By Gloria Ellis
If you’re anything like me, you are looking forward to traveling this summer! After over a year of quarantine, my family is excited to experience airplanes, campgrounds, rental cars, hotels, and Airbnbs once again. As a homeschooling family that loves to travel, we’ve made our formal learning model mobile, and we take advantage of every opportunity to learn new skills and gain knowledge at each place we go!
There are many great online programs, including our own Lighthouse Homeschool Solutions, which make it easy to take your “textbooks” and assignments and other learning materials everywhere you go.
With an electronic device and wifi connection, it’s so convenient for your children to simply log on and have all of their learning resources, assignments, and activity submissions at their fingertips! In addition to our own Lighthouse program, there are many great online schools that offer individual courses alongside full, grade-level enrollment (APEX, BYU, Laurel Springs, K-12, and many more), and these programs are great for making sure that you’re children are staying on track with state requirements and grade-level expectations. Furthermore, online courses and practice materials through programs such as ALEKS, IXL, MosaMack, Kids Discover Online, and more can take the pressure off of parents to generate learning plans and collect learning resources on their own. But other families appreciate the flexibility of designing their own curriculum and letting the road dictate their family’s learning. Here are some suggestions for making the most of your time while on the road!
Your student should always have a core set of materials that is part of their travel bag. A current book, a math workbook, and a journal can form the foundation. A pencil case filled with pencils, pens, colored pencils, and erasers is also essential. Finally a sketchpad rounds out your core supplies for learning while traveling. These items alone can get your student far with their learning during travel.
Another useful idea may be a basic set of expectations for learning while traveling.
While one of the great aspects of homeschooling is the flexibility it can give your family’s schedule, having a basic idea regarding expectations can really go a long way towards making sure that the development of necessary skills are not overlooked. Again, in my experience, these essential skills are in reading, writing, and math, so make sure the time and the expectations are there to develop and utilize these skills regularly. Reading before bed, and writing chapter summaries or personal reflections in a journal, are simple ways to incorporate regular language arts skills into your summer travel. Math workbooks like Drops in the Bucket or Spectrum Enrichment are also great for keeping skills fresh and advancing your students’ math abilities to the next level. Parents can make a goal of one workbook page each day and feel comfortable that their students are progressing.
Once the basic skills are covered, The real fun of learning while traveling begins. This is where you get to look at the resources available in the areas you’re traveling. Are there great history museums, glorious natural resources, universities, an observatory, art museums, or government agencies that can offer learning opportunities? You can help your student set up an interview with a local leader, business owner, or artist to learn more about the area and its culture. Learning about the history, art, religion, languages, social structure, economy, government, literature, and natural resources of an area will give your child a deep appreciation and understanding of the places you visit! Make up a template for the information you expect your children to learn about the places you go, and set them to research and investigation. Visualize your travel destination and, together, come up with what you hope to learn and experience. Then, make it happen!
Last but not least, pick a few life skills that your children are ready to learn and make them responsible for those aspects of your travel. Asking directions, doing laundry, ordering room service, navigating public transportation, reading maps, paying the cashier, pumping gas, or packing their own clothes- these are just some of the many life skills that children can start to master if parents support and encourage them as part of their travel learning!
If you embrace homeschooling, roadschooling, worldschooling, or unschooling as methods of bonding with and educating your children in a fun, flexible, and holistic manner, then you know that the opportunities for learning are endless, and that they can far exceed the limits of the traditional classroom! You can contact us to schedule a consultation; we’ll help you set up a summer learning program for your child, whether you’ll be at home or on the road. Safe travels and happy learning!