You know that I try to be Supermom, right?
I want to bake cookies with my kids, but not just once - I want it to be a thing. I want to be at all the sports games. I want to be the Room Mom (and I am), but I want to actually be good at it. I want to make chores something that my kids feel fulfilled by doing. I want to make homework time fun and full of learning and reflection.
I want to be that mom.
I mean, really, nothing fills me up more than creating educational games to support what my son is learning in school. Spending an afternoon funneling all my creative energy into making fun flashcards and word puzzles or crafting writing prompts like my dad used to do when I was a kid fills this momma’s heart.
Hahahahahahaha, ohmygosh, that’s such bullshit.
Was that the most boring thing you’ve ever read? Because I actually fell asleep typing that last paragraph.
The truth is, I would rather eat a bag of human hair than use my “craft time” to make up educational games or crafts.
I do want to be that mom. I do. But it’s just not me, and most people wouldn’t believe that about me because I am a creative, crafty type person.
But I want to use my crafty-DIY energy to make fun stuff for my house or for presents that make people think I’m amazing, not to improve my kid’s educational experience, as shitty as that sounds. That’s what iPads are for.
I kid, I kid.
It just doesn’t sound fun, like AT ALL.
But when Education.com reached out to me to ask if I’d be interested in trying out an educational game, I thought I could use it as an opportunity to make up for where I’ve slacked off in the Supermom department, so I agreed.
She sent me a math game, but my son is strong in math.
He struggles in writing, which means he hates writing, which is a cruel admission for me to make.
It's not just the formulation of ideas or getting those ideas converted from the brain to paper that my child hates, but also the act of using his fingers to move the pencil.
I searched the Education.com website and found all kinds of fun worksheets and games that help with all different subjects, including writing, so I sent an email back, asking if I could write about one of those instead.
She did better - she shared a game exclusively for blog readers, which means this is one that you can’t find on their website.
It’s sort-of a grammarly Go Fish game geared toward fourth graders, but you could easily customize it for older or younger kids.
Here’s what she sent:
Remember the classic card game favorite, Go Fish? Use this twist on it to help your child learn grammar terms in a fun way! Make grammar cards with adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and nouns written on them and find the matches. Your child will learn to recognize the different parts of speech, practice reading and writing, and have a great time doing it!
What You Need:
50 index cards
Here’s what you do:
Prepare the cards:
- Hand your child a pencil and a piece of scratch paper. Have them draw a line down the center, and across the center so the paper is divided into four rectangular sections.
- At the top of one section write "Nouns". On another write "Verbs," and another "Adjectives," and finally "Adverbs."
- Go over each grammatical term with your child. Remind them that a noun is a person, place or thing (dog, bone, sun) and an adjective is a describing word (wet, sunny, silly), a verb is an action word (run, skip, walk), and an adverb is a word that describes a verb or adjective (quickly, slowly).
- Write down 6 words under each section. When you've finished, there should be a total of 24 words on the paper.
- Take the index cards and write one word on two cards. Write the word in the upper-left corner and lower-right corner of both cards, leaving the middle blank.
- Use the colored pencils to draw a picture that represents each word in the middle of the card. (For example, if the word is "run" draw a picture of a person running.) <--We didn’t do this. My child hates using his fine motor skills and I was already pressing my luck after getting him to write 48 words.
- Continue until you've gone through every word of each section. You will end up with 2 duplicate decks of cards (48 cards altogether). This way, you can find a match for each card.
Play the game:
- Shuffle the cards, and then deal 7 cards to each player. Place the remaining cards in a pile between both players.
- Any pairs of matching cards should be set aside. Players should sort their remaining cards by the four grammar sections (verb, adverb, adjective, noun).
- To start the game, Player One pick out an unmatched card of her hand. They then state whether the card is an adverb, noun, adjective, or verb so the other player can find the card quickly.
- Player One should then ask Player Two if they have the matching word card.
- If they have the match, Player Two hands the card over to Player One who sets the match aside and takes another turn. If Player Two doesn't have the card, they say, "Go fish!" and Player One takes a new card from the deck. Then it's Player Two's turn.
- Continue the game until all the cards have been matched. Then each player counts the number of pairs they have. Whichever player ends up with the most pairs is the winner!
Creating the cards was excellent handwriting practice, and the game itself - it wasn’t as fun as Texas Hold’em or Mexican Train Dominoes - but it was great for studying the parts of speech.
With the standardized tests coming up in a few weeks here in Texas, it really is perfect timing for this kind of practice, and it’s something different than typical worksheets or flashcards, which I love more than Kanye loves Kanye.
Have you ever heard of the “summer slide?”
It refers to a loss of learning that happens over the summer months when kids are away from school. It’s a real thing.
I used to be that mom who would buy a grade-level workbook two inches thick to have my kids work through over the summer, but the workbooks would end up in the “donate” box every single fall because we’d (I’d) given up after Week 1 of summer break.
We have other stuff going on. Other stuff that doesn’t involve arguing over homework that I’ve created for them.
But stuff like this - this wordy Go Fish game - could be something fun to do a few times over the summer to try to stay somewhat educated between school years.