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Homeschooling with "Carschooling" and "Fieldtripping"

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By Heather Solsbery

Carschooling

A New View

Recently, I talked to an old friend 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 zip-line together. They also spent time doing nothing at the hotel—just lying 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 layer for the senses, making it forever engrained in your memory as an enjoyable experience.

I'm a big "carschool" advocate. We have a plastic box with handles, 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, extracurricular 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.

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 that will help you turn your venture in to an educational experience:

  • Read "Great Family Road-Trip Tips: Keep them Busy, Busy, Busy"(great tips).
  • Keep a box of books in the car. 
  • Print out maps for the kids to follow along.
  • Utilize your DVD player for educational flicks rather than just playing animated movies.
  • Create a checklist of things you want your children to do while you are out and about.
  • Teach your kids some road games that encourage them to pay attention to their surroundings.
  • Sing along with educational CDs—it is a great way to memorize things. (Math songs, anyone?)

"Fieldtripping"

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 the fact that field trips add an element of physical education (a subject most homeschools are deficient in). The academic part of the field trip is often just the icing on the cake. We go on field trips because fieldtrippin' is fun!

Heather is a homeschooling mom to four kids. When she isn't making Tex-Mex food, learning web design, or rubbing her face on the cat's belly, she loves to blog. Read her writings at Sprittibee.

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