Jump to content


Portable Schoolwork?


Recommended Posts

The 2017-18 school year will be an active one for us. Lots of road trips that will be hours long and field trips that will be 30 min -1 hour away. I'm thinking of making our curriculum more portable, but I need help! ideas! maybe new curricula!




I don't know yet, but our little guy is ready for something. 


3rd grade plans so far:

Math: Saxon 3

Spelling/Grammar: Logic of English Essentials & Fix-It

Reading: BJU Reading 3

Writing: IEW Geography-Based 

History: Notgrass America the Beautiful (with big sis)

Geography: USA states & capitals & features

Science: Apologia Human Anatomy

Language: Song School Latin


6th grade plans:

Math: Saxon 6/5 

Spelling/Grammar: Logic of English Essentials & Fix-It

Reading: literature guides?

Writing: IEW US History-based

History: Notgrass America the Beautiful 

Geography: USA states & capitals & features

Science: Apologia Human Anatomy

Language: Latin for Children A


My thoughts so far:

I could put the math in binders.

Logic of English has way too many pieces to take it along. Maybe I should switch to grade-level workbooks?

Writing would be okay to travel with, I think. 

History is hard. Its a textbook, so that's kind of bulky for a car ride. 

Geography is easy - drawing/tracing maps, singing songs. 

Science will probably be at home - I cant think of how to bring that along. Unless there aren't many projects/experiments?

Latin seems hard to travel with too, but maybe it's not? If you have used those programs, I'd love to hear about it.


I could use an old school trapper keeper for all their work, each subject with its own section. The problem would be with the subjects like history, it has a student workbook, timeline, review book and map book. Apologia science has journals that go with their books, although I haven't decided if we will use them.

Right now we use drawers to organize all their schoolwork, and they have grade-level workbooks for spelling and reading. We began the year with Logic of English, but I had such bad morning sickness that I didn't keep up with anything teacher intensive. Maybe I should give up this one? 


ETA information. 

Edited by sangtarah
Link to comment
Share on other sites

when we needed to road school, the easiest thing for me was to have workbooks and read alouds only. mine were around the same age as yours, and a bit younger. each child had a backpack with absolutely everything in it. pencils, workbooks, crayons, readers. whatever school stuff they needed was in there. 


we had a lot of doctors visits and waiting rooms. i would read to them quietly while we waited, or have one read to me while the other did his workbook. no one ever complained that we were too noisy. 


if you are road-tripping, audiobooks are a godsend. i find that we cover more road, stop less often, and no one is bored. just be sure to have more than you think you could need. they go faster than you think. 

Edited by Desert Strawberry
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The system I use is I copy all textbook pages and worksheets needed for a time period and file one copy in her daily notebook and one in my teacher's binder with my lesson plans even when we are studying at home. Everything needed to complete assignments are in her backpack. So when we are on the road, It easy for us to grab our backpacks and just go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I would try to find a history and science on audio. I know SOTW was already mentioned for history, but I believe Mystery of History and Diana Waring also have audio. Apologia has audio for their Exploring Creation series.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a lotta books there, OP. Can you get any on E-book?


For example, I got Famous Men of The Middle Ages in Kindle, with the WB from MP in paper. I cut the binding off and put it in his binder. SOTW in Audio format. We have other stuff for at home, but math on the go== Strayer Upton with this grid paper in the binder. We use a stand-up abacus at home, but I'm going to order a small, flat one for the bag. All writing and drawing is done in a spiral bound book (loose paper is a quick road to chaos) and there's a "notes" section in the binder for outlines and such. Science NBs== binding cut off, put into binder.


I'd definitely separate work out by the term instead of looking at a whole year's worth. 


If you need a bag, I had a thread around here recently about that, and I ended up with an Extra large zip top tote from Land's End. It's my favorite new thing!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we go on long road trips, I just pack it all. When we're doing a trip where space matters, like a flight, I pack some smaller books for subjects that are essential and skip the rest. I might pack an extra practice book instead of a regular math book, for instance. My kid in algebra might spend a week with the thinner life of fred book instead of the massive AoPS book.


We also have one day each week that is an on-the-go day in town - it has several lessons and appointments. I've already set up next year's tentative schedule, and I've make accommodations for that day. For my 6th grader, he'll take notes from textbooks on other days, but on that day he'll do the History Detective workbook. Instead of hauling all of of the MCT books around, he'll read for literature. It's the day that we skip any 3x/week subjects, so we're already not taking everything with us. During the school year that we just finished (our last day was yesterday) my kids would often get up and do the subjects in thick books before we left the house so that we had a lighter load to haul. For some subjects, instead of doing 1 lesson per day in each, my kids would choose to do, for example, 2 spelling exercises on Monday and then 2 grammar exercises on Tuesday so that they only needed 1 book each day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My situation is a little different in that I have 2 days a week we do school out of the house (for appointments/dual enrollment/etc). 


