Friday, March 15, 2013

Kindergarten Games

Usually kids are so excited to start school.  Each of our children were excited to start school....even though we homeschool.  They were eager to learn the sounds of letters, put the letters together to make small words, to begin forming lines, circles, and then letters. It was so exciting for me, too, to watch my kids as they learned new things. I guess that's one of many reasons I wanted to homeschool.  I got to be there when each of my kids learned to hold their own bottle, learned to take their first step, learned to read their first word.  I didn't want to give that over to someone else. I wanted to be there for each milestone.  I wanted to watch them learn.  Little did I know that I'd be learning with them too. :)

I find the first years of homeschooling the most fun.  Maybe because it's so easy to learn through play, whether the games are hands on, at the park, at home, or on the computer.  I recently read of a study done with 122 preschoolers enrolled in a Head Start program.  They were divided into two groups. One group was given 15 to 20 minutes per day to work on educational games on the computer. The second group worked on standard Head Start curriculum.  The group that had worked on the computer measured higher for Kindergarten readiness. Apparently, the use of computers not only increased their cognitive development, but also their visual and gross motor skills.

I use Kindergarten games online.  My daughter loves interactive games.  We use games for alphabetical order, phonics, vocabulary, keyboarding games, math.  I have found that with a subject like math, using some of these learning games helps to reinforce a concept we've covered in her math lesson.  I've had my daughter play a literature game after reading a book together to help with reading comprehension.  The computer has been a huge benefit for our family.  After reading the results of that study, I am even more encouraged by the use of the computer for schooling our children, but especially our daughter with Down syndrome.  

2 comments:

Kat said...

We are HUGE proponents of game play here! :) My boys have loved playing any of the online games they have played over the years. I love that there are so many great online resources for educational games out there. LearningGamesforKids.com is one of our favorites. It's totally free and there are so many types of games to choose from. I have no shame in admitting there are days when the only thing they have gotten accomplished, was setting a new high score, lol. :D

Katie

Joy Capps said...

The early years were some of my favorites too! Looking back I wish I hadn't had been so concerned about "school work" and would have let them play more. Ironically now we are in the middle school years and we are more relaxed than before. Using the computer for "work" in the morning definitely helps them to be able to pursue their own interests in the afternoon.