Have you ever thought about homeschooling while traveling? I’m sharing a few tips for how we’ve managed to homeschool while traveling to some of our favorite destinations. This post is sponsored by the Gulf Shores Orange Beach Tourism Board.
Traveling is something that my family loves to do together. I’m a firm believer in traveling the world with your kids. It not only provides many chances to bond and create memories but it also allows for learning opportunities. Learning from the hands-on experiences in the world rather than from a computer or textbook is something that is really priceless. When traveling kids soak up any and everything they experience.
Whenever I’m planning a vacation I always make sure that I can incorporate some sort of lesson during our trip. If we’re visiting a beach destination, lessons about the animals natural habitat or even surfing lessons are something that I would consider. It’s not just about learning what they teach in the textbooks but about everything a destination has to offer. What can I teach my kids about the local culture, food, animals or even the history of the area?
If you’re wanting to start incorporating homeschooling while traveling, here’s a few tips to get you started.
Tips for Homeschooling While Traveling
Research your destination
The first thing you’ll want to do before leaving for your destination is research. What do you want your kids to learn while you’re visiting? Will you focus on specific subjects or multiple? Once you’ve figured out what types of lessons your destination has to offer then you can start your research. Where will you plan to visit? How much time do you need to spend there?
During our trip to Gulf Shores, I knew by doing a little research that we would take our kids to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, Fort Morgan and Orange Beach. The two subjects we would focus on would be science and history. The lessons and activities that we did on our trip would serve as notes listed in her activity journal that is a part of her yearly homeschool evaluation.
Plan lessons in advance
After my research was done, I planned a few lessons. The key here is not to overdo it. Remember that you’re still traveling and more than likely won’t have enough time to enjoy any free time if you over schedule yourself. A good rule of thumb is 1-2 lessons per day. Smaller lessons are perfect and you could even have multiple lessons done at one location.
If you’re planning to visit Orange Beach during turtle nesting season, definitely stop at the visitors center to get a flashlight filter as the light from your cell phone flashlight is too harsh for the turtle eggs. A few things you can build into your lesson plans are:
- How many eggs do turtles lay
- When is turtle nesting season
- Learn about sea turtle life cycles and draw a picture
- Read a book about turtles
Ask your kids questions
As you go through the activities always ask your kids questions to make sure that they’re actually learning and comprehending what they’re doing. Whenever we’re done with an activity, Tatiana always has to tell me at least 3 things she’s learned. Sometimes she’ll ask to do something like a diorama or a report on what she’s learning. I know she really is into the lesson then because she wants to do extra work.
Encourage them to take notes
Keeping a journal or notebook with notes is so important to the experience. There’s so much information learned on a trip that it’s easy to forget details once you’re home. Taking notes or pictures to document what they’re learning is a great way for them to remember the trip years in the future.
Take a class
Most destinations have multiple classes to choose from. Think cooking classes, photography, graffiti, etc. Museums and attractions typically have some sort of learning experience that you can purchase in addition to general admission. We visited the zoo in Gulf Shores and had the chance to do a kangaroo encounter. Our kids were able to interact with the kangaroos and learn more about them. It was worth the additional fee and the perfect learning experience for them. Once we got home our kids were able to tell us what they learned, color some photos of kangaroos, and tell their friends all about what they learned.
Stick to your homeschooling routine
Sticking to a routine is very important for us since we have younger kids. I find that sticking to our routine helps them to stay on track and not get too crazy with their asks during our trip. Nap and meal times are essential to a smooth trip so we do our best to work around them. The beauty about homeschooling and creating your routine is that you can customize it in the best way that works for your family.
Don’t stray from your curriculum
If we lay out exactly what we’re planning to learn on our trip and how it ties into what the kids are currently learning, the kids can help to pick out activities that they’re interested in that tie into our curriculum. Since I create our own curriculum using different materials it’s easy to customize what we’re learning when we’re traveling to certain destinations.