The best thing about homeschooling your children are the abilities to get creative with any and all lessons. I love being able to teach my children without them actually knowing their learning. There is no lack of education that you can build into any trip. In fact, because you are experiencing the lesson, your children may actually learn more.
How to turn any trip into a Homeschool lesson:
Let your Child Navigate: Ok, GPS is great at helping your child with “turn left in 500 feet” or “Your destination will be on the left in .4 miles,” but, if you really want them to paint a picture of distance and comprehend the route, get out an old school map. Before your trip, map it out explaining how long it takes and how the map works (If younger children will appreciate this, even if they can’t “really” navigate). Printing out a map with directions from Google maps is a great way of incorporating spatial skills, higher thinking, geography, and distance.
Visit Local Museums: When you travel, you’re sure to come across some museums in that area. From Historical museums about the city to art and science museums, you can explore numerous skills from just one visit. Take time to visit and explore at least one museum reading and explaining the pieces in the museum and explaining why they are there.
Learn about the Destination: Get your kids hyped up about any place you plan on going. Check out some books about the area from the library. Look at what the city looked like, how the culture is in that area, and what types of food are eaten there. If you are going to a different country, this is a great cultural experience. As you get towards your destination, check your books to see if you can find buildings featured in the books or other things that painted a picture in the book.
Get the Facts about the Fun Spots: Even if you are going to a theme park or water park, there is a lot of information you can find about a specific theme park. You can teach engineering (how did they build your favorite ride), history (when and why was the theme park created), and so much more. Get your kids excited about the theme park by finding online articles about the rides (technology, searching skills), and discover the history behind the park (maybe it has a thrilling haunted story to it). These skills meet up with research, history, reading, and best of all are fun!
Incorporate Writing when you get Home: Taking a trip is a perfect writing prompt! It is something that was fun, it was something experienced, and it was something your child is already familiar with. There are numerous prompts you can choose from such as:
- Write an Essay Comparing and Contrasting the Two places we visited
- Write a Persuasive text that Persuades the Reader to Visit X (the place you went)
- Write a Story about your trip with Beginning, Middle, and End
- For younger children, ask them to draw pictures, explain two things they learned or have them retell their trip.
Not only will this prompt be a perfect way to get writing flowing, it is a great way for your child to remember and reminisce about their experiences.
Because homeschooling gives you the freedom to teach what you want when you want, you can use your “field trip” as a time to learn, explore, and retell the accounts of their trip in an educational, yet fun setting. Learning is always best when you experience it. What other ways have you used experiences to teach your kids?
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