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


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


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 Curriculum Picks for 2018-2019

It’s August already! I am not sure where the time went! We won’t be starting “school” till after Labor Day, but I’ve been working on plans.  I will have a 12th grader who will be taking classes at the local community college. And then I will be homeschooling a 10th, 8th, and 5th grader.

Here’s what we plan to do, and what we’re going to use to do it!


My 5th grader will use:

My 8th grader will use:

My 10th grader will use:

Everyone will participate in:


My 5th grader will use:

My 8th grader will use:

My 10th grader will use a combination of:

All three will use:


My 5th grader will use:

My 8th & 10th graders will use:

Everyone will do:


My 5th grader will use:

My 8th grader will use:

My 10th grader will use:

All three will use:


My 5th grader will use:

My 8th grader will concentrate on forensic science using:

My 10th grader will use:

In addition, I am hoping to do nature journaling once a month or so with these references to help inspire us:


My 5th grader will use:

My 8th grader will use:

My 10th grader will use:


My 5th grader will use:

My 8th & 10th graders will continue with:

All three will do:


My 5th grader will use:

My 8th and 10th graders will listen to:

And I think that’s it! It looks like a lot all typed out here, but I’m feeling excited!