Favorite Games for Gameschooling: The Preschool Games

I’m starting a mini-series here on the blog featuring our family’s favorite games, because we really, really love games around here. I was going to do this in one big post, but quickly realized that we just have too many games! So instead, I’ll be sorting the games into (rough) categories and sharing them here over the next couple of weeks.

None of my kids are preschoolers anymore, but I still keep several of our favorites around because I just can’t bear to get rid of them. Also, they do still see play from time to time!

Snail’s Pace Race

So, without further ado, here are our family’s favorite beginner games — the ones that will have a place in our game closet even after they are outgrown (unless they are too worn out to save).  Each one has a special place in my heart and our memories!

Preschool Favorites

 




To be continued, with games that are great for math, logic, and critical thinking skills up next.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

A Review of the Timeline Game

We’ve been trying to include more games in our homeschool this year. We typically try to play a game or two on Friday (and some on the weekend, too!).With the holidays fast approaching, I’m planning to up the amount of time we spend gameschooling — my goal is to play one game each school day. Lofty, I know!

Up for review today is a new-to-us game this homeschool year: Perspective: the Timeline Game.

Unfortunately, I can’t locate this game to link to on Amazon. I purchased our copy from Rainbow Resource Center for around $20: The Timeline Game

Okay, here we go!

The Basics

  • 2-8 players
  • Manufacturer recommends ages 12+, but my 10 year-old regularly joins us. There are two sets of cards — one easy, one more challenging.
  • A typical game takes around 20 minutes to play, but it varies based on number of players. We’ve had games as short as 5 minutes— others as long as 45 minutes.

How To Play

Everyone gets six event cards. These are simple cards made from heavier paper — I do wish they were laminated or otherwise a bit more structured, because they are hard to shuffle. But, I will say, they have held up well so far.

Each card has a person or event on the front and a date on the back (no peeking!).

Each card is also color-coded to fit into one of the four timelines on the game board:

  • Ancient
  • Middle
  • Modern
  • 20th Century

On your turn, you simply roll the die and follow the instructions. On each turn, you will play a card.

Unless you lose your turn!

To play a card, you set it on the corresponding timeline where you think it fits best in relation to the cards already there.

This is easier to do when there aren’t many cards on the board!

After a while, the board fills up and things get challenging!

If you think one of your fellow players misplayed a card, you get to challenge them by checking the date relative to one other other card. If you are right, you get to give them one of your cards.

Play continues until one player runs out of cards.

To wrap-up, you flip all of the cards over and fix any that were not placed correctly. We always have at least a few, and it’s fun to see what we got right!

Perspective the Timeline Game is an easy, fun way to review history — I especially love it for my older kids who have been through the 4-year history cycle a couple of times.

It’s a nice refresher on what happened when, and most importantly, it’s FUN!

This one’s a keeper in our house!

Weekly Wrap-Up Weeks 2 & 3

I’m combining Week 2 and Week 3 for this wrap-up. Here are a few highlights from the last two weeks ~ I hope to take more photos in future weeks, if nothing else because they help jog my memory!

  • We started a Shakespeare study, centering around the ten-week introductory Shakespeare course from Music in Our Homeschool. It’s so much fun!

If you want more details on how we are doing this, see my post here:

 Shakespeare in the Homeschool

  • My 5th grader is using Apologia’s Swimming Creatures this year because she very much wanted to study marine biology. We are a secular homeschooling family, but this program still works for us: we just omit the religious comments. It is a very well done program, with lots of colorful pictures, experiments, and a science notebook to record everything in. We use the notebook a bit loosely — she just fills out whatever sections inspire her.

 

As part of the program, she is making an ocean box. Right now, it just has the ocean floor (saltdough!) and a few deep sea dwellers. But by the end of the year, it will be full!

 

For his lab last week, his siblings set up a mock crime scene for him, complete with a body outline, overturned chair, and a few select clues. His job was to come in and figure out what had happened. They had an awesome time with this one!

