Thursday, March 15, 2012

Road Trips With Kids - Our Homeschool Week

Have a road trip planned for Spring Break?
 Headed to some awesome conventions - like Teach Them Diligently or Apologia Live with the family? 

You need a travel plan! Not the kind you're thinking of, but the kind that will keep the children happy
 so that you can actually enjoy your time on the road with them. It - just - so - happens that 
I'M GOING On a ROAd TRiP - so, I thought I'd share my plans with you. 

Look out TTD and Apologia Live - here we come! 
A very special thank you to my awesome sponsor's: 

I do hope you'll take a moment to check out the 411 on this 
new documentary about adoption - a topic close to my heart!

On the road: 
First of all, it's important to make it special for the kids. Simple changes can make the ordinary seem 
extra- extraordinary! For instance - we pick out a little something we like to call "Vacation Cereal".
If you're a total sugar free family - you may want to cover your ears. 
I try to limit the sugar in our house,
but having a special cereal on vacation that they aren't otherwise allowed to have
 . . . You Got It. . . . Makes It Special! (I'm thinking we may have a date with the Captain)

Another simple road trip trick is to make new travel journals. The kids can decorate them to add 
personality - the one below is plain paper with a thicker card stock for the front and back covers.
I used a hole punch and a couple of rings to make it official. I threw out a few options from the
 craft stash and this is what one of  the boys came up with: 

That's a homemade stamp of the state of Florida there on the right - by the way - an snails - 
because every boy needs a snail on his journal - the flower is for them to eat - snails like flowers. 

Wanna go a little fancier? Cover an inexpensive notebook or journal with maps, fun paper, 
or even paper grocery bags and scraps of maps (I used the wrapper my map came in - upcycle!)

I'll be packing small "fun bags" for each boy which will include some blank 3 x 5 cards and 
some washable markers. Washable matters. Markers are bright and colorful. You can even draw
a few simple shapes on the cards for the kids to trace. The cards can be added to the travel journal 
or they can even be mailed out as postcards! Don't forget Nana's address and a stamp or two!

Stained glass windows? This ought to keep them busy for awhile! Use a black marker to scribble  draw geometric lines all over your 3 x 5 card and have them fill in each shape with a different color. 

Another great project for the car ride or hotel time is to bring 4 x 6 inch foam cards, foam stickers
Add a set of dice and you've got a new math  travel game (wink wink) 

 For this trip, I'm packing a lot of our food - I'm currently freezing pudding cups
to throw in the cooler so that by the time we get down the road  they'll be ready for a special picnic. 
Which reminds me, be sure to plan plenty of stops along the way.

 I look for parks on the state park web sites and I always check the A.S.T.C. *dot org site to 
find out which of the Association of Science and Technology Centers we can get into for free. 
You can check the site to see if one of your local museums offers membership which then gives you
 access to some 400 various centers around the country (and beyond). I plan as much as possible of 
these free educational (yet really really fun) excursions as possible during our vacations. One of 
the places we'll be going for free? The Florida Museum of Natural History and their Butterfly Rainforest 
is one of the fabulous free places (with my ASTC membership through the Charlotte County Historical Society - on our list this trip:

We've had fun getting ready for our trip! We made some goodies out of felt for the road - little ideas to help keep kids busy - and they've learned a new skill in the process: 

I made this cute pouch for my little guy to carry his crayons in (he's my artist) and his alphabet cards, because he needs to practice his alphabet while on the road. Flashcards have been a big help to this visual learner of mine. We even made special flashcards with pictures made from each letter. It'll hold 
a small pack of paper, crayons, and a game or two! 

How do I homeschool on the road? Well, easy going - for one thing. It's an opportunity for a trapped audience too - and I really like that! They can't even run off. One of the things we learned about this past week which I plan to discuss further on the road is "The Old Deluder Satan Act"  - If you haven't read this document - I suggest you do. Very Interesting. Did you know that our first schools were set up primarily to teach children to read and write so they wouldn't be fooled by the evil one? 
They also were intended for people to be able to understand the written laws of the land. 

