Monday, August 31, 2009

Maverick Books

Homeschooling young children can be a little bit of trial and error, I am finding.

Well, actually more trials and lots of errors.

Being a former kindergarten teacher, it is hard for me to not educate my sons with the same expectations that I used to expect my 20 students to comply with. I am learning to loosen up, lighten up, and remain flexible.

One way that I have lightened up is by playing games. Now, I'll have you know, that playing games does not come naturally to me. It is something that I have forced myself to do over the years. I don't know if I have an unhealthy fear of looking dumb or losing or failing to understand directions. What I do know is that games can and are fun. They loosen lips, foster fellowship, and create memories. And don't tell anyone, but they can be educational, too!

A game Mr. Smackdown and I have been playing recently is Tornado ($12.99) from Maverick Books, involving Hank the Cowdog. If you have played Trouble (thanks Sarah), then you can easily play this fun travel friendly game. However, we had received Tornado before Mr. Smackdown was given Trouble for his birthday, and we were a little bit confused by the directions. Three adults on separate occasions had to ask for help to understand the written directions. So, if you purchase Tornado, let the wind blow your directions away and pretend it is the game of Trouble. Tornado is so popular in our household that it traveled all the way up to Canada with us on our family vacation. The playing figurines of Hank and the buzzard particularly appeal to my little cowboy at heart.

Now, other Hank items also cruised along with us through Michigan and the Canadian border. But we will probably have to wait to grant them entrance into the schoolroom. In an attempt to turn off the DVD player, we began to listen to Tales and Tunes from Hank the Cowboy ($3.00). Though entertaining, it is not quite age appropriate for our young crowd (1, 3, and 5 years old). Our young cowboys are not quite at an age where they can handle hearing others name call and understand why they aren't allowed to participate in likewise manner. Additionally, there are some thematic elements that have yet to be introduced into our household such as murder.

A couple of years from now when my children begin to understand appropriately crude humor and can truly distinguish fiction from reality, then I would certainly revisit the Hank the Cowdog series. As of right now, author John Erickson, has written 54 books. This would certainly keep a youngster joyfully reading for several weeks, if not months! To check out Hank the Cowdog and actually hear a sample of several books, check out Hank's Ranch!

For other Hank the Cowdog reviews, visit The OldSchoolHouse Homeschool Crew blog.