A few other things we did this week and last (off the top of my head!):

 

  • Dissected a frog for biology (10th) — and it actually wasn’t as intimidating as I remembered from high school! He has completed all of the dissections now for Apologia Biology. He started the program last year, but we’re going to take a little over a year to finish.

 

 

  • Got ourselves a trial subscription to Curiosity Stream, which I am so excited to try this coming week!

 

  • Played Perspective: the Timeline Game — this game is an awesome one to help cement the overall history timeline for high schoolers! I hope to review it fully in future (it’s available from Rainbow Resource if you are interested).

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Shakespeare in the Homeschool

I am super excited that last week we finally got around to doing something I have been meaning to do for years –  an in-depth study of Shakespeare! I am no expert on the Bard, and honestly…

I feel a bit intimidated by the whole thing!

But I am determined to make it work, and I’m also feeling pretty enthusiastic!

For the record, my kids’ did not have a very enthusiastic first reaction. However, by the end of our first session things were looking up, and they were finding the whole thing amusing if nothing else…so I’m hopeful that this will be a positive experience for us.

The plan is to spend around 45 minutes a day, a few times a week, on our Shakespeare study.

I’m pulling from a few different resources for this study.

For the foundation of our study, I signed us up for the self-paced course 10 Weeks of Shakespeare from Music in Our Homeschool. We are working our way through it a bit each day, so it will probably take us less than ten weeks since it’s designed to be done once a week.

We began Week 2 today, and so far, so good. I am grateful to have a helping hand to organize the start of our study! So far, we have viewed both animated and live-action versions of Act 1 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, spent some time reading through the original script on our own, learned about Iambic Pentameter and how to read Shakespeare aloud, and lots more!

The course uses the two bottom books pictured above:

How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig

and

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher

I was able to find both books at my library. We are using the Ken Ludwig book to memorize and analyze lines of Shakespeare’s plays. My kids are picking up the memorization much more quickly than I am! I was a bit skeptical about memorizing lines, but it’s giving us a real feel for the language. Plus, it’s pretty darn exciting when we hear “our” line in one of the video clips we watch! And the Star Wars book is a blast! My kids are super familiar with Star Wars and we have had fun reading it in Shakespeare-style.

I also have Simply Charlotte Mason’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare in Three Steps) on hand and plan to use it to walk us through the whole play after we finish our introductory course.

An excellent companion to all of this is No Fear Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  I found my copy at Barnes and Noble and there were several other titles there. It includes the full script of the play side-by-side with a plain English translation. We have been using it along with the above course whenever we are prompted to read directly from the play.

And then we have lots of other resources I plan to pull in here and there as we have time. We may not get to these until after we finish our introductory course.

They include:

We also have several titles from the Shakespeare Can be Fun! series.

There are several other titles available.

For listening/viewing, we have:

Shakespeare 4 Kidz Macbeth

and

Arkangel Shakespeare’s Macbeth

I have had many of these resources on the shelf for years — with good intentions and no follow through. It was exciting to dust them off!

And that’s how we are doing Shakespeare in our homeschool this year!

Homeschool Wrap-Up Week 1(continued)

We spread our first homeschool week over two weeks, to ease into things — so here are a few highlights from the second half of week 1!

We started Logic to the Rescue — a fun introduction to logic written like a fantasy/fairy tale and a new Life of Fred book. We’re using both for 5th grade.

Did a few experiments from Swimming Creatures from Apologia. We are a secular homeschool family, but I have really enjoyed the ease and layout of Apologia’s curriculum, even if we skip over some things. In one experiment, we put a slightly inflated balloon inside a soda bottle and then stepped on the bottle to see what happened with the balloon — a firsthand look at how pressure underwater can affect diver’s lungs! We’re using Swimming Creatures for 5th grade science this year.

Continued setting up stores with Simply Charlotte Mason’s Your Business Math. This week’s task was to decide on how much inventory to order and what it would all cost. We had planned to do this program once a week, but everyone enjoys it so much that we may increase that! We’re using SCM Business Math for 10th, 8th, and 5th grade.

