This post is for letter “T” in the 2016 ABCs of Homeschooling Through the Holidays series.
Teaching While Traveling with Children
If you have ever traveled with a child, not to mention a car full of children, you understand that the newness of the trip wears off about twenty minutes on the road. And if you are a large family like we are, just selecting a video that gets a majority vote can be almost impossible.
One of the biggest challenges when traveling with children is keeping them occupied. Video games, movies, mini board games, and the ever famous “I Spy” do keep the children entertained but they do little more than entertain them. Instead, why not take the time that you have them captive and use it to teach a life skill or some other educational component.
Here are my best tips on how to make any trip educational for children:
Teach Map Reading Skills
Thanks to technology, before we know it, we aren’t going to remember how to read a map. While some think this is great, it really does a disservice to our young people. What happens when that technology fails while they’re in the middle of driving in an unfamiliar area?
Use the time you spend in the vehicle during your travels to teach your children how to tell what direction you are driving, as well as how to read a map. When your children are old enough, let them take turns riding in the front with the map. They can tell you where to go and help you reach your destination. This is a skill that will help them in the future!
Learn State Trivia
When preparing for an out-of-state vacation, look up some trivia questions regarding the state you and your family will be visiting. If you will be driving through several states to get to your destination, look up trivia for those states as well. Then, when in route, start asking your children the questions and reading the answers. This is a fun way to teach your children things about different states. You can also use this time to teach your children things about the states such as the capitals, flowers, song, birds, etc.
If you truly want to make trips educational for your children, then plan ahead when mapping out where you’ll be spending your next vacation. Look for areas to visit that have historical significance. For instance, a trip to Virginia should include a visit to historical Williamsburg. Now, if the destination is already set, investigate the areas surrounding the destination. Visit the attractions where your children will learn something. It may not be anything about the area, but may be a skill such as wood turning or making cheese, etc.
Finally, don’t be so rigid as to not allow time to go “off-road” or deviate from “the plan”. If there is an educational attraction nearby that you and/or your children are interested in, then go! Experiencing things together as a family while traveling is probably the best way to make a trip educational. However, you have to give yourself (and your family) the ability to modify the plan while traveling in order to do so. Remember, getting there really is half the fun.
So the next trip on the schedule, take a little time and looks for ways to make it educational as well as fun.
Sherryl Wilson is a writer, speaker, author, and Christian mom of seven. Having a big family means she has to find solutions that are simple. Her approach to life is both organized and imaginative so she has time to give her all to those who mean the most. Simply Sherryl seeks to show women that life is about the people you love and the tasks for survival do not need to overwhelm you. It is her unique approach to life that bring her readers back for her advice. Connect with Sherryl on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
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