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Add more fun to your homeschool curriculum with gamification

Gamification is using gaming features like scores, competitions, and challenges to make learning more fun. Here's how you can use it in your homeschooling. 

As homeschooling parents and educators, we sometimes need to bring fresh approaches to our teaching to re-energize our students and ourselves. One exciting trend in education is gamification. 

Gamification can be defined as using gaming features like scores, competitions, and challenges to offer students engaging learning experiences. It can be a fun departure or supplement to your education routine.  

This article includes simple ideas for using gamification to approach your homeschooling curriculum in a new and innovative way. It’s another way to make homeschooling a wonderful experience for you and your kids.

There are many ways you can use games to support education by playing to learn. Activities like Bingo, Scrabble, and Connect 4 have been around for years and can be used for homeschooling. For example, for an easy win, use Scrabble to learn to spell and expand your children’s vocabulary.

Another approach is to turn non-game activities into game-like ones. Try running a contest for the most chapters read as part of your English class and create a ladder to visualize the competition. You can also play digital games. A few of our favorites that meet Outschool’s strict trust and safety policies are Kahoot and Gimkit

Ideas for bringing gamification into your homeschool

You don’t have to plan your educational gamification alone. You have tons of options on Outschool. Choose from hundreds of classes for your learners to test out. 

For example, you could create a reward system where you can earn badges or stickers. Students work toward completing different badges to show mastery of a concept, standard, or skill. You can even set up a badge board so learners can visually see their progress.

If there are certain subjects your children love (or hate), you could mix up your approach with fun online math games, book clubs, virtual science experiments, and more to deepen their interest.

You could also develop specific challenges for your learners. Here are some we love.

Launch something 

Challenge your learners with the question how far, high, or fast can you launch something? Catapults, trebuchets, rocket launchers, and ramps are all fair game. Have them create a video that shows how they experiment with momentum, propulsion, thrust, and more. 

Building challenge

Assign your learners to create something EPIC out of LEGOs. It’s well-researched that using building blocks teaches creativity and seeing connections. Check out some of Outschool’s unique classes to inspire their next build. 

Ramp challenge

Follow these easy instructions to encourage your kids to experiment with physics and momentum, or check out a fun online physics challenge

  • Step 1: Roll a ball down a ramp. 

  • Step 2: Create a ramp that can get the ball to change directions.

  • Step 3: Level up the ramp with more twists and turns.

Miniature challenge

Assign your learners to be creative and make something tiny. These could include small food, miniature charms, or mini figurine scenes.

When you are ready for new teaching ideas, bring on the games. Kids enjoy playing across all ages, and bringing gamification into your teaching can increase engagement and attention. And we know children love some friendly competition! 

Tips for successful gamification 

If you want to try gamification, here are a few tips on bringing games into your homeschool classroom. It’s helpful to do some planning and let your learners know ahead of time what to expect. 

You can generate real excitement if you talk about upcoming games and challenges as a reward. 

It’s wonderful as a parent and educator to know you have something creative and fun up your sleeve to break out on those days when the energy or focus is low. You might also use some of your family’s favorite board games in your classroom.

And don’t forget, there are great digital options for games, like the fantastic gaming classes at Outschool.

As you know, we take trust and safety very seriously at Outschool, so we only allow games that meet Outschool’s safety standards to be used in our classes.

How have you used gamification to add fun to your homeschooling? We hope you will share your ideas with our Homeschool with Outschool Parent Community.

Jennifer WolfeJennifer leads strategic & DEIB partnerships for Outschool. She's a former The Learning Accelerator partner and advisor to many ed tech companies on the development of high-quality K-12 curriculum.

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