Reprinted from Games for Educators magazine
By Patrick Matthews
Monday, June 28, 2010
Published with author's permission
Every summer, every parent faces the same quandry. How do we keep our children's brains from turning to mush? Some parents turn into homeschoolers, rolling out workbooks and daily learning activities. Others opt for daycamps, hoping against hope that playing basketball will somehow help their little ones retain their writing skills.
This summer, how about turning this problem on its ear? Instead of you worrying about what the kids should be learning, get the kids worrying about it. No, I'm not talking about scaring them into studying. Forget all those lectures about low grades causing homelessness.
Instead, break out some games. By competing with your kids, or getting your kids competing with each other, you are giving them their own incentive to learn. Nothing gets the juices flowing like the chance to beat someone else. And if your little one lacks that competitive fire, don't despair. Instead, offer prizes.
Case in point: my mom and I used to play Cribbage for money. It was only a penny a point, but I hated losing those pennies, and I practiced and practiced until I could hold my own. You don't have to play for money. My family plays games where the winner gets to pick the ice cream place we go to after the game night, or the next video we'll watch.
Reading & Writing
There are gazillions of different reading and writing games out there. I've picked out a few of my favorites to recommend: