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Creative Review Games (ebook)

Creative Review Games (ebook)

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Publisher: Wendy Toy
Author: Wendy Toy

List Price: $5.99

Ages: All Ages

Reviewed By: Jean Hall

When I started out homeschooling, I bought a full second-grade package from a Christian textbook publisher. There was lots of review built into the program, but I have to admit that sometimes "school" took hours and hours of a day, from breakfast until dinner and then some. The planning was all done for me and we were covering the bases, but... our eldest found education to be only occasionally pleasant, and for the most part a tedious chore.

I have to admit that we tried a lot of different "methods" those first few years, stumbling across Charlotte Mason and such things as narration, living books, dictation, copywork, and short lessons after nearly five years of struggle. Oh, I forgot to say that in that time there were also two difficult pregnancies, where I spent a lot of time on the couch just reading aloud or being read to by our eldest - who would have to wake me up, sometimes, not because her reading was boring but because I was sick and exhausted.

And yet, those months of just reading resulted in the same sort of progress, measured by achievement tests, or perhaps more progress, than the formal academic programs! (I also noticed, not being distracted by checking off all the steps in the teacher's manuals, that our eldest needed lots of review in order to retain new material.)

Another thing that helped was reading homeschool hints on the Internet, about the kinds of games you could play with flashcards, for example, and the "bingo" and other games that were built into our math and phonics programs. Our eldest responded to reading aloud from wonderful books and playing games to learn and reinforce facts, and our school day went from eight or ten hours down to half a day... and yet more learning was taking place.

Creative Review Games introduces homemade games that will help you to drill or review the material being learned. Before you get to the actual games, you'll read about the whys and wherefores of reviewing, as well as some helpful hints on what comes before the review: lesson presentation. But after you've introduced that new material, how and when should you review it?

This is a "nuts and bolts" book, covering not just games but such things as tailoring review time to the child(ren) and situation, giving examples and suggestions for writing review questions of various types, and explaining why you would use different types of questions in cementing knowledge or checking retention. Also included are suggestions for making and adapting games, directions, planning and preparation, and templates for game boards and pieces.

A number of the game ideas were new to me, and I'm sure will be a welcome addition to our repertoire of "Jeopardy," "Bingo," and flashcards, and as the title implies, the games are very creative, from football to "picking points" like leaves from a tree to making your own board game.

What better way to test exactly what your students are learning? And if they show a grasp of the facts and understanding of the underlying concepts, the game may be the only test they need at the moment! And that is one of the things that makes homeschooling so much fun, I'll have to admit. If my children show me the same knowledge in a game that they could give me in a sit-down pencil-and-paper test, I'm just as happy, knowing what they know, and they are much happier to show off their knowledge with flair and a little friendly competition. As a matter of fact, I think I get more results this way!
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Jean Hall
Jean Hall, a Christian home educator with three daughters, enjoys writing stories and music. Her family's interests include reading together, art, gardening, volkswalking and pets: two cats and a Giant Schnauzer.
Copyright © 2006 Eclectic Homeschool Association

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