Is Gaming a more effective learning tool than Homework?

First of all, one thing is clear. Homework in Elementary School is ineffective.  There are no data at all to support the value of giving homework to students in elementary school. In fact, there isn’t even a positive correlation between homework and achievement. [1]

  • It may make them feel stupid.  (Over and over again, they’re reminded of what they can’t do.)
  • It may get them accustomed to doing things the wrong way, because what’s really “reinforced” are mistaken assumptions.
  • It may teach them to fake it, perhaps by asking someone else for the correct answers, to conceal what they don’t know.
  • Finally, the whole exercise subtly teaches that math – or whatever subject they’re doing — is something people aren’t expected to understand. [2]dsc_0001-3

So what is a teacher or a parent to do in order to help their child become a better student? One thing is to play tabletop games… really.  For younger children games help with the following:

  • number and shape recognition, grouping, and counting
  • letter recognition and reading
  • visual perception and color recognition
  • eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity [3]
Playing games with your kids is a perfect way to spend time together — and build learning skills at the same time.
“Research shows that board games can greatly improve problem solving, memory retention, observation, and social skills in children. The best part – it’s fun! Children don’t even realize they are exercising their brain in the process!  Learning takes place while critical thinking skills are being developed.”  [4]

Here are some suggestions of games based on age

Of course, we would like to think that our games fall into this category too!

Dan Hundycz


DPH Games Inc.


[1], Alfie Kohn, Chapter 6 of The Homework Myth (Da Capo Press, 2006)

[2] DeVries and Kohlberg, p. 374.


[4] Mathrise Learning Centers

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