Tag Archives: poker

Games as Educational Tools

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Having a Blast Homeschooling! It’s all about engaging children’s natural sense of play, curiosity, and wonder, instead of the grind of more formal ‘teaching.’ This is from the chapter on Games, which is about how common board games and card games can contribute to basic education. I welcome your comments and feedback on how you make homeschool fun for your children and yourself, and what you like most and least about homeschooling. Thanks! — Cormac


Board games, or ‘parlor games’ (as they used to be called) are a great way of getting children to learn lots of important things without realizing that they’re being taught. Games teach sportsmanship, winning and losing, operating within a structured framework of artificial rules. Plus, they’re fun! In the informal setting of playing a game, your child will often open up and talk to you in ways that they won’t in a more formal school setting. We like to have drinks and treats while we play. Don’t worry if the popcorn butter gets all over the cards—cards are cheap!

Be careful not to turn the games into a ‘lesson’ of some kind. Kids educate themselves when they play. Just help them to learn to play, and the educational aspects will take care of themselves organically. Remember what my cousin Phil from Philadelphia always says: “If you get too serious, you’ll spoil all the fun.” Continue reading