NOTE: This is Part 8 of a 10 day series on Accidental Unschooling that is taking me LONGER than 10 days to write (sorry). If you are OCD and want to start from the introduction or Part 1, hop to the bottom of this post and use the conveniently provided links!
Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind. ~Seneca
A NEW VIEW
I talked to an old friend recently who had gone on vacation for the weekend with her spouse. They left the kids behind and traveled a few hours on a short road trip to a nearby town to stay in a bed and breakfast. During that time they went on a “field trip” so they could zipline together. They also spent time doing ‘nothing’ at the hotel – just laying around and watching TV. She admitted that it was silly to pay money and travel “just to watch TV”, but somehow it felt different and more relaxing – just being in a new setting.
Can you relate? It may be the same read-aloud book – but the fresh air and picnic blanket add an extra sensory layer towards making it forever engrained in your memory as an enjoyable “experience”.
I’m a big carschool advocate. We have a plastic box with handles (like the kind you get at Walmart and keep under your bathroom cabinet) and we pile our reading material in it and take it with us in the car all the time. Some of this habit grew out of necessity (when you have appointments at the doctor, extra curricular activities, and errands to run, you need to get creative and maximize your time). However, I would venture to say that most of why we love carschooling so much is because we really enjoy being on the go.
I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them. ~Mark Twain
Whether you are just driving in town and getting extra reading done while you are out and about, listening to books on CD between doctor appointments, or actually taking a field trip or vacation with the kids, there are a few great tips you might browse over that will help you turn your venture in to an educational experience:
- Keeping Kids Busy Busy Busy on Road Trips (great tips)
- Take along a snack bag in case the kids get cranky
- Keep a box of books in the car if you are driving
- Print out maps for the kids to use to follow along
- Utilize your Blue-ray or DVD player for educational flicks rather than playing just animated movies
- Create a check list of things you want to have them do while you are out and about
- Research the places you will go ahead of time
- Have the kids make travel journals and take notes, save momentos, take photos to put in them later, draw or sketch, etc.
- Play some road games that encourage paying attention to their surroundings
- Singing along with educational CDs is a great way to memorize things (Math songs anyone?)
- Listen to books or the Bible instead of just reading them
- Pack a sack lunch so you can picnic in the great outdoors
- Remember to take a first aid kit, a blanket, sunglasses, extra batteries, chapstick, and other important things you might need for emergencies
I have always been a nomad at heart. Field trips feed my love for getting out, being on the go, being in the sunshine and having a different view (and not thinking about all the chores that need to get done before dinner). Not to mention, field trips add an element of physical education in (a subject most homeschools are deficient in). The “academic” part of the field trip is often just the icing on the cake. We field trip because field trippin’ is fun!
Back in the ancient history of blogging (2005), I started a blog series called “Field Trip Foto Friday“. I used to post about field trips almost weekly. After I had the last two little babies, our field trips dwindled off and I haven’t posted much on my homeschooling because I felt so inadequate as a homeschooler who had fallen in to “Accidental Unschooling”. It took a lot of seeing my kids blossom in spite of my perceived failures for me to realize that I wasn’t a flop of a homeschool mom after all; which is kind of the reason I’m here today talking about field trips with you. I plan to continue updating my homeschool series now that the shame is fading. It takes a while to unlearn homeschool mom guilt. I’m also getting out and doing more now that the little guys are able to keep up.
WHERE IN THE WORLD…
Have some great field trip ideas? Consider sharing them here in the comments so we can all add them to our field trip idea lists. Shoot, if you are a homeschool blogger, put a link down there so we can go read about your adventures and see photos. I love seeing other homeschool families and their adventures in this great big world.
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Next up we’re going to talk about what NOT to skimp on.
The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway. ~Henry Boye
Below are links to the rest of the series so it’s easier to navigate for those that surf in after the fact. There is also a handy button on my sidebar to bring you back to this series later, should you want to read at leisure.
Introduction to this series
Day 1: Not So Super
Day 2: Morphing Methods
Day 3: Out of the Box
Day 4: Learning From Life
Day 5: Grace is for Homeschoolers
Day 6: Taste and See
Day 7: Grease and Sugar
Day 8: Carschooling and Fieldtripping
Day 9: Reading to Succeed
Day 10: Heart Over Mind
Be sure to join me each day. I’ll be giving away a prize to a random winner in my comments section on these posts. Each comment counts as one entry. I love comments! Even if I don’t have time to answer every comment or email, I cherish them and enjoy getting to know my fellow homeschooling moms.
This post is a part of the 10 Days of… Series at iHomeschoolNetwork. Check out the other amazing homeschool bloggers who are participating in the writing challenge by visiting the landing page there.
Thanks for joining me!