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Making learning fun

24 Aug

This question comes up frequently in my homeschooing groups: How can I make learning fun?

One of the easiest ways I’ve found to make learning enjoyable is to play games.  You can turn boring drill work into fun by making a game of it. 

A few ideas:

Tic Tac Toe. We made this into a learning game years ago by things such as math facts in the squares. You can also use skill cards so that you don’t have to write on the board. We’ve done spelling with this by requiring that a word be spelled correctly before placing a mark.  Here’s an article from Associated Content with more uses of tic tac toe as a learning game.

Then there’s always Bingo or a variation called cover up where the players must cover the whole board.

If you are teaching Arabic, games are a sure way, insha Allah, to liven up that subject for kids.

Last week, during teaching of the Arabic alphabet, we played what I think is our all time favorite type of game and its excellent for drill. I’m  not sure what the name of the game is, but we vary it and just call it the stairs game.  You draw a picture on the whiteboard or paper of some stairs or a ladder or a tree. On the steps, rungs, or on apples in the tree, you place Arabic or English letters, math facts, etc.  If doing the stairs or ladder, I draw a treat (lollipop, slice of pizza, etc) on the top.  Players must read correctly what is on the steps to advance.  To provide more drill, if one of my kids answers incorrectly, I make them go all the way down to the bottom (but try to be encouraging). This way, they get more practice.  I also tell them the correct answer if they got it wrong before they try to go up the steps again.  Sometimes the drawn treat suffices, sometimes I offer a real treat at the end or end of the day.

This worked extremely well for Arabic last week. I had the kids pretend that they were on a game show and had them introduce themeselves and tell a little bit about themselves. We made sound effects for correct answers and applauded them. They had a blast. It was so great to see them so excited about Arabic, masha Allah. 

Often, we turn flashcard review time into games as well on the fly.

So if you are looking for ways to make learning fun, try a game. They are great for practice/drill work. 

Or

How about adding a physical element to it?

Sometimes I have the kids do a funny physical activity after answering a question such as hop, skip, or kiss someone.  Or I might have them take a step towards a goal across the room for each correct answer. When my oldest daughter was learning suratul fatihah years ago, I would have her take a step forward towards me (at the other end of the room) for each ayah recited correctly.

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2 responses to “Making learning fun

  1. Umm Hudhaifah

    August 29, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Assallammu Alaikum Sister,
    I love you fee sabeelillah!! May Allah give you Jannat ul Firdous for all the wondeful things you do for your family and that you share with the rest of the Ummah!
    Your sister in Michigan,
    Umm Hudhaifah

     
  2. talibiddeenjr

    September 7, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    wa alaykum us salaam.

    JazakaAllahu kheyr.

     
 
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