Here’s a look at one of the inventory sheets… it was quite a challenge for them to figure out how much of each item to order!

 

My 8th grader wanted to study forensic science this year. His first lab of the year was a forged check lab. He had family members write out checks using their own names, then forge a “victim’s” signature. I chose one of the family to be the forger and handed him the check that person had signed, plus all the other checks. His task was to discover the criminal by comparing the handwriting! This lab is from Crime Scene Investigations, the book we are using as his lab book this year.

I’ll share some highlights from week 2 next week!

Homeschool Wrap-Up Week 1

We officially started back to homeschool this week — although we really only did Thursday and Friday, so it wasn’t a full week. Things went pretty well! We definitely did not finish everything on my rather ambitious list, but we made a solid start on things. The kids aren’t terribly thrilled, but I think it’s nice to be back in a routine — and we tend to spend more time together when we are actively homeschooling.

I’m hoping to post a weekly wrap-up most weeks to share a few highlights of the week — so here we go with Week 1!

2018-2019 Homeschool Year Week One

I’ve missed reading aloud all summer! I have to build up my throat muscles again though —they got a little weak from their summer off! Our first two read-alouds for BookShark American History 2 (which my 5th grader is using) are Moccasin Trail and William Wilberforce. She’s reading By the Great Horn Spoon on her own, and she’s almost finished with it already. She’s my bookworm!

And here are our first two read-alouds for BookShark World History 2 (which my 8th grader is using).  Secret of the Andes I have read several times aloud already, but it’s a good one! And then he was going to read Kingfisher, plus Story of the World Vol. 3, and The King’s Fifth to himself this week — but he is finding Kingfisher a bit of a slog, so I’m going to read that one with him too.

 

Our foreign language studies got off to a slow start, but we got going on Latina Christiana (5th) and First Start French (5th & 8th). I’m sure I’ve said this before, but man do I love Memoria Press for foreign language! Everything is so easy to use and so streamlined. It really makes it doable for me, since I definitely have no talent in this area!

Latina is super easy for my 5th grader right now, because she already knows the whole first lesson from doing Prima Latina last year. We had fun with the French program today, too. My 8th grader was set on learning French instead of Spanish like my other two, and I hesitantly decided to go ahead with that. Then my 5th grader wanted in too, because she does ballet and wants to understand all the French words….so here we are with lots of language study going on!

Other things we did in our homeschool this week:

  • Dissected a perch for Apologia Biology (10th) — he’s working on finishing up this program from last year. I have been truly amazed at how much less “icky” dissection is to me now than it was in high school. I’m guessing it’s a result of having kids and all the gross aspects that can and do go along with that??

 

  • Began The History of the Ancient World (10th) and the study guide that goes with it. I think it’s going to be a good fit for him, and the study and teaching guide makes it so do-able — I even have the answers to use when we discuss! We aren’t using the guide as written, but tweaking it a bit. More on that after we’ve gotten used to it for a few weeks!

 

  • Spent many hours trying to figure out how to trap and remove a red squirrel that has decided that the space above our garage is an excellent winter home. We got a trap, which apparently he is too smart for. Then the kids spent several hours over the week trying to design their own trap/modify the existing one to make it work. No luck, but I’m counting all that experimentation as science! And we have a new trap on the way to us.

 

  • Started Your Business Math — possibly the curriculum I am most excited about using this year! The basic idea is to have each kid set up and run a pretend business. Today, they worked on coming up with names and logos for their stores. I have one doing the Pet Store and two doing the Sports Store version.

 

  • Started art — Friday is going to be art day this year. Two kids (8th & 10th) are doing woodworking, and my youngest (5th) requested calligraphy. For that, she is using Calligraphy for Kids by Eleanor Winters, and so far, it’s a hit!

I’ll be back next week with highlights from the rest of Week 1 —since I’ve decided that we are going to spread our Week 1 work over two weeks to help us ease into things. Thanks for stopping by!