>U Mom Knows Best: At Home Learning With Thames & Kosmos

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

At Home Learning With Thames & Kosmos

My school district just announced the plans for the school year and I am not sure what to expect

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 It may still be summer here but that does not mean that the learning has to stop. This C lung virus pandemic has made it harder to motivate my kids to do any type of learning or schoolwork. So other than daily reading, I have pretty much given my boys a break from learning. Their last two months of online school were boring for them and I am not blaming the teachers as most of them have never done online instruction. My boys don't want me to be their teacher and I don't blame them as I have no clue how to homeschool two middle school boys. I am glad that the boys are allowing me to be their gym teacher as they join me every morning for running. The boys caught the COVID slide earlier this summer and they are still experiencing side-effects from it. Just last week the school district announced their plans for the school year and the boys and I have mixed feelings about the school year.

Online school with some at school learning 

 Next month school will begin with 5 weeks of online school. Then in the middle of September, the boys will attend school four days a week, every other week. The rest of the learning will be online. I am not really seeing the benefit of the boys attending school at all since they will only be going for 8 days a month. Why not just do all online teaching? My boys are just happy that they can go back to school. I am hoping that their teachers have used the past 4-5 months to figure out how to best teach online school so my boys will learn. I have also made a plan of how to boost their immunity so they will hopefully not catch the covid virus at school.

Board games to enrich learning

 My boys have rediscovered board games and I am glad. Playing board games not only gets them off the electronic devices but they are also getting some learning in. Shh! Don't tell my boys that they are learning as they want nothing to do with that as they are on summer break. My boys started playing card games and other non-electric games when their older brothers were here. It was great to see all my boys enjoying games like Monopoly and Risk. Now that their older brothers have gone back to school and overseas, playing games are not as fun with only 2 people.  So I was glad when I discovered some learning games that can be enjoyed with 2 players.

 The learning games from Thames & Kosmos are keeping the boys entertained while also giving their brain some memory exercises. These exciting thinking and puzzle games are making me feel better about my boys not being in school right now. I also am not feeling guilty about not doing the homeschool thing. My boys have friends who are homeschooled and I mentioned that I was going to talk to their friend's mom about what program she uses for homeschool. The boys said, "no mom, don't do that as we will be going back to school." I am glad that the boys are ok with returning to school. So check out the fun games that the boys are enjoying.


Brainwaves is a series of games developed by game designers and neuroscientists with which players can challenge their episodic memory — their recent memory of autobiographical events. These compact, card-based games are designed and scientifically proven to exercise the brain to improve memory functions. These innovative memory games place demands on three types of brain functions: fluid intelligence, working memory, and long-term memory.

 My boys received Brainwaves: The Astute Goose and Brainwaves: The Wise Whale to explore and play. These were card games that challenged their memory and they had my boys using their brain with critical thinking skills. I liked that my boys were having a friendly competition that used their brainwaves. 

 In Brainwaves: The Astute Goose, my boys had to identify a burglar hiding in a crowd. They had to remember things like what did they look like, what color were their clothes and other things to correct figure out which burglar committed the crime.

In Brainwaves: The Wise Whale, my boys had fun playing a matching game to see who could gather the most different colorful sea creatures cards. This was a fun brain-training game for the whole family.


Ubongo is a fast-paced, addictive, and easy-to-learn geometric puzzle game. Players race against the timer and against each other to solve a puzzle of interlocking shapes. The faster you solve the puzzle, the more gems you get. 

 Ubongo reminded me of the computer game Tetris but I loved that this game was offline. This was a fast-paced game that was an easy way for my boys to learn about geometry. The boys had to quickly fit the geometric puzzle shapes on their puzzle boards in the right order. The first person who solves their puzzle shouts " Ubongo!" and then the countdown is on for the other player who then have a time limit to earn some points. The fastest player wins bonus points and after eight rounds, the player with the most points wins. My boys really enjoyed playing this game as it was a portable game so they could play it on the floor. This game even challenged me with my thinking when I played with my boys.

