Homeschooling with Play, Curiosity, and Games (with Cait Curley)

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Did you know that play impacts the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of children and teens, and impacts us as adults as well? Cait Curley believes that homeschooling really can be almost all fun and games, and she joins us this week on the podcast to chat about gameschooling, the challenges and joys of homeschooling twice-exceptional kids, and the importance of leaving space for play in our homeschool day.

Be sure to check out all the other interviews in our Homeschool Conversations series!

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Cait Curley Gameschooling Play Homeschool Conversations Podcast

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Who is Cait Curley?

Cait Curley is a school psychologist, mom to three amazing children, and an unexpected homeschooler. She loves nature, good books, board games, strong coffee, and dancing in her kitchen. Cait believes that homeschooling can be *almost* all fun and games! You can read gameschooling, homeschooling, and more at My Little Poppies. You can also find her hanging out with Kara at The Homeschool Sisters Podcast.

Watch my interview with Cait Curley

Show Notes {with video time stamps}

Unexpectedly homeschooling

Cait has 3 children from 9 to 12 years old. They tried public school with their oldest, but it just didn’t work for him as an asynchronous learner.

They didn’t intend to homeschool, but “it’s been the best curve ball we could have imagined,” Cait said.

At the beginning, like many parents, Cait tried to replicate school at home, but she quickly realized that wasn’t going to be the best option.

“It’s very hard to separate school from education at the beginning.”

Cait Curley Gameschooling Play Homeschool Conversations Podcast

The best parts (and the challenging parts) of homeschooling outside the box kids {3:40}

Learning with them is the best part, Cait said! “You manage to learn a ton together when you relax and let it happen.”

“Having a child who is twice exceptional, especially in the early years, you need to ask for help,” Cait encouraged. It might look like occupational therapy, counseling, or just having a friend help with childcare.

“Ask for help when you need it. Every child has strengths and weaknesses. You’re not expected to do it all yourself.”

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Sometimes it can be hard to ask for help because we think it means we’re failing, but that is just not true. We all need help.

“It’s universal,” Cait reminded us. Children will have trouble and struggles no matter where they’re being educated.

Do games really “count” in our homeschool? {7:00}

If you think you don’t like games, maybe you just haven’t found the right games for you and your family, Cait encouraged. She laughingly said that many times parents have trauma from previous game playing experience

Play is important, and gameschooling is great for homeschoolers because it’s the intersection of homeschooling and play because you can quantify it in a way that is a lot harder with free play for parents. But the main thing is play. And I think everybody likes to play.”

A gameschooling inventory can help you see what skills you’ve been working on with a particular game during the day.

King of Tokyo is a current favorite game in the Curley family!

Check out Cait’s new course: Gameschooling 101: How to Add More Play to Your Homeschool Day

gameschooling how to add more play to your homeschool day Cait Curley Course

What are some other ways we can encourage curiosity and a love of learning in our children? {12:50}

Cait encouraged us to prioritize these simple things:

  • Getting outside in nature every day
  • Leaving space for play

Questions for each Homeschool Conversations Guest {15:16}

What are you reading lately?

11/22/63, Stephen King

Are Cait and I the only ones going deep into dark and twisty comfort reads this year?

What is one thing you would say to a new homeschool parent?

“Breathe. Remember that you were the child’s first teacher, and you’ve been teaching the whole time. … You’ve got this!”

We’re all still figuring this out, no matter how long we’ve been homeschooling!

Find Cait Curley online

The Lazy Homeschooler’s Guide to Unit Studies

the lazy homeschooler s guide to unit studies Cait Curley course

Check out all the other interviews in my Homeschool Conversations series!

Homeschool Conversations Video Interviews Podcast Amy Sloan

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