Home Education

Gamification in homeschooling

Many of us are homeschooling our children these days, and for those attempting it for the first time, it can feel daunting. From choosing a curriculum to keeping kids engaged with it, there’s a lot to think about. This is where gamification can help. The concept is becoming more popular these days, and with good reason. Read on to find out why.

What is gamification?

Gamification is taking typical game playing elements – for example, points, badges, and leaderboards – and applying them in another context. The idea is to use these features to make the activity in question more varied and enjoyable, boosting both motivation and engagement and results.

Benefits of gamification in education

Looking at education, in particular, it’s easy to see why gamification can be so beneficial. By taking the elements of something enjoyable – namely gaming – and adding them to learning tasks that children might not consider to be so much fun, you can make those tasks seem more interesting and engaging. Research has shown that gamification can help students to feel more motivated and even achieve better results.

Ways to gamify education

There are a number of ways you can introduce gamification into your home classroom. It doesn’t mean that you have to ditch your textbooks and learn on the PlayStation. It’s more about adding gaming elements to the methods you already use to reap the benefits mentioned above. Here are some ideas how to do that:

Introduce collectibles

Many video games have virtual badges or trophies that are awarded for completing certain achievements. Players are motivated to collect as many of these badges/trophies as possible. In the education sphere, they can be attached to almost anything – finishing a chapter of the latest book you purchased with your McGraw Hill promo code, achieving a certain score on a test, passing a certain number of tests in a row… the possibilities are endless!

Use a points system

Similar to badges; you can attach points to pretty much to reward your child. These points can then be exchanged for certain privileges when they have accumulated a particular amount, for example, extra TV time or a sweet snack.

Try an app

There is a wealth of educational apps out there designed with gamification in mind, from the Duolingo language app to the Grasshopper coding app. Why not try mixing up your teaching styles and giving one a go? You might even pick up some tips from them!

Invent a story

The best games have an epic storyline, often culminating in a fight against the big boss. If you can come up with a story to tie together everything you do over the school year, perhaps even with an avatar, your child can design to represent themselves (like in a video game). It can help to maintain long term motivation and interest.

Hopefully, this has given you some inspiration for introducing a gaming environment into your homeschooling. There are plenty more ideas out there online, but these make a perfect starting point.

 

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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