As we are settling into a routine with our two days a week of "Block Schedule", we are scheduling "Game Time" onto those days. Sometimes it's a 30 minute block, sometimes it's an hour. At first, because this was for school, I limited the game selection to our collection of explicitly "educational" games. Gradually, however, the time has come to mean that the kids can pick any of our games or puzzles. We are still not allowing computer or video games during this time, however, because those happen so much without any time dedicated to them. This is special time for board games and puzzles.
Is this really "school"? By my definition, yes. There are so many things we learn from games, and not just those that have been elevated to the status of an intellectual pursuit, such as chess. It's not just the cognitive or academic lessons, either, but also the social:
- communication skills
- winning/losing gracefully and resiliency
- hand-eye coordination
These are the sorts of things I want us to be doing, and the best way I have found to make sure they happen is by putting a special time on our schedule. Something we'll keep doing for sure!