True story. I had never read it before Rebecca from Moms Mustard Seeds posted a link to it on her FreedomFriday post.  Every Friday she, and Lynn, from Founders Academy  are providing FREE
History Lessons! These are no fly by night deals - they have put a lot of work, time, and effort into it. 
I do hope you'll take advantage of this incredible free resource! The thing is, even if your kiddos are too little to completely understand the free video lesson (although mine get something out of it every week) It is a wonderful refresher course for moms and gives you great material to open up discussions with your children and offer them truly valuable information about our nation. I'd like to see everyone doing these lessons together - I just think they are THAT important and THAT incredible. Even my little guys are learning a great deal more from adding it to our History studies. (I promise I'm not being paid to tell you this - lol) It's wonderful - and hard to beat FREE!

We've already begun discussion about what we've labeled "That Darn Deluder" - I love hearing the insight from my children after I've shared something important like this. They get it! They really get it! 

We're also hauling these fun dry erase projects and books with us along the way. School is more fun on a dry erase board with a marker - don't you think? 

Speaking of Homeschool - have you seen all the FREE links provided by Kathy@ Kathy's Cluttered Mind and Jen from Gricefully Homeschooling? They have a link up every Friday where you can post any free homeschool resources you've used or you come across. If you are like me, and homeschooling on a budget - it's another wonderful source of information! 
Both of them are sweet homeschool moms I know you'll enjoy. I get to meet Kathy this week and so many more of you! Please let me know if you are planning to be at TTD or Apologia Live in Atlanta! 

3 in 30 - My goals for this month: 
I need a do-over! We like do-overs at our house and sometimes even mommy has to use them! I'm not exercising like I'm supposed to be - although I'll be moving around more on my trip. I still need to up my water intake, but at least I'm doing better than before. I'm going with "some improvement is better than no improvement" - I am eating healthier. (afraid being on the road will fix that!) 
My blog planning and study is going well. I'm so happy with my sponsor. I'm proud to support the team of people who created this incredible documentary. My walk with the Lord and sharing God's Word with the kids is on track. He's walked me through the fire lately. He is my strong tower ! 

So, how was your week? 
Do you have travel plans for Spring Break? 

Linking with: 
  The Homeschool Mother's Journal   



Jen G said...

Thank you so much for the shout out!!! Have a safe trip and praying it's pain-free for you!

MomLaur said...

Those travel journals are a GREAT idea! Thanks for sharing these Kelli!

Aurie{OurGoodLife} said...

I hope you have SUCH a good time! Can't wait to read all about it :)

Mystic_Mom said...

We have some road trips coming up this summer, thanks for the great ideas! I'll be building the Road Trip box well in advance to keep everyone busy! :-)

Lisa said...

I am SO impressed with all of the planning you put into your children's travel activities! Wow! The travel journals are awesome! I hope you have a wonderful time and can't wait to hear all about it! :-)))

Holly said...

Love those journals! Great idea. I love road trips with my little guys too. Will have to make journals on our next adventure!

Thank you for visiting my site, fellow Latitude-er.

Sherri said...

Awesome tips for road trip planning!

Anonymous said...

I love all the art!!

Those travel journals are a great idea!

Traci's Teaching Times said...

Marvelous ideas for traveling, hope you all have a great & safe trip.

Our Side of the Mountain said...

Awesome tips!

I think the best things for us when we travel is stopping at state parks or playgrounds! They're inexpensive and most have bathrooms and places for a picnic lunch. (Much healthier than fast food! LOL)

During our last trip, I gave the kids braiding circles and they braided off-and-on during the trip.

Susan said...

This is a great post! Filled with all sorts of really helpful tips and resources. Thanks for linking up with Favorite Resources :) Hope your travels are going well!

k balman said...

Great post. I am so glad to have met you. I cannot wait until I get to do road trip with the kids.