Drop It 

This colorful, inventive family game is easy to learn but deceptively mind-boggling! One at a time, each player drops a shape into the vertical game board’s drop zone. Players earn points for the highest level that their shape reaches when it lands and extra points for touching bonus circles. But be careful: Don’t break a landing rule! The shape you dropped is not allowed to touch matching shapes or colors after it lands. If you break a landing rule, you will go away empty-handed. The winner is the player or team with the most points at the end. 

Drop It was a game of chance that involved a lot of thinking. My boys had to figure which shape to select and then the best place to drop it in the stand-up game board so the shape would hopefully land where they wanted it to go. This game also had plenty of rules that encouraged even more critical thinking. It was a mind-boggling game that made my boys think before they dropped a shape as they did not want to break any landing rules. The winner is the player with the most points at the end of the game. I am glad that my boys read the rules of this game as it took me some time to learn how to win the game.

 So I am glad that the boys had some learning games to entertain themselves during the day when it was too hot to play at the park. These board games are summer fun essentials for my boys. That way mom and dad could get some work done during the day. The school thing is still stressing me out but not because of the respiratory virus but more because of all the rules that the boys will have to follow at school. The boys will have to wear face masks at school and I need to buy more of these lightweight face masks for kids. They also have to stay 6 feet apart from their friends and not share anything. So that means no giving a friend a pencil or passing a note. They can't even drink from the drinking fountain or sit next to friends at lunch. Kind of makes school stressful for both the kids and teachers.

 I think parents and teachers need some G&Juice to help us with stress. These hemp-infused sparkling beverages are not only delicious but they will help us chill out. Each can has less than 2 grams of sugar and only 20 calories. They also have 20 mg of hemp-derived CBD and the four mouth-water flavors contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. The flavors of this bliss out juice are Coconut Vanilla, Ginger Peach, Strawberry Lemonade, and Blueberry Mojito. The best part is CBD is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant, which means consumers won't "get high."

 So all I can do now is take one day at a time and as I told my boys we won't worry about school just yet as we still have a couple more weeks until school starts. This school plan for online school and some in school learning will have to work for the boys. I am sure that my boys will do fine and the will learn. This too shall pass.

What is the plan for your kid's school this year?


Julia Hess said...

These activities look great and intriguing. My little guy has been working through his ABC mouse app. Which has been a fun way for him to learn during this summer.

AiringMyLaundry said...

So fun! I can almost bet my kids would like these games. I'll have to try the juice!

Celebrate Woman said...

The board games have become so versatile these days. I remember when we had so simple games, but we loved to play them again and again.

Sherry said...

I love games that make you think. It's a win-win! The plan for my son's high school is going to be part online and part in class but we don't have the specifics yet. Some classes, like his transportation class, needs to be hands on.

Monica Simpson said...

Ubongo and Drop It look perfect for some free time when I want my kids to take a break from the screens. We're remote learning for at least 6 weeks and I'm not looking forward to it.

Toni said...

This is really awesome!! Such a fun way to learn for kids!

Nyxie said...

Board games are awesome! We even got back into them during lockdown!

Jhangi said...

this idea of learning for the kids is definitely an amazing and lovely idea..glad you shared this with us..this is truly very helpful and useful one..great work though...

Lyanna Soria said...

These games are amazing! I bet my kids will love these and it will be a great fun and learning experience for them. Thanks for sharing!

Chin chin said...

Those are very good games suggestions. My kids also like playing board games but they just got tired of playing with what we have. I wish I could find Ubongo and Drop it here in our place.

Alex said...

My monitor is messed up when I turn off the computer, after 10 minutes or so the image is clear, what is the problem?

Aditi said...

These brainwaves games sound quite interetsing, love the episodic memory part. I will check these out for my son as well.

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