Homeschooling on the road: schooling through the holidays

hs on the road

We love to travel and explore. Homeschooling has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to do so. Through blogging and taking advantage of the chance to help, speak, or do social media at various homeschool conventions – we’ve been able to see much of the country and enjoy adventures which would not otherwise be possible.

Blogging, writing and other homeschool employment has made it possible to gain access to the best curriculum on the market. It also helps us afford for me to stay home with the boys – even when that home is in the form of a mini van rolling down the highway, a tent or hotel room!

 

What in the world does this have to do with homeschooling through the holidays? 

Well, while others are sitting at their desk in school, we are likely to be kayaking or rafting down a river or exploring some new exciting territory. But, we also have to work our way through those fabulous curriculum supplies and meet our own educational goals. This often means homeschooling right on through the holidays.

Shaping young minds and providing the education for my boys is a huge responsibility and one I take seriously. In order to fulfill our requirements and meet our goals – we have made the commitment to school our children year-round.

Before you freak out, go back and read that part about how “while others are sitting in school, we are likely to be kayaking or rafting down a river!”

It’s not all bad this year-round schooling and it lifts the pressure off of the times where we are busy enjoying life to the fullest.

Homeschooling on the road or while vacationing during the holidays does not have to be terribly complicated. One great trick is to use what you have on hand, and take full advantage of the resources in your immediate location.

What does it look like in real life? 

On a recent trip to the woods for hunting season, our boys got some fantastic lessons in archery.

hsarchery

I generally pack a basket or a bag of books to carry with us whether we are camping or staying in a hotel. The important thing is to keep it simple and remember, it doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective. I do not bring heavy or expensive books along on the road, because that is just not the way we roll. We have plenty of time for that at the home front.

The dollar store and dollar section at Target are good places to pick up little books or workbooks that contain basic (sometimes even accurate) information. I am choosy about what I buy, but a simple book that lists the 50 states and capitals, or provides addition and multiplication practice is worth a buck here and there. It doesn’t even matter if they get dirty, lost, or fall into a bonfire. Hey, it can happen . . . trust me!

hsroadmaterials

Older children can read aloud while in the car, as long as they are not the car sick type. It is easy to drill bible verses, spelling words and vocabulary, and math facts while rolling down the highway or walking in the woods. Other tools we use to help us study while on the road:

  • laptop
  • tablet/Kindle Fire
  • iPods with educational apps
  • books on cd
  • educational dvd’s
  • composition books to use as nature journals or to record data
  • camera- nature photography and to snap shots of information and exhibits at museums

Another important tip is to visit museums and parks along the way. We don’t leave home without our ASTC.org  membership. I always search the list for places to go (for FREE) on the way to our destination, and in the city where we land. It is often worth leaving a few days in advance, even traveling a little out of the way to visit some of these places. When there is a tent in the back of the minivan – you can find housing most anywhere. But, I’ll save the frugal travel tips for another day.

hsmuseum

We happened to be on the road during Veterans Day this year. We stopped at a museum in a remote little town in Georgia. The Museum of Aviation is FREE and turned out to be one of our favorite places! History comes to life when it is experienced in this way. It was the perfect place to honor and learn more about the men and women who have served our country. We learned about the Flying Tigers of World War II and in particular about General Robert L. Scott, a Georgia boy who ended up as their leader. He is the kind of hero, and a strong man of character that we want our boys to identify with and look up to. There is some terrific video links and information on the web site here.

hswildlife

I find this style of homeschooling to be extremely effective because it is hands on learning that (when reinforced and discussed properly) will be retained much easier than sitting in a classroom or behind a desk.

Of course, this was a hunting trip, and most of the time – the boys simply ran and played in the woods. They caught lizards, collected leaves (most of our leaves in Florida don’t turn colors for fall – so this is a big treat) and it is also a part of our nature science. The boys practiced archery. They did their reading.

At night we listened to a book about World War II as we cuddled up in sleeping bags. The boys  also did a few math worksheets. We socialized with our friends. We sang, listened to classical music in the car with commentary about the composers. We practiced our bible verses. Each day the boys did a quick sketch and wrote a few words about something they observed. All in all, I think homeschooling on the road – even during the holidays – is a great success!

Do you have any road schooling tips or tips for the Christmas travel season? We would love to hear about them!  

Kelli Becton2Kelli Becton of Homeschooling Adventurez (division of AdventurezinChildRearing) is a Jesus loving, homeschooling mama of three boys (biological and adoption).  They are an outdoor family, living and learning on the Gulf coast of Southwest Florida. Kelli was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis over eleven years ago, and although there is pain, there is also great joy. She and her husband Mark have always loved the outdoors, and they spend as much time as possible adventuring with their boys. Exploring God’s creation is their favorite pastime. Jesus is their passion, and homeschooling their boys is a blessing. Kelli loves to write and speak to other homeschool families, sharing life’s lessons and what God has laid on her heart through their adventures. You can find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Comments

  1. Even if you aren’t normally an online schooling family, it can be a cool idea to sign up with an online curriculum while traveling for the main holiday month. Kiddos can take turns on a laptop or tablet anywhere you have wi-fi access and get their learning in (or even on the road if you have a hotspot!) We love Time4Learning for this kind of thing because it let’s you subscribe just by the month…no long-term commitment or expense.

Speak Your Mind

*