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Schedule in “Fun Fridays”

There are times when mom and the children all become a bit weary of “doing school”. If that is true for your family then it may be time to add a “Fun Friday” to your school schedule. For many of our homeschooling years we scheduled in some fun things on Fridays. We still worked on math or science in the morning; but every Friday afternoon we planned something educational, yet fun and different. This added a much needed break from the regular routine. It gave all of us something to look forward to and ended the week on a pleasant note.

The easiest “Fun Friday” thing to plan is an education board game (or card game). Once you’ve purchased or borrowed several games, all you need to do is haul one out and start playing. We’ve had some favorites over the years that I’d like to share with you. Because I know how busy you are, I will include links to websites where you can either purchase or read more about the games.

General Knowledge

BrainQuest Game For Grades 1 – 6 (all levels can play together) by University Games.
The object is to be the first player to finish a race around the game board, designed to mimic a school playground, by correctly answering questions from the Brain Quest cards. Each of the 256 cards contains questions and answers in categories such as math, science, social studies, English, and grab bag (a euphemism for cultural literacy). Brain Quest’s folded cards prevent the I-saw-the-answer-on-the-back problem while allowing even the player asking the question to guess the answer. Website: BrainQuest.com

Vocabulary/Language

Rummy Roots – This is a go-fish type card game using Greek and Latin roots. The game can be played on several levels and provides a fun and easy way to learn 42 Greek and Latin roots, over 190 vocabulary words, and the ability to at least partially decipher over 2,000 words! Rummy Roots can be purchased online at Rainbow Resource Center.

Bethump’d With Words – This game will challenge your knowledge of everyday words and test your strategic skills. It is expressly designed for parents and children or teachers and students to play together. It enables teachers to stretch brain muscles while stimulating a fundamental interest in words, language, and, ultimately, reading. Bethump’d with Words board game comes in two editions: Discovery Edition and Senior Edition. There is also a book edition available. For 2-8 players. This game is discontinued by the manufacturer. Used versions can sometimes be found on Ebay.com or Amazon.com.

Link for many more grammar games

Literature/Shakespeare

The Play’s The Thing by Aristoplay – The game presents quotes, plots and characters from one Shakespeare play at a time in a fun way. (3 different plays included with the game but you can buy more later.) As players piece together sets and perform scenes, the play begins to make sense. Soon, players are ready to go on to the next Shakespeare play… and then the next. THis board game can be found online at Rock Solid Inc.

Math

Family Math (book); Author/Editor: V. Thompson – This is not a board game but a book that has many interesting math activities. Includes many games and reproducible charts. Comes in 3 versions: Family Math (grades 1-6) Family Math for Young Children PK-3, and Family Math: The Middle School Years Grades 5-8. Search for Family Math on Amazon.com

Find many more math games

Science

Somebody Game by Aristoplay – As a puzzle activity, players draw body part cards and place a body part on the body board. Level 2 teaches the locations and functions of major body parts. Learn the names, functions and locations of major body parts.

Mars 2020: A Space Exploration Game – The goal is to reach Mars by the year 2020. Along the way, players experience the science and logic of space travel, encountering challenges and malfunctions that can be handled by answering questions about space travel.

More Aristoplay Games

Geography

Where in the World by Aristoplay – Play as a card game to learn the countries on the continents. Play with the cards and boards to learn the location of the countries as well as the capital, population, flag, major religion, languages, currency, major imports and exports, literacy rate and seacoasts. This game can be purchased online at Rock Solid Inc.

GeoDerby/USA Board Game – Challenge your memory and learn new facts about our great country. An exciting way for the whole family to learn about the location of mountains, rivers, seaports, etc. A color-coded map is provided for players who need help in answering questions. You do NOT have to be an expert in geography to win this exceptional game. This game can be purchased online at Rock Solid Inc.

Music

Musopoly – This fun board game for all ages turns learning music theory and reading into a creative, fun time together. Students work together, not against each other, and everybody wins! The game comes with answers and ideas for beginning through advanced play. Includes more than a 175 cards, dictation slate & notes, dice, bright gold coins, and a very clear rule book. Use with 2 to 6 players, up to 12 in a group. This game can be purchased at MusicMotion.com.

Logic/Thinking Skills

Set Card Game – It sounds simple; players race to see which three cards (of the twelve showing) form a “set”. There are no turns, no waiting – the quickest to deduce a logical set wins the point. There is no age advantage; your children can beat you if their visual perception in sharper than yours. Even when played alone, the game is a mental challenge. MENSA chose this game as a top mind game in 1991 – chosen for originality, intellectual challenge, aesthetics, quality and longevity (you won’t quickly tire of this game!). Grade 1- Adult. Game can be purchased at SetGame.com.

For many more educational game ideas visit EducationalLearningGames.com.

In addition to games, you might use your “Fun Fridays” for any of the following:

* Movies/videos (the ones you wish you had time to watch but never seem to get to)
* Field trips / nature walks
* Craft and art projects
* Music time… listening to a particular composer, playing music together, dancing.

Be sure to involve the children in planning your “Fun Fridays”. Take some time to brain storm with them; come up with all sorts of ideas… from wacky to practical. Have fun with the brainstorming process and let the imaginations run wild (a trip to the moon?). Then, once you have your “Fun Friday” wish list, choose 4 things you can schedule into the next 4 Fridays. Get them on the calendar and start having some end-of-the-school-week fun!

Charmaine Wistad has successfully homeschooled her own two children from pre-school through high school. Now she is turning her attention toward helping other homeschool moms. Through personal coaching, Charmaine helps homeschooling moms thrive… not just survive! Visit her website to try a complimentary no-obligation telephone coaching session.

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