By Gloria Jones Ellis, M.A. – Educational Therapist & Co-Founder of Lighthouse Homeschool Solutions
If you’re anything like me, you are looking forward to traveling this year! My family is always excited to experience airplanes, campgrounds, rental cars, hotels, motels, and Airbnbs. 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 in every new place!
There are many great online programs, including our own Lighthouse Homeschool Solutions, which make it easy to take your “textbooks,” 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, we can help you discover many other great online programs that offer individual courses alongside full, grade-level enrollment; these programs are great for making sure that you’re children are staying on track with state requirements and grade-level expectations. Furthermore, courses and practice materials from supplemental online learning programs 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 novel, a math workbook, and a notebook 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 is 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. Leveled math workbooks 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 on the road 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! If you’re intrigued but still uncertain about how to get started, please contact us to schedule a consultation; we’ll help you set up a solid learning program for your child whether you’re homeschooling, roadschooling, or worldschooling this year!
We have also added some great new travel units on our Lighthouse Homeschool Solutions website to incorporate into your roadschool or worldschool curriculum. Each unit provides online resources about a region’s culture, food, arts, history, language, government, and nature. Click below and scroll down to the Specialty Courses to see which countries are available for you and your family to explore. Safe travels and happy learning!