Take Homeschooling on the Road This SummerJuly 7, 2022
With summer just about in full swing, you’re likely already considering spending a little time away from home. As a homeschooling parent, you’re not necessarily bound by the structures of the traditional school year. Nevertheless, the great weather makes for excellent opportunities for fun and adventure.
This doesn’t mean your kids’ education necessarily has to be interrupted, though. The freedom you have in taking the approach that best suits your family also makes for a more agile curriculum. You can utilize a road trip with your family in a far more valuable way than just the usual sightseeing and recreation tour. You can take your homeschooling on the road for a fun, fascinating, and enriching experience for everyone involved.
So, how can you best go about arranging a homeschooling road trip? Let’s take a look at some of the key areas you should focus on.
As a homeschooling parent, you already know about the value of good preparation. Sure, you might improvise some lessons, but a well-organized curriculum usually helps both you and your kids have a positive educational experience. The same has to apply to taking your homeschooling on the road. By thoroughly preparing your entire trip ahead of time, you will find you can squeeze the most value, fun, and enrichment from your period away.
This starts with establishing what you want to do during this summer. Perform some research to identify landmarks, attractions, and locations you want to hit. Utilize your curriculum as a framework here. Look for historical places of interest you’ve recently been discussing in your lessons. Search out national parks that include geographical features to demonstrate the theory your kids have studied, such as Yellowstone or Niagara Falls. You can then create the most efficient route to visit these and perform activities in the time you have available.
Remember to maintain a balance, though. The road trip should be enjoyable as well as educational. Try not to pack too much into each day. As with any learning experience, your kids will retain more if the strict learning sessions are shorter. Give them time to relax and unwind.
You’ll also find both your kids and you will get the most out of your time away if you don’t have any worries or concerns about what is happening back home. If you’re going to be traveling for an extended period you should plan to make your home secure, safe, and sustainable. Ensure all doors and windows are locked and arrange to have your neighbors keep an eye on your home. Turn off any unnecessary electronics and shut off your water at the mains. These small steps can make a big difference to your peace of mind.
Your kids’ well-being is essential to their education. As such, it’s important to make sure safety plays a key part in taking your summer homeschooling on the road. This isn’t just something for you to take care of personally. Involving your children here can make for a positive and practical learning experience in itself.
Collaborate together on establishing safety rules and guidelines that reduce risks during your road trip. This could include basic parameters for demonstrating respect to minimize stress for everyone. It might involve getting to know the local laws of the places you’ll be visiting so everyone can mitigate the potential for issues to arise. It’s also wise to work together on establishing maintenance routines for your car, both in terms of preparation for travel and during the time you’ll be spending away.
As you work together to ensure a safe trip, you should take the time to provide education on emergency scenarios. This could include providing basic first aid and refreshing your kids’ knowledge of how to seek help while away from home. For older children, arranging cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) lessons can be a good idea. Assigning each child roles in the event of a breakdown can be a practical option, too. This knowledge will help your kids feel more confident and in control while away from home.
Provide Diverse Experiences
Perhaps the most valuable aspect of taking your homeschooling on the road is that you’re all outside of the regular structures of day-to-day life. This is an idea you should embrace. When kids’ educational perspectives are just limited to their immediate culture and surroundings, this isn’t effectively serving their social, psychological, and emotional development. As such, your road trip should seek to take advantage of diverse experiences.
Alongside the usual field trip ideas of museums and geographical landmarks, find opportunities to learn about different cultures. The U.S. is a melting pot, each community has its own history and traditions. Attend festivals celebrating various ethnic and national groups. Visit facilities — like the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum or the National Museum of African American History and Culture — that explore the challenges some communities face. Have conversations with people from various backgrounds while on the road. This helps your kids to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of multiculturalism.
There should also be some diversity in the types of homeschooling field trip activities you utilize on the journey. You can certainly follow up visits with short written reports. But also use more hands-on learning. Arrange site-specific science experiments if you’re visiting different climates. Arrange scavenger hunts that explore important landmarks and reinforce what your kids have been learning about them. Mix things up a little and provide some contrast.
Part of the beauty of homeschooling is it doesn’t just have to take place at home. The summer can be a great time to take to the road and create experiences to enrich your kids’ education. Be sure to plan thoroughly and get your kids involved in making the expedition safe for everyone. Remember to embrace diverse cultures and activities along the way. The open road offers so many incredible opportunities, so why not plan a homeschooling trip that makes the most of them?
More About the Author:
Sam Bowman is a writer who enjoys getting to utilize the internet for the community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time, he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.