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School on the road - any tips?

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We will be travelling for 5 - 8 weeks, but really can't afford to take time off of schoolwork. I also don't want a bunch of books and other materials taking up a lot of room. I've been tossing around the idea of making my own travel workbook of sorts, by making copies from our books and typing up my own workbook-type pages. I would love to be able to get some school done while driving to destinations and this is the only way I can think to make it open and go. I will also have a netbook, an ipod touch, and my Kindle for books. I've been contemplating an online resource - maybe Discovery Streaming? How would you do school on the road? :bigear:

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I do school-on-the-road or school-on-the-sea every year. My strategy is to bring their math books and then pick a few other subjects to cover completely during that time, rather than trying to do a little bit in all their subjects. That takes too much space. So, the year we drove across country, I brought their math books, a journal, and decided that they were going to do some geography (Geography Colouring Book) and US history - all of US history. That meant I brought their spine and their extra reading. They learned more geography and history as we visited places. They knew they were supposed to read all the signs and talk to people. Mine tend to do that, anyway. : ) Campgrounds are full of friendly people from other places, and national parks are full of informative signs. When we were driving, it kept them from getting bored, and on days when we stayed in one place, everyone was happy to have a bit of down time every day to read, a rest from sight-seeing or rock climbing or swimming. When we are sailing, reading keeps us entertained in a tiny space in bad weather and give the children a chance to lie down out of the sun. Mine all have said for years that they liked having reading to do in the summer. Well, except the math. We could all do without the math books : ). We'd rather play dominoes, naturally.


We noticed that most informative displays in the national parks were designed for several learning styles and therefore repeated the same information several different ways. I found this very useful.



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I've traveled a lot with DS6 and kept up with lessons by doing a bunch of different things, depending on how we're traveling, where and for how long.


If you'll have access to a printer along the way, you can create pages you'll need and upload to google documents for instant access and printing when needed. That way, you don't have to print and pack to start your trip. If you don't want to have to keep pages with you throughout the trip - drop them in an envelope and mail them home! Public libraries, FedEx Kinkos and other locations have access to printing for free or a small fee.


You can also just print what you need (or scan/copy from workbooks) and place in a small (1/2") binder to take with you....scan/copy any reading you'll need to go with worksheets.


Depending on where you are traveling, you can do more hands-on visit type lessons....children's museums, historical sites, etc. make for great break-stops along the way and are good to do things tied to what the kids are learning. Depending on their age, they can read ahead of the visit and then do something while there, or learn something while there and then write about it or orally present to you following the visit. I love stopping at children's museums myself - they often have arts & crafts, math stuff, science and other options that can be done easily while there that ties into lesson plans already in progress.


On recent trips I've downloaded a variety of iPod & iPad apps to use for some lessons while traveling....as well as some books since it's easier than lugging books with us.


Some toys lend themselves to lessons on the road too - I've packed legos to use while we're traveling for DS to build a pyramid while doing Ancient Egypt, another time packed up a set of sea-life toobes to create a diorama about ocean animals (with shoebox and art supplies in shoebox).


One idea I'm toying with for an upcoming trip is using a notebook/journal - start with blank and have DS create pages along the way during the trip so that we make a trip-log of all the things we're learning along the way without any formal plan in place before starting (other than his basic daily reading-phonics and math we can do with or without books-worksheets).

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Couldn't he do a social studies scrapbook? You know, postcards from each place you stop, pictures of himself at points of interest (any place you stop, lol), pictures of any historical markers, maps of your travels; he'd have to memorize state capitols, bodies of water, mountain ranges; presidents who might have come from those locations, and he'd have to write short biographies of them; when each state was accepted into the union; draw their state flags and explain their symbolism; learn state flower, tree, bird, etc.


For science he could collect leaves, flowers, etc., label them, and mount them when he gets home. He could also keep a weather journal, find out what average rainfall and temps are.


Each night he could write a journal page of what he did during the day. In fact, in the evening he could put postcards, leaves, and whatnot onto journal pages right then.


He could keep track of expenses.


You might be able to find books about places you'll be visiting, or just driving through, and he could read those while y'all are driving. He could tell you about what he's learned (I guess that would be narration?).


No workbooks. Maybe a math textbook. Still lots of learning, and maybe even some fun.:)

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The last time we travelled (for 3 weeks to the UK), I put together three weeks worth of prinited pages that I had spiral-bound together. I did it specifically for the trip so that there were journal pages or history readings that lined up with the places we visited. I limited everything to about an hour each day focusing on history, math, and writing. It worked really well.

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Thanks everyone! Some really good ideas here. The scrapbook idea is great! I'm thinking that I will do some photocopying of books I don't want us to fall behind on while away, and then base our studies around our travels. I will have a portable printer with me to print off anything I may need and don't have while on the road. I really want to travel light as far as school goes. We will have a pretty good amount of clothes, plus all the business tech gear. Oh, and I just remembered what a good resource Netflix is! Lots of planning to do...:001_smile: (I love planning!)

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