My husband and I roadschool our son. This lifestyle was something we decided to do after realizing just how much he—and our family—can benefit from the experiences offered by long-term travel. It was a fantastic decision, and we have no regrets.
However, we have come across some naysayers who don’t comprehend the ways to learn through travel. They can’t imagine that our child could possibly be getting all of his lessons in while we are on the road.
What these people fail to realize is that traveling is his lesson. At five years old, it’s the only one he should be concerned about at this time.
So how do we ensure our son continues learning and growing as we explore the United States? Well, in all honesty, we could probably do next to nothing and continue to watch him blossom. However, we prefer to take a more active role in his education, and we have found many wonderful ways to enhance the educational value of our travels.
If you’d like to capitalize on the educational offerings of your family’s adventures, try these 6 easy ways to learn through travel.
Seek Out Educational Attractions
We adore science museums and unique libraries. Sometimes zoos or children’s museums will make their way into our itinerary. State and national parks also present great learning opportunities.
Many people are curious about how we afford to do all of these things. I would love to tell you that we’re independently wealthy and never have to worry about money, but that would be far from the truth.
Since we don’t have unlimited funds, we make good use of several reciprocal memberships. By planning our travel around the attractions offered by these memberships, we can see more for much less.
[clickToTweet tweet=”By planning travel around reciprocal memberships, you can see more for much less. #roadschooling” quote=”By planning our travel around the attractions offered by these memberships, we can see more for much less.”]
Read on the Go
Our family loves books! We listen to audio books and podcasts in the car and read aloud before bed. Our son taught himself to read with very little help from us using the Teach Your Monster to Read app. Now he uses Amazon FreeTime to read or listen to stories on his tablet when we aren’t available.
All of this reading means we gather a lot of information which sometimes leads to new hobbies and interests, all of which help us to grow intellectually as individuals and as a family.
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
It often happens that the very best educational activities are not premeditated. By always staying aware of our surroundings, we have had many learning opportunities fall into our laps. From the fossils found during a recent nature hike to the little lizard discovered on my son’s bike during a ride one evening, we are constantly finding new things to discuss, read about, and enjoy.
Take it Slow
Those who pack too many things into each day tend to miss out on the natural learning experiences that come their way. Even if they do happen to slow down enough to notice something interesting, they often rush away before any real discovery occurs.
Therefore, we always make sure to schedule plenty of downtime into our days. We try to remain flexible in case we need to suddenly change plans to allow for further exploration of a place or thing.
Weave Lessons In
While we do take advantage of the lessons that come our way naturally, we also make an effort, as much as possible, to actively weave lessons into our travel. For instance, we will play number games while driving down the highway, have our son count out change for purchases at gift shops, or write letters to friends and family to practice spelling and handwriting.
By doing these things, we can make sure our son is getting a well-rounded set of skills.
Get to Know the Locals
This is admittedly something we need to do more of ourselves. By getting to know the locals, a person can get a better understanding of the culture and history of a place. Additionally, the locals always know the best places to go for fun, adventures, and good food—all things we definitely appreciate.
Whether you are planning a weekend trip, a week-long vacation, or long-term travel, these six tips will help you make the most of the educational opportunities you find, even while on the go.
Do you have an educational travel tip you’d like to add or a question about roadschooling?