top with the number HE is playing. We also use Yahtzee!, Dominoes and baking. As you can see, our son is very visual =o)

Some of the shows we watch (yes WE, I watch them with him so I can ask him about what we've seen) are Dinosaur Train, Sid the Science Kid, Word World, Legend Quest (Syfy), How the States got their Shapes (History), History's Mysteries (History International), Ancient X-Files (Nat. Geo.), Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (Travel), Ace of Cakes (FOOD), Dangerous Encounters w/ Brady Barr (Nat. Geo. Wild), How the Universe Works (SCI), Dirt Girl World (SPRT), America's Great Parks (Green), The Electric Company. We don't watch them everyday, but we do scan the guide to see if whats on is going to be interesting.

Homeschooling/UNschooling is a very personal decision to make, one that has to weigh all of the positives & negatives, because it doesn't just affect the child(ren), it changes everything for the whole family!

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