Have you ever wondered how to homeschool while traveling? This is a common question we have received over the years due to our military lifestyle. Traveling is one of the things that the being an Active Duty Army family afforded us to do and a habit that we will carry long after my husband’s last day of wearing the uniform.
As a homeschooling family that has lived around the world, the field trips and educational opportunities are endless. Over the past 12 years of homeschooling we’ve had to heavily rely on the 7 things we are about to share with you to ensure success in our homeschool while traveling.
How to Homeschool While Traveling
Be Sure to Pack Light
This may seem like common sense but when going on an extended stay somewhere, it’s not always as easy as it sounds. For us, we give each child a backpack to fit their age. We limit what “school” items we bring based upon how much they are able to carry in their own backpacks. This has been a great measure for us every time. When the children were younger (and had smaller backpacks) we would give them a couple small books, color crayons, paper, and let them to choose one or two small toys. As they’ve grown and as technology has changed we allow them to bring a few books, and one electronic device (ie: Kindle).
Bring Notebooking Pages Related to Your Trip
Currently our youngest is 8 and our oldest is 16. We have found that notebooking has been an invaluable tool for us while on the road. Our favorite place to grab our notebooking pages is NotebookingPages.com. This fabulous website has hundreds and hundreds of topical pages to help your children dig deeper into any subject their heart desires. These are a great way to study the places you are going and any other topic that will keep your children excited and engaged in learning.
Remember to Be Flexible
For those of you who have a more structured approach to homeschooling, this is the time to let all of that go. You are traveling, possibly even on a vacation, so the children are less likely to be as “focused”. And that’s okay. By loosening the reigns a bit, they’ll get more learning done. Our approach in these times are always an extremely relaxed eclectic approach and it works wonders for our family.
Bring Your Favorite Audio Books + Soundtracks
Audio books and soundtracks are a homeschooling family’s best friend (at least one of them). Before heading on a trip we check out several books from the library on CD and take them on our trips. We’ll listen to them on the longer stretches of travel because it creates a very calming atmosphere for the children and us as parents.
We also stream our favorite character building, educational, and family-friendly shows. Using this modern technology is a great way to get that character training in and make the unpleasant part of traveling a little easier.
Study the Places You’re Traveling To
Do a study of where you’ll be traveling ahead of time to peek interest for your children. A few weeks prior to our travels, we will do a study on the place we will be visiting. For us, this typically consists of going to the library and checking out a couple of books – historical books and cookbooks relevant to our destination. In addition we will see if there is a great educational show on Netflix to pair with the books we are studying. This gives our family great insight into where we are heading and what types of things we will want to explore and cultural expectations.
Bring Educational Games
We have several favorites that we bring that take little space. A few of our favorites are: Rory’s Story Cubes, Scrambled States, Bananagrams, and Pizza Fraction Fun Game. These are all very small and can actually fit into my purse if taken out of the package. And they fit perfectly into the children’s backpacks, too!
Use Apps for Online Learning
It is so neat how technology allows us to bring a variety of amazing learning tools on an iDevice. The children enjoy playing educational apps and using their favorite online learning sites. We also have a full library of books on each of our Kindles as well. We also love how you don’t need an Internet connection to read and play (most) apps. This has been a huge blessing to our homeschool.
While there are countless ways we can homeschool our children while traveling, we hope this list is helpful to a family who might not have as much experience in this area as we do. Who says you can’t enjoy schooling and traveling all at the same time? They actually coexist quite nicely if the time and care are put into planning. Happy schooling and safe travels!
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