Saturday, February 2, 2013

Homeschoolers everywhere, to arms!

So while spending my days as a full time job searcher or 'how the heck can we make enough money to survive' ponderer, I've also been helping get our homeschool academy of excellence off the ground.  As I said, our decision to home school was at once long in the making, as well as impromptu.  Therefore we didn't have the time to plan ahead we would have liked, and have been winging it as best we can.  One thing the boys want, beyond actually learning more, is to have more fun.  This is not accomplished by cramming studies in order to play more video games.  But rather finding ways to add flavor, even if not everything has to be on a test.  This is especially tricky with my oldest's two AP classes, for he must have the right information in by a set time according to the AP Exam schedules.

Nonetheless, we've found some ideas.  A rock-candy science experiment here, a design your own medieval castle and village under siege there.  And this little gem to give my oldest a break from the rigors of heavy study during the Napoleonic/Revolutionary periods, designed by Richard H. Berg:

Most likely out of print, one of the best games I owned

It's in the numbers, not exactly games for lazy thinkers

The scale map is quite impressive even today
I was a bit of a wargamer in my day.  Never got into the little miniatures, since I lack the skills and artistic talent, not to mention patience.  I did delve into a more streamlined and simplified system called Flames of War, and can handle painting a miniature Sherman Tank over the belt tassels of a french grenadier.  But in terms of the little chit games, I had several  and remembered this one.  Complex enough to be respectful, but not overwhelming.  While he's studying, we'll play through with this.  It's historical, helps you visualize the actual battle of Waterloo, and is fun when playing against other people rather than a computer. Even if it doesn't appear on the test.

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