On those days, we sit in the student union for 2 hours as well as various doctor offices. My 6th and 4th grader bring the following materials for those days:


Hands On Equations

Handwriting Without Tears

Readers just for those days

Scholastic Writing books

Apples and Pears Spelling

Logic Workbooks (One Hour Mysteries for younger and Mindbenders for older)

File Folder games on various topics


The other 3 days, they do:


Math (Beast Academy/McRuffy)

All About Spelling

History & Science Unit Studies which include writing

Different readers & a read Aloud

And probably stuff I'm forgetting


For preschool, I would probably use Rod & Staff Preschool or those Kumon "Let's Fold/Cut/Color" or even one of those "Complete Curriculum/Brainy Baby" multi workbooks. Edit: you can put Pre-K'ers workbook pages in page protectors and use dry erase crayons so the pages can be done again and again. Crayons make less mess than markers. Oh, and maybe some of those color wonder pages for art in the car.


Song School Latin: I would cut the binding off of the book and 3 hole punch it. Listen to the CD in the car & have child do worksheet. I haven't used Latin for Children - is it video? Will you/Can you bring a video player?


History: I'd probably do a stripped down version of something like Sonlight/Build Your Library, but using mostly audiobooks or just SOTW on audio rather than a bulky textbook. 



Edited by beckyjo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depending on what your goal is for SSL, I think it would be doable, especially if you have a portable DVD player. Otherwise, you can listen to the songs and the MP3 pronunciations they offer. As I consider doing SSL again for our younger kids, I think I would just go over the student workbook orally with them. We are about 1/3 of the way through the second book, and I can't see where writing things down is essential, unless that is how your student learns things best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are some things that have worked for us over the years.

We've used medium sized plastic dishpans or baskets that could slide under the seats in our van. They had handles so they could be carried by the older kids. We put our textbooks in there as well as any notebooks/ binders and pencil cases filled with all the needed supplies. Note- skip the glue and get washable everything. Oh- and crayons melt when left in the car on a hot day at the state park, but it does make for a very interesting conversation about melting points and why things melt! 

  Backpacks work better some days when we needed to get in and out of the car at several doctors offices, but they don't hold as much as the baskets.

We had lapboards with pencil pouches in them for a long time. We also bring along a blanket for sitting on the ground.

 For curriculum we've used Saxon math without too many issue in the car- they are bulky though. Sonlight type books for history and reading have been great because we could just grab the readers we needed and not need another textbook.

 Putting things in binders has really worked well. I've photo copied textbook pages and put them in our binders to lighten the load. Copies of grammar worksheets, math worksheets, and book studies also go well in binders. Putting copies and worksheets in order by day or by subject with notebook paper made it easier for the kids to keep on track.

 We also brought along lots of tapes. Yes, we are older homeschoolers with a very dated van!   :laugh:  Thankfully now you can get just about anything now on a Kindle, tablet, or CD/MP3's. Some we liked were- Bible stories/ songs/ verses (we loved the Mr. Henry tapes and the old Your Story Hr. tapes!), Biographies/ history stories, unabridged children's books on tape, Adventures in Odyssey, Spanish songs, classical music, and Classical Kids composer stories. All were great to use in the car to keep the kids happy but still learning on a long drive. 

I agree with the above statements:Try to cut down on the textbooks where you can. R&S Preschool is very portable, fun and covers quite a bit. 

Cover as many topics as you can through your travels- skip the textbooks- find some good books at the library to learn about where you are going,or what you are doing. Using nature guides and nature notebooks to help identify things on hikes could easily cover your science. Some libraries allow you to get a visitors card to check out books. This is handy if you will be camping/ visiting one place for awhile.  

 Hope you have a great school year and safe travels!  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Veritas Press self-paced courses worked really well on the go for us. Bible can be done on the iPad. History I had to use a laptop which I used my phone as a hotspot for internet connection. This only works if you have decent coverage and enough data.

I have an on board DVD player so DVDs for SSL works on the go for us. Should be okay for LFC A in the fall as well when we start up with that. Chant CDs will work in the car like the SSL song CDs. I have lists loaded up on quizlet for practice. Headventureland works on the iPad on the go for us.

I can do Spelling City on the phone/ipad/computer as well and load up our lists from SWR on there.

Brain Pop is a good as well. I do that on the iPad or phone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...