Star Trek Catan

In the past, I mentioned that I like to shake up our routine so that our kids have varied learning experiences. This time, my kids led the way. They wanted to play a board game that required some strategy and chose Star Trek Catan.

At first, I resisted because I have a lot to do and 2 of my younger kids aren’t feeling well- just in time for Christmas. But, once we got into it, I was just as excited as they were. It’s fun to spend time with my kids, which is one of the reasons I wanted to homeschool in the first place. Other reasons that playing board games is good is it helps the kids learn how to play by the rules and resist the temptation to cheat, practice good sportsmanship, and grow intellectually. Every time you play Catan, you have to come up with a different strategy because the board changes and you may not be playing with the same people.

If you like Settlers of Catan and Star Trek, you’ll enjoy Star Trek Catan.icon

Game Overview

iconSPACE the Final Frontier. The many resource rich planets within the limits of Federation territory await exploration and settlement. Build outposts and star bases to extract the resources. Using your fleet of starships, establish supply routes that enable you to boldly go further into deep space. Avoid resource shortages by trading with your opponents and Federation neighbors. If your opponents venture too far into your space, though, you might need to divert the Klingons to drive them away. because in the end, only one can be the Federation’s greatest hero. Take up the challenges. STAR TREK CATAN transports the timeless game concept of the world’s most acclaimed board game-THE SETTLERS OF CATAN-into the exciting Star Trek universe. The popular characters of the Starship Enterprise come into play through novel new “support cards.” Build, trade and settle where no one has gone before. Since 1966, millions of Star Trek fans all over the world have watched the adventures of the Starship Enterprise, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. And since 1995, millions of enthusiastic players all over the world have played Klaus Teuber’s The Settlers of Catan-a board game classic. It’s time to bring them all together on the Final Frontier. Includes 19 interchangeable planet sector tiles, 6 part game board frame, 28 outposts, 16 habitat rings (for upgrading outposts to starbases), 60 starships, 1 Klingon battle cruiser,2 special victory point cards, 10 support cards, 25 development cards, 4 building costs cards, 95 resource cards, 2 six sided star dice and rules & almanac.

The game is recommended for ages 10+. However, my 8 year old son was eager to play and understood the rules the entire time. Mayfair Games recommends 3-4 players and that the game will last at least 75 minutes. Our game lasted about that long because my 8 year old son drew a card that gave him a grand total 11 points, which lead to him announcing that he basically won. We could have kept going to see if anyone could beat his since I had 6 points, however, their attention span was waning, so we declared him the winner and ended the game.

Have you ever played Star Trek Catan, the Settlers of Catan, or any of the other variations of Settlers of Catan? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

Draw Write Now

Each year we get to borrow books from our school district. My kids love to draw, so I borrowed Draw Write Now by Marie Hablitzel and Kim Stitzer. The series is geared for 5-10 year olds and features colorful pictures with step-by-step instructions that introduce letter formations and sentence structure to youngsters. Here’s an example of how the series teaches kids to draw a swan. Draw WRite Now Swan Lesson Book 1

Once they have completed their drawing, depending on their writing level, they can copy some or all of the sentences in the example shown on the right. You could take it a step further and have them write a story or something they may have learned in another lesson.

There are topics that can go along with your lessons on handwriting, history, science, or geography. At Thanksgiving, my 10 year old son, Isaac, chose to draw the turkey from book 1.

 

I’m excited to say that my kids  ages 6-10 LOVE the books!  I don’t often set up a time for art lessons because they draw and create art throughout the week. What my 6 year old daughter likes about these is that she can follow the directions without reading. My 10 year old son likes that he can quickly draw the pictures, then build on them. His picture of the turkey is more realistic than the one shown in the book.

Here are 6 out of the 8 books in the series. Click to enlarge.

We chose to get all 8 books because we felt that it would offer the kids the opportunity to draw about topics that inspired them. Typically, it’s cheaper to get books in a set or used. Fortunately, you can get them in sets new or used.
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Have you tried Draw Write Now? If so, what were your experiences? If not, which art books do you recommend?
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