Games: How to Use Teaching Games in Your Homeschool
WHO CAN USE THESE:
Only one student? Students of all ages and abilities? NO PROBLEM! Use teaching games. Games fulfill the need for motivation, repetition, discipline, and reward...while enabling your kids to remember facts they would otherwise consider too dull or hard.
WHAT CAN BE TAUGHT USING THEM: Teaching games can be used for many subjects, including Bible study. All the games (30) that I have, I developed to teach Bible classes, but they are very adaptable. I even used one in a high school honors class, when I was substitute teaching and the teacher left a list of facts they needed to learn. Kids had fun and learned the facts before we ended class time.
If you haven't read the first blog in this series, concerning the use of the question box, please read it now, so that I don't have to repeat all the material. You will need it before you can run a game well.
Games must be run orderly and with a teaching purpose.
1) Always have your questions prepared in advance. Write down what you want each child to learn. This will help you have a clear idea of what you want to teach.
2) Next write these out in question form on separate slips of 1"x 3" paper, one question per slip of paper. Under each question, write down the answer. This keeps you consistent and also allows kids to play against each other without your presence.
3) Now look at your questions. Are they simple yes-no questions, or have you brought some up to a question asking for a fact, or better, an application of a fact? Put the questions into a "question box" along with any questions that arise during the lesson. DON”T NEGLECT THIS AND WONDER WHY THE GAME DIDN’T WORK!
4) Always use a question box. (See blog #1 on how to use this) It keeps the game moving. Leave harder questions in the box over several game sessions (for review), while adding new questions.
Like a good referee, keep control of the game. Establish rules before the game begins.
1) Only the one answering the question may talk. No one else (unless it is designated a group question).
2) There are to be no remarks made about the answer by the other students, such as "Oh, that was easy," or "I knew that," which implies that the person struggling with the answer should have known it.
3) Give penalties immediately by taking away points.
Ask the questions properly, so that they teach:
1) If the correct answer is given, it is rewarded by the player advancing in the game.
2) If an incorrect answer is given, the sides or players change, but the teacher gives the correct answer. This is extremely important. The child must hear the correct answer immediately instead of several wrong answers.
3) If an answer is almost correct, award a point if you want to, but you as teacher say the answer correctly. If a child doesn't seem to understand the question, rephrase it and see if he can then answer it. Do not leave a wrong answer hanging out there.
4) Once the correct answer is given by you or the child, put the question back in the box.
Ask the same question several times during the course of the game. This does three things:
1) First, it teaches a child to listen to the answers. This only happens when a question box is used properly. A listening class is a learning class.
2) Second, it calls attention to the things being taught; they realize they must know the lesson to play the game.
3)Third, it lets them hear the correct teaching several times. You may ask your advanced student a hard question, several times, until all have heard